Ascent to Latour Peak-3 miles from S ridge on 2013-07-16

Climber: Richard Hensley

Date:Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Latour Peak - 3 miles from S ridge
    Elevation:5000 ft / 1524 m
    Remaining Elevation:1408 ft / 429 m (9% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

After the last hairpin on Boise Peak Rd and as it begins its long traverse along the SE slope of the mountain, small trees begin to encroach from each side of the road. I don't know what kind it is, but it's very common along the edge of forest roads in northern Idaho. They're densely packed along the edge and extend out into the road, generally no more than 6 to 10 feet in height. Right now, you can't get an ATV through without touching. I went through the first section, hoping it was an exception, and it seemed to last a hundred yards or more. Quickly encountered another, and I detected a trend. After all, the next few miles were on an identical slope. Didn't like the sound of "Idaho pinstriping" being applied to my SUV with a still nice finish. Should buff out, but then some of those limbs were almost an inch thick, so won't know until later. Decided I didn't need Latour this bad. Had to back out (and hear it again!).

Would have been an easy walk from the last hairpin, but it was after 5pm and showers were moving through with thunderstorms forecast. A mountain bike sure would have been handy.

If you totally don't care about your vehicle, should be no problem. One more note though: they are presently grading the road from the bottom where you turn off of Latour Creek Road. In the long term, this means a better and more level road, and good to know they're paying attention to its condition. But for the short term, it means the whole road is small to medium rocks suspended in deep loose dirt. Very rough, and I estimate it takes at least triple the usual time to drive. On this day, they've gone from Latour Creek Road to the first switchback (from NE to W) on the upper south side, maybe 4 1/2 miles. (I was 1hr45min from I-90 when I turned around!) On the good side, and if they go to the top, maybe the grader can take down the encroaching trees, and leave a nice forest road for next year.

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