Idaho Mountaineering 1939

This July 23, 1939 article briefly surveys Idaho Mountaineering at the time. Unfortunately, the climbers shown in the photographs are not identified. Nevertheless, the article demonstrates that Idaho climbers were actively “getting after it” 80 years ago. … Continue reading

The Missing Link: Norman Clyde in Idaho

Idaho is a virtual sea of mountains. While there is no doubt that Native Americans rambled across the state’s mountain summits and that explorers, trappers, miners, ranchers, surveyors and locals were climbing Idaho’s mountains from the time Lewis and Clark first passed through the state, there are few recorded accounts of these early ascents. When I wrote, Idaho: A Climbing … Continue reading

Castle Peak and Molybdenum

Castle Peak from Peak 10405.

In the 1960s the American Smelting and Refining Company was preparing to develop an open pit molybdenum mine on the north side of Castle Peak. The remnants of the company’s extensive mining camp are still standing below the peak. There is a good summary of the dispute on the Boulder White Clouds Council’s website: The Battle for Castle Peak. This … 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

THE LOST AND WANDERING by Joe Leonard

[Editor’s Note: Joe Leonard is a man who spent his first five years living in the Idaho backcountry in his grandparents cabin. From that point, his life just got more interesting each year.  He was behind many “first” accomplishments in Idaho, including the first winter ascent of Mount Regan, the first backcountry skiing guide service in the United States, the … 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