Peak 11100 (True Grit)

Elevation: 11,100 ft
Prominence: 400

True Grit’s Summit block. George Reinier Photo

This peak is not in the book. Judi Steciak and Carl Hamke provided the following route information. Also see their article on the Missing Eleveners in the Climbing History sSction of this site. Updated April 2018


True Grit is located on the South End of the treacherous Mount Corruption/Mount Breitenbach Divide (see Pages 280-283). True Grit, along with Triple Peak and Cleft Peak, form a rugged cluster of rotten towers that see few ascents. The name True Grit was bestowed on the peak by its first ascenders: George Reinier, Johnny Roache, and Pat McGrane. True Grit is the most technically challenging of Idaho’s Eleveners. It is the only Idaho peak above 11,000 feet without a nontechnical route to its summit. The first ascent was made on July 9, 2011. Judi Steciak and Carl Hamke made the second ascent. There are fewer than ten recorded ascents. USGS Leatherman Peak

Looking NW from Ferguson Peak, the summit of True Grit is touched by the sun in the foreground. Cleft Peak rises in the mid-ground with Borah Peak in the distance. Judi Steciak Photo

Looking NW from Ferguson Peak, the summit of True Grit is touched by the sun in the foreground. Cleft Peak rises in the mid-ground with Borah Peak in the distance. Judi Steciak Photo

Reinier, Roache, and McGrane Route, Class 5.3-5.4 by Judi Steciak

  • Pat McGrane added two photos and comments to this route description.

Access

The quickest approach is from Dry Creek [(A)(6.1)(a) on Page 290]. Follow the pack trail up Dry Creek until it crosses the 7,820-foot contour. To avoid thrashing through willows, turn SW and ascend to continue up the valley parallel to the 8,200-foot contour until you can cross the drainage to the valley between True Grit and Cleft Peak. Stay on intermittent herd paths on the South Side of the valley until you reach treeline near 9,400 feet, where you can cross to the North Side.

The approximate route. judi Steciak map.

The approximate route. judi Steciak Map

The route climbing up through the lower forest. George Reinier Photo

The route climbing up through the lower forest. George Reinier Photo

Route

From this point, thread up between cliffs to the cirque above. Ascend the NW facing scree to the 100-foot cliff below the summit on the NE end of the ridge. A small right-facing open book leads up to a ledge followed by a short series of pockets and small headwalls. The system tops off on the North Ridge a few easy steps from the summit.  The technical crux is at the start of the climb of the summit block. Keep in mind that the rock quality deteriorates as you ascend.

Hamke and Steciak took a small rack, maybe 10 mid to small size pieces (hexes, wired stoppers and camming devices) and long runners. Carl reports “We found protection for the lowest belay anchor, two wired stoppers in opposition, in a horizontal crack, see second photo.  The 4th photo shows the step up to set the belay anchors.  You could continue to traverse left from there, probably 5.6 or so, but it was easier in hiking boots to come back down and do an easier and lower traverse to the small open book we told you about before.”

“We could not find a solid anchor to rappel from the summit, it was all loose rock.  I belayed Judi while she down climbed and placed protection for me.  Then I used a couple of long runners around the base of the summit cairn and down climbed while self-belaying, without loading the rope, see 3rd photo (this is a 4-biner rappel brake with a prussik backup).  Back on the ledge at the top of the open book (1st and 2nd photo) it became clear that it would be difficult to retrieve the rope once I was back to the belay – too many jagged edges for it to get hung up on.  I left Judi’s pro temporarily in place while I re-tied myself into a bight of the rope – Judi had me on belay – and was able to pull the rest of rope from the summit.  From there I continued down, removing all of the pro while Judi kept me on belay. We used a 9 mm rope.  Bring a 50-meter rope, a shorter rope won’t be long enough, and a helmet. The upper section had loose rock, maybe it has been cleaned by the crowds climbing the 11’ers now.”

