Additional climbing information for this p2k peak is found on pages 311 to 312.
Saddle Mountain, a dominating massif, is located at the south end of the Lemhi Range. It’s a difficult peak to climb with long approaches and big elevation gains from all directions. Make sure you check out Larry Prescott’s trip report for his 2014 route up from Cedar Canyon.
Middle Canyon Route. Class 2-3
After looking at this peak for 36 years I climbed it on May 17, 2014, with Andrew Chiles. We climbed it via the Middle Canyon, southeast ridge route pioneered by John Platt, Sean Duffy and Micheal Pelton in 2011. See John’s trip report.
The route has a good trail to 7,100 feet as it follows a route used by early pioneers who cut trees and dragged them out of the canyon with horses.
Between 7,100 feet and 8,600 feet the route follows an elk trail in places but more often than not the route is obscured by deadfall and brush. This section, for me, was the crux of the climb.
Sometimes you can follow the route without too much log hopping.
At 8,600 feet, the route leaves the canyon and climbs a broad east- northeast trending ridge toward Point 10248. A recent forest fire has burned many of the trees on this ridge.
As you near the treeline, you get your first good view of the summit.
The ridge narrows above tree line and climbs steadily to Point 10248. Roughly 50 feet below the top, you can traverse over to Saddle’s southeast ridge.
Looking up Saddle’s southeast ridge you will see it is covered with right leaning towers. All of these towers can be bypassed on their left by following a fairly distinct goat trail.
The summit was capped by a big snow pile, which was the only significant snow on the route.
Looking north. Diamond peak is the big peak in the center of the photo. Mount Hoopes and Tyler Peak are the two triangle shaped peaks to the right. The peaks to the left are the summits near the Uncle Ike drainage.
Cedar Canyon. Class 2+
Cedar Canyon is perhaps the best eastern approach to the summit. Larry’s directions to reach Cedar Canyon are as follows: “To get there drive northwest on highway 28 towards Salmon. Turn off on a gravel road marked with a small sign identifying Bartel Canyon. Follow the road for some distance until you reach the foothills of Bartel Canyon and then turn left to access the southern canyons. The roads leading into the Lemhis are rough.”
Saddle Mountain route up Cedar Canyon. Larry Prescott Map
Ascending this steep route involves 4,100 feet of gain in roughly 2.5 miles.
Saddle Mountain via Cedar Canyon and Deer Canyon Cedar is on the left, Deer in on the right. Larry Prescott Photo
The upper stretches of the Cedar Canyon route above treeline. Larry Prescott Photo