White Clouds

It has been several months, but here are some pictures from our Super Activity for this year.  We went as a Scout Troop, but just the Priest’s Quorum of the Paul 1st Ward.  We went to the White Clouds here in Idaho.  We left around 6:00 AM and drove to the 4th of July trail head.

Looking back with 4th of July Lake behind us.

Looking back with 4th of July Lake behind us.

Our first day we hiked over Ants Basin and in to the Born Lakes.

Saddle near Blackman Peak looking toward the White Clouds down the Warm Creek watershed

Saddle near Blackman Peak looking toward the White Clouds down the Warm Creek watershed.

Looking toward the Born Lakes.  Devil's Staircase is the rockslide down from the notch in the distance

Looking toward the Born Lakes. Devil’s Staircase is the rock slide down from the deepest notch in the horizon.

We camped at the last lake that still had somewhere to camp around it on the far northwest bank of the lake, just near where the water enters the lake.  From our camp at the Born Lake, some call it the third lake, some call it the fourth lake, looking back the way we came earlier in the day.

Looking back across our Born Lake.  Martin Barclay stands in the picture.

Looking back across our Born Lake. Martin Barclay stands in the picture.

From our Camp at this Born Lake, the ridge to the south east of us is quite imposing.  You can see the jagged rocks standing as sentinels.

The ridge to the east of our Born Lake.

The ridge to the east of our Born Lake.

We could also look up at the climb that awaited us the next morning.  The aptly named, Devil’s Staircase.

You can see the "tooth" in the saddle at the top of Devil's Staircase.

You can see the “tooth” in the saddle at the top of Devil’s Staircase.

We set up camp and enjoyed our evening.

Kerry Sandford stands behind his tent, Ryan Lindsay stands behind the fire, Dallin Fisher sits preparing dinner, Austin Silver warms, and Paul Ross sets up his tent.

Kerry Sandford stands behind his tent, Ryan Lindsay stands behind the fire, Dallin Fisher sits preparing dinner, Austin Silver warms, and Paul Ross sets up his tent.

The next morning arrived and we all arose for the feat before us.  We ate breakfast and mulled around.  Nobody overly anxious to start the climb.

Sitting after morning breakfast, Austin Silva, Greg Ellinger, Michael Fisher, Paul Ross

Sitting after morning breakfast, Austin Silva, Greg Ellinger, Michael Fisher, Paul Ross.

The time to depart finally arrived.  We tanked up on water and left.

Austin Silva, Paul Ross, Greg Ellinger, Martin Barclay.

Austin Silva, Paul Ross, Greg Ellinger, Martin Barclay.

This is from the lake at the base of Devil’s Staircase.  Obviously at a 45 angle to get the entire climb into the photo.

Devil's Staircase

Devil’s Staircase

Another shot of us starting to ascend.

The team moving upward, Greg Ellinger, Paul Ross, Ryan Lindsay, and Dallin Fisher with more farther up the climb.

The team moving upward, Greg Ellinger, Paul Ross, Ryan Lindsay, and Dallin Fisher with more farther up the climb.

A view from the top of Devil’s Staircase looking back over the Born Lakes.

Looking back over Born Lakes and the Warm Springs Creek Basin.

Looking back over Born Lakes and the Warm Springs Creek Basin.

Top of Devil's Staircase looking east over the Slickenside Basin.

Top of Devil’s Staircase looking east over the Slickenside Basin.

Looking up at Devil's Staircase from Shallow Lake.

Looking up at Devil’s Staircase from Shallow Lake.

We took a much needed breather and rest at Shallow Lake after coming off Devil’s Staircase.

Paul Ross, Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, Josh Barclay, Ryan Lindsay at Shallow Lake.

Paul Ross, Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, Josh Barclay, Ryan Lindsay at Shallow Lake.

Austin Silva and Greg Ellinger soothing their feet in Shallow Lake.

Austin Silva and Greg Ellinger soothing their feet in Shallow Lake.

We passed Shallow Lake and Scree Lake before we descended the steep decline along Slickenside Creek.  Here is a shot just past Scree Lake with Castle Peak starting to emerge.  Can you see why the ridge from Merriam Peak to the left to Castle Peak is called Serrated Ridge?

Merriam Peak, Serrated Ridge, and Castle Peak

Merriam Peak, Serrated Ridge, and Castle Peak.

Looking across Quiet Lake at Serrated Ridge and Castle Peak.

Looking across Quiet Lake at Serrated Ridge and Castle Peak.

Serrated Ridge with a number of rocks that look like men standing guard.

Serrated Ridge with a number of rocks that look like men standing guard.

Our campsite on the west side of provided a much needed collapsing station.

Quiet Lake Camp

Quiet Lake Camp

Oh, and swim.

Austin Silva diving into Quiet Lake.

Austin Silva diving into Quiet Lake.

I did not add more of the swimming pictures in case somebody might get upset.  But the water was deep enough to dive in and swim around, cold enough to keep it short.

Another view of the Serrated Ridge from our camp.

Another view of the Serrated Ridge from our camp.

We crashed pretty hard that night.  The dreams were not necessarily pleasant knowing we had to do it again the next day.

