Lost River Conditions for mid-April by Bob Boyles

April 14, 2017. I just talked with Kevin Hansen. Two of his friends were on Mt Breitenbach last weekend. They found full-on winter conditions at the higher elevations with no sign of transition to spring yet. There were also lots of cornices and deep, unconsolidated snow in places. They described it as “still being winter up there”.

The snowpack in the range is very high this year. The SNOTEL station at Hilts Creek (8000’) is reporting 44”.

The Rock Creek approach to Borah’s north face starts at 7200’ so I would expect to find snow travel most of the way up to the cirque. The approach goes up a narrow canyon and the side we usually hike up faces north so it can hold snow late. If the snow is firm it can make the approach easier but if it’s soft it really sucks. The narrow passage through the cliff band will be full of snow or ice but there’s a class 3 rock scramble to the right that will get by that obstacle.

Lost River Range conditions typically generate high avalanche danger in the Spring. Most early season ascents of Borah’s North face are done in May and June after the snowpack has settled and transitioned. With this year’s snowpack that isn’t going to happen until the weather changes. I just looked at the Bogus Basin webcam at 6000’ and there’s 8” of new snow and it’s still falling. The Lost River Range is going to be hazardous for the foreseeable future.