Sawtooth Mountaineering by Frank Florence

Frank Florence on the East Face of Borah.

Editor’s Note: Sawtooth Mountaineering was Boise’s first climbing shop. It was founded by Lou and Frank Florence. The shop was an important link between many of Idaho’s premier climbers and the development of Idaho’s technical climbing scene. Bob Boyles (quoted in the book at page 23) noted the shop’s importance as a hub for local climbers, stating “the thirty or … Continue reading

The First Winter Ascent of Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn covered in deep snow at the time of the climb. Mark Sheehan Photo

The first winter ascent of Mount Heyburn was made by Gordon Williams, Mark Sheehan, Jacques Bordeleau, Chris Puchner and Joe Saviers on December 30, 1974. They climbed the peak from the fifth Bench Lake via the northwest ridge. Mark Sheehan remembers “It was a real slog, breaking trail though waist deep powder on a 45 degree slope. Once we got … Continue reading

The First Winter Ascent of Mount Regan

The following newspaper article covers the first winter ascent of Mount Regan. Joe Leonard has written an extensive account of this climb. See The Lost and Wandering to read Joe’s account which is an excerpt from his  2016 memoir The Son of Madam of the Mustang Ranch. Read more about Joe in the Contributors section of this website. Click on the … Continue reading

The First Idaho Guidebook: Sun Valley Ski Guide

The cover of the Sun Valley Ski Guide Andy Henning. Basil Service Collection

The first Idaho backcountry skiing and winter climbing guidebook, “Sun Valley Ski Guide,” was published in 1948. The book was authored by Andy Henning  and published by the Union Pacific Railroad, the owner of the Sun Valley Resort. The book is long out of print and hard, if not impossible, to find. However, there is a copy at the Ketchum … Continue reading

Death on Castle Peak

Castle Peak from Peak 10405.

Fatal mountaineering accidents are rare in Idaho, but they do occur. Rarer still are fatalities from summertime avalanches. Most people associate avalanches with wintertime, and winter is when most avalanches do occur. However, for climbers, it’s the summertime avalanche that can be an overlooked risk. Stanley, Idaho, resident Jared Spear died on Castle Peak in a rare summertime avalanche. His friends discovered that he … Continue reading

Andy Henning

Andy Hennig was the author of the first Idaho backcountry ski guidebook, “Sun Valley Ski Guide,” which was published in 1948. Unfortunately, the guide is long out of print and hard, if not impossible, to find. (There is a preserved copy at the Ketchum library.) Henning moved to Sun Valley prior to WWII to work as a guide for the … Continue reading