Before There Were Guidebooks by Ray Brooks

Harry Bowron, Gordon Williams, Ray Brooks. Thompson Peak, 1971

When I started climbing in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains in 1970, there was no guidebook for the range, or any other range in Idaho. There were no modern USGS maps of the Sawtooths until 1972, but we did have Forest Service maps which showed trails and the approximate locations of some of the highest peaks. There was some printed information on … Continue reading

Fred, Pete and Jack’s Big Sawtooth Adventure by Ray Brooks

The South-East-face of Fishhook Spire, at top center.  Becky route follows line of weakness to notch, at right of hook, then goes behind the spire. Ray Brooks Photo

The summer of 1949: Fred Beckey, Pete Schoening, and Jack Schwabland went into Idaho’s Sawtooth Range to finish “some business” with two peaks that had repulsed their climbing attempts the previous summer.  They also had a shopping list of other unclimbed peaks in the Sawtooths. Their “Idaho adventure” may well be the most exciting epic in Idaho’s climbing history. Fred … Continue reading

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 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

The Decker Flat Climbing & Frisbee Club By Ray Brooks

Here’s a group of us at our 4th of July 1971 gathering. Gordon at left in the back row.

I guess we were the Decker Flat Climbing & Frisbee Club (DFC&FC) before anyone, including us, knew. The little guy in the back of my mind liked the way the words fit together. Until the name popped into my head we were simply a group of like-minded climbers who lacked an identifying name. However, on a fateful morning in the mountains of … 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