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

Which Idaho Peak is the tallest?

In the early 1920s, Hyndman Peak was considered Idaho’s highest summit. After an article (not yet located) in the Idaho Statesman declared Hyndman the tallest, a protest was sent to the Statesman and subsequently published by the paper. The protest, set out below, declared Patterson Peak in the White Clouds as the highest Idaho summit and claimed it was 13,000 feet high. Patterson … 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

ROBINSON BAR RANCH by Joe Leonard

[Editor’s note: Robinson Bar Ranch holds a unique spot in Idaho’s climbing history as it became the home of the first guide service in the United States dedicated to backcountry skiing. Joe Leonard tells it’s fascinating story below. Joe is a fascinating human being. Be sure to read a bit about his life at this link: Joe Leonard and about … 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