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Hamke/Steciak Photo

Pat McGrane adds “I would bring about 6-8 pieces of gear and a few slings including a long one for the anchor. Bring two C4 cams, the red one and the yellow one. Then 5-6 smaller stoppers. It is pretty easy but you will want to overprotect it because we downclimbed the pitch rather than rappel. There is really nothing to rappel off. The top is simply a pile of rocks. I used one of the cams in a slot near the bottom and could get in a couple of small stoppers at the top for an anchor but I did not trust them to rappel off. I used the small stoppers and the long sling for the belay at the summit. I then belayed up John and George. 

To descend, I belayed those guys down with a top rope and asked them to replace the gear to protect me because I needed the pro after the hard parts since I was down climbing. George did this. Then I down climbed the route with a belay from below.”


Additional Route photos.

Looking SE from Cleft, True Grit hides in front of Ferguson Peak on the left. Get psyched to ascend about 1,000 feet of scree to the ~ 100 foot summit block. Judi Steciak Photo

Looking SE from Cleft Peak, True Grit hides in front of Ferguson Peak on the left. Get psyched to ascend about 1,000 feet of scree to the ~ 100 foot summit block. Judi Steciak Photo

Outlining the summit ridge reveals the highest point, on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

Outlining the summit ridge reveals the highest point on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

The view up from the valley between Cleft Peak and True Grit. The summit is on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

The view up from the valley between Cleft Peak and True Grit. The summit is on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

Pat McGrane note--It is possible to avoid the "1000 feet of scree" and instead climb 35 degree snow from the valley floor to just below the final rock climb if done byl early July. George Reinier Photo

Pat McGrane notes: It is possible to avoid the “1000 feet of scree” and instead climb 35-degree snow from the valley floor to just below the final rock climb if done by early July. George Reinier Photo

Partway up the scree slope. The summit is on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

Partway up the scree slope. The summit is on the left. Judi Steciak Photo

True Grit’s Summit block. George Reinier Photo

True Grit’s summit block. George Reinier Photo

The Class 5 route to the summit of True Grit. Judi Steciak Photo

The Class 5 route to the summit of True Grit. Judi Steciak Photo

Pat McGrane note—The start of the climb is characterized by a relatively crack free area of grey rock with white veins throughout. See attached photo "Pat and John at the start..."

Pat McGrane notes: The start of the climb is characterized by a relatively crack-free area of grey rock with white veins throughout. Pat and John at the start. George Reinier Photo

From the belay stance, move down to the left and traverse low to a small open book. Climb up to gain the ledge above Carl’s head. The first few moves up the book are 5.3-5.4, not a problem in hiking boots. Judi Steciak Photo

From the belay stance, move down to the left and traverse low to a small open book. Climb up to gain the ledge above Carl’s head. The first few moves up the book are 5.3-5.4, not a problem in hiking boots. Judi Steciak Photo

Move left on the ledge a short way until you reach the bottom of a narrow gully. Climb up this to the summit. The angle eases off and the rock quality deteriorates. The pitch was about ½ a rope length (60-m rope). Judi Steciak Photo

Move left on the ledge a short way until you reach the bottom of a narrow gully. Climb up this to the summit. The angle eases off and the rock quality deteriorates. The pitch was about ½ a rope length (60m rope). Judi Steciak Photo

Partway up the gully, looking up. Judi Steciak Photo

Partway up the gully, looking up. Judi Steciak Photo

Partway up the gully, looking down. Judi Steciak Photo

Partway up the gully, looking down. Judi Steciak Photo

Near the summit, looking down. We downclimbed instead of rappelling, because we did not want to place all of our weight on the meager summit anchor. The first climber placed protection for the second. Judi Steciak Photo

Near the summit, looking down. We down-climbed instead of rappelling, because we did not want to place all of our weight on the meager summit anchor. The first climber placed protection for the second. Judi Steciak Photo

The first ascent team on the Summit, George Reinier, Johnny Roache and Pat McGrane. George Reinier Photo

The first ascent team on the summit: George Reinier, Johnny Roache and Pat McGrane. George Reinier Photo

The second ascent team, Carl Hamke and Judi Steciak.

The second ascent team, Carl Hamke and Judi Steciak.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Lost River Range

First Ascent Information:

  • First Ascent Year: 2011
  • Season: Summer
  • Route:
  • Party: George Reinier, Johnny Roache and Pat McGrane

Longitude: -113.64627   Latitude: 44.08956

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