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Ascent to Squaw Butte-Fire Lookout on 2015-11-18

Climber: Dan Krueger

Date:Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Squaw Butte - Fire Lookout
    Location:USA-Idaho
    Elevation:5896 ft / 1797 m

Ascent Trip Report

I decided to get this hike done while the weather was still nice. It turned out to be a beautiful day for a hike - amazing weather for mid-November! I drove from Boise out past the Black Canyon Dam and turned onto Spring Creek Rd. I parked after 4.6 miles and made my way past the "gate" to the faint jeep trail. I followed this trail along Long Hollow Creek until it was no longer visible and hiked cross-country to the rocky rib where it gets VERY steep.

I scrambled up the rocky rib sticking to mostly class 3 terrain. There are lines that are class 4 and 5 along this route, but I decided to avoid them as the rock is VERY unstable. It seems like EVERYTHING on this rib moves if pressure is applied. It is a fun scramble, but very unstable. I followed the rocky rib to the top stopping periodically to take in the amazing views. The views along the route are probably better than at the summit, I always feel higher when clinging to the rocks. :)

Not wanting to downclimb the unstable rocks, I decided to traverse the South Ridge and follow a gentler ridge down. I accidentally kicked a small boulder loose and it rolled all the way to the creek, so it is still quite steep, but definitely an easier path down. This was a good choice until I got close to the creek and had to bushwhack through the (thorny) brush and cross the (tiny) creek. After that it was a simple hike back to the road.

Edit: I later read that the lookout (even though it looks higher) is not the true highpoint. Check my 2019 ascent for details.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1908 ft / 581 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1908 ft / 581 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear
40 degrees, windy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1908 ft / 581 m
    Route:Southeast Rib
    Start Trailhead:Spring Creek Rd  3988 ft / 1215 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1908 ft / 581 m
    Route:South Ridge
    End Trailhead:Spring Creek Rd  3988 ft / 1215 m



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