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

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

Mount Borah: Dirty Traverse and Northeast Ridge Variation – East Face by Bob Boyles

Bob Boyles provided the following history and, with Wes Collins, the route descriptions (below) for these two East Face routes. I first visited the eastern side of the Lost River Range (The Pahsimeroi Valley) in 1972, while working on a helicopter contract for the Forest Service. Flying through the range provided me a view that few ever get to see. … Continue reading

An 1884 Ascent of Mount McCaleb by J.D. Martin

[Editor’s note: J.D. Martin was an early settler of the Lost River valley. As he was nearing his 90th year he wrote a memoir covering the early history of the Lost River area which was published in installments in the Arco Advertiser. This portion covers his ascent of Mount McCaleb in 1884. It also references other ascents of mountains in … Continue reading

1987 Death on Borah

In 1987 an experienced climber descending Borah fell on the snowpack and lost control of his self-arrest. He landed just above a water chute/water-melt tunnel as the avalanche he triggered pushed him into the chute and buried him. Water Chutes/Water-Melt Tunnels When temperatures warm, water melts below the snow surface and flows in river-like patterns downhill. As the water flows, … Continue reading

Death on the Way to Mount Church

The upper section of the East Ridge.

Editor’s Note: On August 4, 2006, a fatality occurred on a summit attempt of Mount Church. What follows is the final article, published by the American Alpine Club in Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2006. I wrote the article along with Butte County Sheriff Wes Collins, with additional input provided by Portneuf Life Flight Registered Nurse Lance Taysom. Wes, an exceptional … Continue reading