Paul M and I wanted to get Borah and Redwic had wanted to get nearby Diamond Peak so off we went on Friday afternoon. We took turns driving through the night. We arrived at Diamond Peak and Paul and I decided to pass on this 5,000' gain hike and save ourselves for Borah instead. We waited at the car while Redwic motored up to the summit and back. We stopped for a burger at this place called Pickle something or other. We then continued to the Borah TH.
Redwic and I set up to sleep under the stars while Paul slept in the car.
Bright and early at 4am we rose and got ready for the trail. Craig prepped for his peaks as he'd already done Borah years ago. Paul and I started out under starry skies with our headlamps. We ascended through the tree section under darkness and got above treeline before the sun rose. Paul lead the way with a pace that would ensure our success. As the sun started to rise on the upper elevations we took a break and enjoyed the developing views.
We plugged away at the trail as we approached Chicken Out Ridge. 30 years ago on my first attempt on this mountain I stopped on the ridge while my dad and his friend ascended to the summit. This time I was determined to reach the summit too. Paul continued to lead as we navigated the ridge. Some moves were tricky as we got a bit off the regular trail. Thanks to Paul's encouragement, I was able to weave my way up and around tricky sections.
We reached the section that had a fixed rope and we easily descended safely and from there it was easy to a nearby saddle.
After the saddle we did an ascending traverse up the summit block. The going as slow but steady as we gained more and more elevation.
The summit kept feeling like it was getting further away as we ascended. Finally after what felt like a whole day (I think 6 or 7 hours) we reached the summit and about a dozen other people.
We enjoyed the bluebird skies and a light breeze. Paul looked for a summit geocached but never found it.
Finally it was time to descend. Certainly Redwic would be waiting for us at the TH as he said he'd be back from his hike around noon. We were behind our schedule as our ascent had taken us longer than planned. We descended to the step with the fixed line and ascended that section with ease and followed the now easy to follow trail down Chicken Out Ridge.
We passed lots of people coming up that sure didn't seem to have the skills or the gear to be at this altitude. We wanted to get off the mountain in case a search and recovery mission was enacted for one of these folks. The further we descended the more people were coming up. We started to get concerned that they wouldn't make it down before darkfall as many of them had summit dreams. We quickened our pace as the afternoon heat started to set in.
Once in the tree section it seemed to go on forever. We were glad we ascended through this in the dark that morning, talk about monotonous. Finally after too many hours and very hurt toes in my boots we reached the TH and Redwic waiting for us with the car. I couldn't wait to get my boots off!!
It was a great trip and I'm grateful to finally have this summit under my belt.
Oh, I forgot to mention, while on the summit I sent a quick text to my dad. Well just as we started our descent my dad called to congratulate on finally getting this summit. We couldn't talk long as my signal was sketchy at best. It sure was nice though to hear his voice and share a moment on this mountain with him.
Thank you to Paul M for being such a great climbing partner on this mountain, I'm not sure I would have reached the summit without his encouragement and leading.
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