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 no other 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
Reinier, Roache, and McGrane Route, Class 5.3-5.4 by Judi Steciak
Pat McGrane added two photos and comments to this route description.
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 route climbing up through the lower forest. George Reinier Photo
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, but the rock quality deteriorates as you ascend.
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
The view up from the valley between Cleft Peak and True Grit. The summit is on the left. Judi Steciak 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
True Grit’s summit block. George Reinier Photo
The Class 5 route to the summit of True Grit. Judi Steciak Photo
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
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 down. 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 second ascent team, Carl Hamke and Judi Steciak.