In an effort to clean out the cobwebs from the long 2016-2017 Winter, I invited myself to join a young, fun group of climbers from Twin Falls. The objective was the North Face Direct on Mount Borah. We ended up climbing a variation. We named the variation the Junk Rock Direct, YDS 5.7+ WI 1. The whole route took 20 hours car-to-car. My climbing mates were Sean Muldoon, Jocelynn Smith and Adam Brown.
Our GPS track. We approached the face using the “Mike Howard Traverse” rather than Rock Creek. We encountered one Class 4 ledge on the shortcut and enjoyed a nice glissade off the ridge.
The (A) route is the Mike Howard Traverse and (B) is a longer, cleaner approach up Rock Creek.
We used my favorite way to approach the North Face, which was pioneered by Mike Howard known as the Howard Traverse. Class 4. Kevin Hansen Photo
Our line over the “Mike Howard Shortcut” up the face. This was the route that looked to be in the best shape. Bob Boyles calls it “Curt’s Couloir” because he and his partner ‘slept’ at the top of it one night in November while they hung from an ice screw.
It was a hot day. The sun was beating down hard and we all got a little cooked. Sean Muldoon Photo
Looking up toward the rock bands. Sean Muldoon Photo
Classic me, we were hoping to climb the North Face Direct, but we were off route. The rock was junk, hence the name of our variation. Nathan Smith Photo
The brave Sean Muldoon leading a tricky pitch on loose rock well above the protection of the belay. Kevin Hansen Photo