Elevation: 10,028 ft
Climbing and access information for Ajax Peak is found on page 320. Michael climbed Ajax Peak from the Montana side of the border (See Page 320 in the book for the Idaho approach) and provided route and access information for the climb which is set out below.
Ajax is an out of the way summit which is well worth the effort to reach. The following information was provided by Michael Darcy. Michael passed away in 2013 after a fall in the Lost River Range. He was a friend to all Idaho mountaineers and will be missed.
Thank you for the response to my e-mail several months back and the reference to call Rick Baugher for some information. He provided some valuable insights and his advice was right on the money. For what it is worth, I will relay some detailed information on Ajax Peak.
Take the Twin Lakes campground exit 6.6 miles South of Wisdom, Montana on US Highway 278. Travel 8.2 miles to a sign pointing South to Big Swamp Creek Road. After 8.4 miles on a good gravel road, turn right onto Big Swamp Creek Road 625. Another 4.8 miles takes you to a sign pointing to Ajax Lake. Another 3.1 miles takes you to a point where the road kicks up sharply with some serious rock in the road. If you have a 4×4 and no worries you can proceed and drive up the road and up a couple of steep, rocky switchbacks to the lake. If not, you can park below the steep kickup (2 spots) and hike up to the lake in about 35 minutes.
At the lake, look slightly to your right at the large patch of snow half way up the bowl. This is what to aim for. Make your way around the right side of the lake on a faint trail over rocks and downed trees (20 minutes).
At the West end of the lake, make your way up through rocks, boulders, scree, and scrub to the patch of snow at about 9100′. At the snow patch (which was still sizable in mid August) look off to your left for an obvious trail at about 9150′ that will lead you to the top of the ridge. From the West end of Ajax Lake to the top of the ridge is about 45 minutes.
From the top of the ridge turn to your right and begin your ascent to the top of Ajax Peak. This is a 30-35 minute boulder climb. You will probably use your hands in a couple of spots, but only for balance or to maneuver.
The top of Ajax is a ridge line summit with rock cairn and summit register and affords one tremendous views of Squaw Mountain, Copperhead Peak, Homer Youngs Peak, and the town of Salmon off to the Southwest.
Make sure to take the Twin Lakes exit and make your way West & South to reach Big Swamp Creek Road. Big Swamp Creek Road cannot be accessed directly from Highway 278. It crosses private land and is gated.
Local information through the Wisdom Ranger District: 406-689-3243.