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

Harrison “H” Hilbert

Harrison “H” Hilbert was the first director of the Idaho State University Outdoor Program. He was an active Idaho climber for many years and was part of the first winter ascent of Castle Peak discussed on pages 22 and 23 in the book. He was responsible for bringing British mountaineer and ice climber Bill March to Idaho. … Continue reading

Bill March

Bill March was a British mountaineer and ice climber who, along with Rick Albano, is credited with the first winter ascents of Leatherman Peak and White Cap Peak in 1975. He came to Idaho at the request of his friend Harrison “H” Hilbert and was associated with the Idaho State University Outdoor Program in the 1970s. The American Alpine Club has a brief biography … Continue reading

Lou Florence

Bob Boyles, Lou and Frank Florence on the summit of the Grand Teton (photo by Mike Weber).

Lou Florence served in Africa and Italy in WWII. He moved to Boise with his family in 1972. He and his son Frank started Sawtooth Mountaineering, Boise’s first dedicated climbing and Nordic ski shop. An avid hiker and scrambler himself, Lou used Sawtooth Mountaineering as a venue through which to promote outdoor recreation. Throughout the 70’s the shop offered introductory rock climbing … Continue reading