Mount Church

Elevation: 12,200 ft

This peak is found on pages 277 to 278. See the discussion below about an alternative west side approach that avoids the Jones Jungle. I have also included John Platt’s new route on the west face father down the page.


Idaho’s third highest 12er is a spectacular summit that was rarely climbed before 1990. Now it is a popular ascent by climbers seeking to climb all nine of Idaho’s 12ers.

Mount Church from Bad Rock Peak,

Mount Church from Bad Rock Peak,

The headwall leading to the saddle between Church and Donaldson.

The headwall leading to the saddle between Church and Donaldson.

See the Donaldson Peak Page for photos and information on climbing the headwall.

Mount Church viewed from Bad Rock Peak and showing to climbers on the summit ridge.

Mount Church viewed from Bad Rock Peak and showing to climbers on the summit ridge.


Alternative Access via the North Fork Jones Creek.

The traditional approach was via Jones Creek. [(B)(10)] Jones Creek is a rugged, unstable drainage which seem to change every year as the spring run off and healthy vegetation constantly changed the stream bottom and eroded the climbers’ trail. Climbers have established a new approach in the next drainage to the north which is some times called the North Fork Jones Creek.

This approach is reached via Lone Cedar Creek. [(B)(9)]. See the map below. From the end of the road the a good trail leads toward the mouth of the canyon. Once in the canyon, the trail tread is marked and, for the most part, easy to follow. Occasionally, it crosses the intermittent stream and at these spots you might need to look for a cairn to get you back on the tread.once you get above treeline the choice which way to proceed is up to you. The route to the pond at the base of the headwall is obvious.

This map show the road approach to the North Fork Jones Creek. Follow the Lone Cedar Creek Road to a ranch, turn right and follow the two track to its end.

This map show the road approach to the North Fork Jones Creek. Follow the Lone Cedar Creek Road to a ranch, turn right and follow the two track to its end.

The route goes up the canyon to the left of center of this photo.

The route goes up the canyon to the left of center of this photo.

Please see the Donaldson Peak page for additional details and photos relating to climbing the Church-Donaldson headwall. The standard route to the summit of Mount Church takes you to the top of the headwall just short of the summit of Donaldson Peak.


East Ridge Route.

There are a few obstacles on the East Ridge but most would agree that the crux of the climb is getting to the Church/Donaldson saddle.

This shot shows the lower section of the East Ridge as it climbs out of the Church/Donaldson saddle.

This shot shows the lower section of the East Ridge as it climbs out of the Church/Donaldson saddle.

The upper section of the East Ridge.

The upper section of the East Ridge.

A view looking down the ridge about midway to the summit. Larry Prescott Photo

A view looking down the ridge about midway to the summit. Larry Prescott Photo

The last section of the east ridge looking to the summit of Mount Church. Larry Prescott Photo

The last section of the east ridge looking to the summit of Mount Church. Larry Prescott Photo

The summit in 1987.

The summit in 1987.

See Larry Prescott’s trip report for additional photos and narrative.


West Face Direct. Class 4.

John Platt and his friend Brian climbed the west face of Church which I suspect was a first ascent. Check out John’s trip report¬†for details on this route.

Platt south face route. John Platt Photo.

Platt south face route. John Platt Photo.

Looking down the route. John notes that this photo shows the upper route and that the lower route was even steeper.

Looking down the route. John notes that this photo shows the upper route and that the lower route was even steeper.


Mount church from Donaldson Peak.

Mount church from Donaldson Peak.

Mount Church from the NE ridge of Donaldson Peak.

Mount Church from the NE ridge of Donaldson Peak.

Mount Church from US-93.

Mount Church from US-93.

 

 

 

Mountain Range: Lost River Range

Year Climbed: 1987

Longitude: -113.7134   Latitude: 44.066

Photos:

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