Tohobit Peak

Elevation: 10,046 ft
Prominence: 906

Climbing and access information for spectacular but seldom visited peak is found on pages 193 to 194. Greg Parker provided the route information found in the book and is undoubtedly one of the climbers who best knows this interesting peak. His extensive update is set out down the page. Steve Grantham and Alex Feldman are two other climbers knowledgeable about this challenging summit. Their route information for the peak’s west ridge describe the nontechnical but still difficult west ridge route.Updated December 2018


Tohobit is another Sawtooth peak which is seldom climbed. This may be because it sits far west of the main crest (out of site, out of mind) and it may be because it looks so formidable when viewed from almost any direction (no easy way up). Greg Parker has probably spent more time on this peak than any other climber. He is credited with the first ascent of peak’s north face in 1997. Greg says of Tohobit “One of my all time favorite peaks. . . Tohobit looms over one of the main trails in the Sawtooth range, but my guess is that it has only seen 30 summit parties (or less) in the past 100 years. There is not an easy way to the top without bushwhacking, complicated route finding and some dicey scrambling, but it is doable without a rope, add this to its remote location, and you have a seldom climbed Sawtooth masterpiece!! 

I am not sure who did the first ascent but I suspect it was Steve Grantham’s 1985 party. The peak was not mentioned by the Underhills which is surprising to me.

Tohobit viewed from the north.

Tohobit viewed from the north.

Tohobit Peak from the summit of Warbonnett Peak.

Tohobit Peak from the summit of Warbonnett Peak.

Tohobit Peak viewed from Observation Peak.

Tohobit Peak viewed from Observation Peak.


Tohobit Peak by Greg Parker
 
Tohobit Peak is located roughly one mile northwest of Warbonnet Peak near the western end of the Verita Ridge. The peak is a bewildering conglomeration of faces, slabs, and cliffs. Tohobit means “black” in the dialect of a West Coast Indian tribe. The intriguing name was selected long ago, for some unknown reason, by the map makers. For years it was ignored by climbers more interested in nearby icons like Warbonnet Peak and Baron Spire. It is appropriate that Greg Parker selected Tohobit for his contribution to the book, as Greg, more than any other climber, is responsible for bringing the peak to the awareness of technical climbers. The peak is accessed from either Baron Lakes down Goat Creek or up Goat Creek from the South Fork Payette River. Reaching the peak requires a very long and demanding cross-country hike.
 
 
North Face/West Ridge, Grade II, Class 5.5 and 50- to 60-degree snow and ice.
 
I had hiked up the Baron Creek trail a dozen times and was always intrigued by the brief glimpses of Tohobit Peak I could see through the treetops, as it is well hidden from the trail. It also intrigued me that no one I talked to knew of anyone who had climbed the peak on the North face.
 
In April of 1994, I hiked solo into the cirque at the base of the North face with the intentions of scouting the peak, but not trying to summit, but I did carry enough gear to get me out of most situations. As I climbed the 45̊ snow slope to the base of the mountain, I could see a definite line of a mixed route leading to the west ridge. This changed my objective from scouting to climbing.
 
The climb started with long pitch of 5.5 rock, which led to a four pitch 60̊ snow / ice strip directly to the ridgeline. The climbing was extremely exposed and after the crux of having to tunnel through the cornice to avoid going over it, as I was solo with 500 feet of air under my feet, I found myself standing on top of the ridge. This left about 800 vertical feet of class 3-4 scrambling to the summit. The descent was as interesting as the ascent, as it took 6 very “spicy” rappels to descend the route, using all of the few pieces of gear I had in my pack.
 
Access: This route begins in the lower reaches of Baron Creek. Approach the peak from Grandjean via the Baron Creek Trail. Cross Baron Creek. Leave the trail at Moolack Creek, which is due north of the large drainage that runs steeply up Tohobit’s north face. Climb high into this drainage and directly to the snowfields (shown on the USGS quad) below the summit.
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West Ridge, Class 3-4, Goat Creek and Baron Creek Variations
Steve Grantham has climbed the west ridge twice, once from Goat Creek and once from Baron Creek with Alex Feldman. The photo of of Alex’s map shows the approximate route for the Baron Creek climb. The red line shows the 1985 line from Goat Creek to the West Ridge.
Whether approaching from Baron Creek or Goat Creek you must reach the west ridge east of Point 9050. Once on the west ridge, the route weaves its way to the top with a large portion of the route staying on the south side of the ridge.

Alex Feldman’s map showing the ascent lines for the 1985 amd 1995 climbs.

Tohobit from Baron Creek. Steve Grantham Photo

Tohobit from Baron Creek. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking down the west ridge. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking down the west ridge. Steve Grantham Photo

Goat Creek Approach

The 1985 party followed one gully up and descended another a bit farther to the east.

Climbing the west ridge requires the careful crossing of exposed terrain. Steve Grantham Photo

Climbing the west ridge requires the careful crossing of exposed terrain. Steve Grantham Photo

Climbing the ascent gully from Goat Creek. Steve Grantham Photo

Climbing the ascent gully from Goat Creek. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking up the descent gully untilized by the Grantham Party. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking up the descent gully untilized by the Grantham Party. Steve Grantham Photo

Resting in the descent gully. Steve Grantham Photo

Resting in the descent gully. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking up the descent gully untilized by the Grantham Party. Steve Grantham Photo

Looking up the descent gully untilized by the Grantham Party. Steve Grantham Photo


Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Sawtooth Range

First Ascent Information:

  • First Ascent Year: 1985
  • Season: Summer
  • Route: West Ridge from Goat Creek
  • Party: Steve Grantham, Dave Ferguson, Ken Ferguson and Mike Crist
  • Other First Ascent: North Face (II, 5.5, and 50- to 60-degree snow and ice.)
  • Year: 1997
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Greg Parker
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: West Ridge Baron Creek Variation
  • Year: 1995
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Steve Grantham and Alex Feldman

Longitude: -115.067646   Latitude: 44.091591

Photos:

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