Elevation: 12,078 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 283 of the book.
Lost River Mountain is the 6th-highest peak in Idaho and is located in the Lost River Mountain Range. It is one of the nine Idaho 12ers. Its “Super Gully” is the most distinctive feature of the mountain and of any feature found on the 12ers, with the possible exception of the colorful and rugged Chicken-Out Ridge on Mount Borah.
While the vast majority of climbers summit Lost River Mountain via the Super Gully, other routes are available. Super Gully is known for its rockfall; helmets are a necessity. Most successful summits have been when there is snow in the gully. Thus a helmet, crampons, ice axe (and the ability to use it) and a rope may all be necessary. In recent years, Lost River Mountain has become a favorite of ski mountaineers. USGS Leatherman Peak
On this page:
- Photo essay of the Super Gully Route
- New Hyper Gully Route
- Update on the Northwest Gully/North Ridge Route found on Page 282, including additional access information for the route.
Super Gully Route, Class 3
Hyper Gully Route, Class 4
The following information was provided by Pat Lang (Pocatello, Idaho).
On October 16, 2004, Henning Krebs and I went to climb Super Gully on Lost River Mountain. From the general parking area on the Mackay side of the mountain, we wandered up through the trees and up to the point where you can see the gully structures leading up the high ridges.
We crossed into the debris at the bottom of this structure and stayed to the climber’s right as we moved up. We climbed to the top of the gully that we were in, passing a couple of Class 4 sections on white loose rock about two-thirds of the way up.
Once at the top of the gully, we were cliffed-out, with our only option being a move left /north into a tight gully that exits after 100 feet or so, onto a small platform. After a short, quick, low Class 5 move on the left side of the platform, we found ourselves on the ridge that leads to the false summit of Lost River Mountain. We followed the ridge to the false summit and continued on to the true summit. On our return, we descended the Super Gully.
The gully we went up is the first major gully to the right of Super Gully as you look up at the mountain from the Lost River side. I believe our ascent was probably a first ascent because we saw absolutely no sign of any other human passing. At no point did we find disturbed loose rock, scratched rocks, footprints, trash, etc.
- Hyper Gully access is the same access as for the Super Gully Route [(B) (12.1) on Page 292]
- Once at the bottom of the debris/scree field, instead of crossing the debris field left/north to the small ridge that provides access to Super Gully proper, head due east up a rapidly-narrowing gully. As you proceed up, you cross some white rock bands, which are full of loose rocks and are best crossed on the left side (Class 4).
- After passing these bands, stay in the ever-narrowing gully, heading for a small gate at the top of the gully. The last several hundred yards are extremely loose.
- At the gate (which measures about 5 feet across), turn left/north and scramble up a narrow, rock-filled gully to a small platform having a small rock wall (7 feet) on its left side.
- Climb over this wall (Class 4-5) to arrive onto a wide ridge that leads to a false summit of Lost River Mountain.
- From the false summit, follow the ridge to the cairned summit of Lost River Mountain. To return, reverse your route to the false summit and then drop down its West Face scree field.
- After several hundred yards, you will be in the Super Gully, which now has a well-worn “path” to follow.
Northwest Gully/North Ridge Route, Class 5
The following information was provided by Judi Steciak and Carl Hamke.
Attached is a picture and suggested edit (in bold) for the North Ridge Route on Lost River Mountain. We think that because of the rock quality and the exposure at the crux traverse, this route’s rating should be upgraded to Class 5. We do not use a rope on Class 3-4. However, we would not have done this route without one.
Judi also provided this addition to the approach section of the book, noting it “…might save someone from blowdown and rougher terrain on the other side of the creek.”
(A)(6.1)(a.1) North Ridge Lost River Mountain Cross-Country Route.
Where a prominent tributary of Dry Creek enters from the Lost River Mountain drainage, stay above the creek on its South Side. You will cross a clearing near this confluence and may encounter an outfitter camp at its southeastern end. Say hello and walk through camp to find a trail. The trail was maintained (blazes and cut logs were present) in the past and is the least strenuous approach to the upper section of the drainage. Sometime after 2005, a group wishing to promote big game hunting bought up the grazing rights for upper Dry Creek. The sheepherder camps and herds are gone. Instead, there is at least one outfitter camp in the drainage.