South Ridge, Class 2 by Livingston Douglas 


The south ridge route on Peak 5913 (Mennecke Peak) is accessible from FS-131, the Prairie Road/Pony Creek Road [(E)(1) on Page 155]. Follow the road north from ID-20 for 7.6 miles to a broad saddle. Continue over the saddle and downhill to a point roughly 8.1 miles from ID-20 where an unsigned 2-track road on the left leads west toward the Long Tom Ranch.

The Climb

This ridge traverse begins at the saddle just to the west of Peak 5913 (Cayuse Peak). The elevation here is 5,500 feet. Scramble west up the ridge to a large, gentle ridge point that serves as a corner point. Follow the ridge crest up-and-down over three more ridge points to descend to a final saddle that sits below beautiful Mennecke Peak. The terrain on the ridge traverse to this point is easy, short scrub and broken rock. From the final saddle, climb northwest up the steep ridge to reach the elongated, narrow summit ridge. Scramble north to the summit high point.

This ridge traverse was a real treat because I encountered a herd of 15 elk (including 4 bulls) in one of the small saddles along the way. The herd was hiding in some willows on the west side of a small saddle. The bulls were bugling, perhaps telling me to “GET LOST!” They scattered as I approached and all ran down the east face of the ridge crest. The summit area is a narrow ridge crest characterized by minor talus fins protruding from the ground. Though the peak has been previously climbed from the north, there were no signs of previous ascent. This ridge traverse covers about 1-1/2 miles and takes about 40 minutes.