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Ascent of She Devil on 2010-08-15

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Petter Bjørstad
Date:Sunday, August 15, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:She Devil
    Location:USA-Idaho
    Elevation:9400 ft / 2865 m

Ascent Trip Report

This 3-top circuit was a nice shortish day hike with some great scrambling. We drove up to the Seven Devils campground the previous evening (by good fortune parking right at the start of the Goat Pass trail) and slept there.

After a quick breakfast we started hiking at 05:05, barely first light but I'd checked out the first part of the route the previous evening. We followed the Goat Pass trail, crossing a minor saddle above Mirror Lake, following the trail L to cross the main (Tower of Babel) ridge (Goat Pass) then descending to Sheep Lake (ingenious path, quite intricate but easy to follow). We somehow split up, Petter taking the N shore and I the S (a little more awkward with the trail cluttered by fallen trees), met up below the He-She saddle and climbed up boulders and scree (a trail of sorts) to the saddle together. We did She Devil first. The route initially heads straight up (polished slabs, or blocky scrambling to their L), then ascends R on looseish ground beneath some low cliffs until an easy way up L appears. Then fairly loose ground, a couple of cairns, then a parting of the ways: we climbed L on good rock then followed the crest, through a narrow crevice, across 2 gaps, to the summit. The last gap has the hardest moves (hardish Class 3). Mostly the climb is 2+, with occasional class 3 passages.

At She Devil summit, we spent time sighting across to He Devil. We speculated, in comparison with the background (Sacajawea range to W) that He Devil is maybe 5 ft higher than She, although other evidence later from He Devil didn't really back this up. My GPSr read 9399ft (single reading, several hundred samples).

Descending back to She/He col, we then headed up He Devil. Initial scrambling close to the crest was simple and quite nice. The chimney (Class 4) was a nice climb - we carried ropes and pro but didn't use it. Just above is another, smaller chimney, slightly easier (hardish Class 3). Scrambling up further we reaced a vertical section with serious-looking ground to the L (S). We headed R on a wide looseish slightly descending ledge. I scrambled up fairly soon to the next level; Petter climbed up more steeply a little further on. We then climbed up L to the ridge crest, were unsure whether it would go, descended a little then traversed across (still on the R, north side) to reach a gap with small trees just before the final summit climb. I concluded in retrospect that we could probably have followed the crest from our previous highpoint, which would have been a much neater and nicer route. (There seem to be several options once the chimney has been climbed). From the gap, we climbed L on a looseish slanting slope then cut back to He West summit (big cairn), before heading across to He East.

My 4 GPSr readings at He Devil West Summit averaged around 9392ft, i.e. 7 feet lower than my single She Devil reading. Petter's GPRs readings were 1-2m lower than She. The difference is too small to be resolved by hand held GPS, of course. We also sighted across using Petter's water-bottle method which seemed to suggest She was a little higher. More significantly (we trust) Petter took a set of photos to be pixel-analysed by Edward Earl's software, findings t.b.c...

We tried to compare the two He Devil summits using the water bottle method but the results were too close to call: they seem to be within 1ft of each other. There is an interesting rocky scramble between the 2 He summits (Class 4, easily bypassed on L). I initially didn't fancy the leap-of-faith move but having taken off my backpack I found it was quite OK to jump across, then scramble down the E end (just don't think about it for too long...).

After 90 minutes scrambling, "surveying" and sitting in the sun, we headed down He Devil's easy N ridge (Class 2+), crossed the rugged bowl and col to reach Sheep Lake then headed back over Goat Pass to reach the campground, 9h 30 after starting (7h 30 hiking time, not hurrying).

Although this was a Sunday, we saw no-obne on any of the peaks, although the 7 Devils campround was busy and there were folk at the various Sheep Lake camps, and a few folk on the main trail near the trailhead mid afternoon.

Timings were: Trailhead 05:05, Goat Pass 05:50, S end of Sheep Lake 06:50, He-She saddle 07:45, She Devil 08:15 - 08:45, saddle 09:15, He Devil 10:15 - 11:45, trailhead 14:30.

After breaking camp we drove S then W ready for tomorrow's Sacajawea climb. We had intended to take the direct route to Enterprise from the 84, but it was closed so we spent the night in La Grange (Motel, internet - luxury!)
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4070 ft / 1240 m
    Elevation Loss:4070 ft / 1240 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Grade/Class:YDS3 (She); 4 (He)
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3170 ft / 966 m
    Extra Loss:1350 ft / 411 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Goat pass, Sheep Lake, key saddle
    Trailhead:7 Devils campground  7580 ft / 2310 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2720 ft / 829 m
    Extra Gain:900 ft / 274 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Goat pass, Sheep Lake, key saddle
    Trailhead:7 Devils campground  7580 ft / 2310 m
    Time Down:5 Hours 45 Minutes



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