The next morning we arose, ate breakfast, and started preparing for our final ascent.  We were exhausted by this point so nobody thought much of taking pictures.  This is part of our climb out of camp toward the Four Lakes Basin.

Climbing toward Four Lakes Basin.

Climbing toward Four Lakes Basin.

We eventually found Cornice Lake, Emerald Lake, Rock Lake, and Glacier Lake.  Here is a picture of Castle Peak with Rock Lake in the foreground.

Rock Lake and Castle Peak.

Rock Lake and Castle Peak.

It was a long haul climbing Patterson Peak.

Greg Ellinger (in black), Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, Austin Silva, and Ryan Lindsay.

Greg Ellinger (in black), Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, Austin Silva, and Ryan Lindsay.

Four Lakes Basin and Castle Peak from near the top of Patterson Peak.

Four Lakes Basin and Castle Peak from the saddle nearing the top of Patterson Peak.

I hope the above picture gives some idea of the climb we just came up.  Plus the drop-off is enough that you cannot see any of Quiet Lake beyond the basin.  It was a hard climb.  Cornice Lake is the furthest with Emerald Lake just closer from it.  Rock Lake is to the right of Emerald Lake, and Glacier Lake is closest.  Then it was time to descend the other side.  It looked so unsafe we were consulting the map just to find out how to get down.  It was steep enough we could not see the whole trail down.

Paul Ross and Kerry Sanford trying how to get off this ridge to Fourth of July Lake below.

Paul Ross and Kerry Sanford trying how to get off this ridge to Fourth of July Lake below.

Closest is Greg Ellinger, then Ryan Lindsay, and Austin Silva with Patterson Peak in the background.

Closest is Greg Ellinger, then Ryan Lindsay, and Austin Silva with Patterson Peak in the background.

The steep descent, Austin Silva, Ryan Lindsay, Greg Ellinger.

The steep descent, Austin Silva, Ryan Lindsay, Greg Ellinger.

As you can see from this picture, we came down the rock slides of Patterson Peak (on the right).  Half our group took the one right in the middle, the rest trying coming down the left slides (which turned out to be less safe and more steep).

Between Patterson Peak and 4th of July Lake.

Between Patterson Peak and 4th of July Lake.

Here is what remained of our party at the end of the third day.  We were all so anxious to get out nobody took any more pictures.  Plus, all our cameras had died or were out of film.

Patterson Peak with (l-r) Paul Ross, Austin Silva, Dallin Fisher, Michael Fisher, Greg Ellinger, Ryan Lindsay, Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, and Josh Barclay.  Art Silva took the picture.

Patterson Peak with (l-r) Paul Ross, Austin Silva, Dallin Fisher, Michael Fisher, Greg Ellinger, Ryan Lindsay, Kerry Sanford, Martin Barclay, and Josh Barclay. Art Silva took the picture.

Independence Lakes

Here are a couple of photos from the trip to Independence Lakes this weekend with the Young Men.  Only two were able to go, one with his father.  Bishop and I attended as well.

Boy, I will tell you, that was a mean little hike for someone who has not hiked for 5 years. I took in a 42 pound pack with everything I needed plus a couple extra comforts (like a sleeping pad, two stoves for cooking with extra fuel, and some other tidbits).

Overlooking Elba, Idaho from the Independence Lakes Trail

Overlooking Elba, Idaho from the Independence Lakes Trail

We were quite pleased to arrive and find the temperature at the trailhead to be only 82.  Down in the valley before the cloud cover arrived it was 96.

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We had to move along at a pretty fast little clip because we were later in the day and wanted to have enough daylight to set up our tents and cook dinner.  Here is a fuzzy picture I took of a Columbine on the way up.  They were everywhere along the drive and a few on the lower parts of the trail.  All of the Columbines were completely white.

Columbine

Columbine

We arrived around 9:45 in the proper Independence Lakes Basin.  There were a number of campers and we were too tired to try the third lake, so we camped near the prime camping area at lake 2.  We set up our tents in the light, cooked our meal in the dark, and went to bed because we were all so completely exhausted.

Morning arrived and I found out that pretty much nobody slept.  Likely because of exhaustion but we also had a rowdy party in the camp next door.  It looked like it might rain so we started breakfast and packed our tents to avoid trying to pack in the rain.

Independence Lakes, #2

Independence Lakes, #2

After breakfast, and no rain, we left camp to head home.  We grabbed a local rowdy camper and he took a few pictures.  This is one of the better ones of us.

Paul Ross, Dallen Fisher, Michael Fisher, Bishop Kerry Sanford, Greg Ellinger

Paul Ross, Dallen Fisher, Michael Fisher, Bishop Kerry Sanford, Greg Ellinger

The photo of the ridge right behind us turned out pretty lousy.  But here are two other shots of the ridge.

Independence Lakes Ridge looking south from Lake 2

Independence Lakes ridge looking south from Lake 2

Independence Lakes ridge looking north from Lake 2

Independence Lakes ridge looking north from Lake 2

On the way out I snapped another picture overlooking Elba, just like the other one above.

Elba

Elba, Idaho from the Independence Lakes Trail

This little trip was to help us prepare to visit Quiet Lake in the White Clouds at the end of July.  I need to get my hiking legs and shoulders a little stronger for that hike!