Peak bagging is truly an otherworldly experience and Idaho is a popular destination for those that enjoy the activity. This even includes the winter since it is mild and snow does tend to often come off various peaks at times when this is not the case in other regions of the country. However, July is definitely the one month of the year that is the best for peak bagging in Idaho, bringing in the possibility to conquer peaks of 12,000 feet elevation.
If you want to make the most out of peak bagging in Idaho and be faced with a truly wonderful experience, you will want to consider the following tips.
Always Know What You Are Up Against
The 12,000 footers in Idaho are covering various mountain ranges. The really popular peaks for climbers are different from one another and you need to properly prepare for the experience. This includes Mount Church and Leatherman Peak. Most of the peaks have established trails that will lead towards the top but that is not the case with all of them. Strong physical fitness is always necessary, together with adequate planning.
Idaho’s peak bagging popularity is much higher than what many expect. Because of this, various books and guides are now available. Find those that cover the destination where you want to go to and you will be able to find a lot of inside information that can be used.
Arrange For A Minimum Of A Weekend Trip
You cannot go peak bagging in Idaho for just one day. You want to arrange for at least a weekend trip. This is especially the case in the event that we talk about beginners. Most climbers will reach trailheads during Friday night, then camp. A dinner is arranged on Fridays and you can easily go at one of the local restaurants for that.
It is possible that you cover a peak during a day hike but in other cases you will need overnight backpacking trips. Scenic day hikes are normally best in Pioneer Mountains and Boulder Mountains.
Always Wake Up Early
Veteran climbers always use what is known as alpine start, which practically means that they leave the camp at around 4 or 5 AM. Headlamps would be necessary but it is something you want to do since many climbs end up taking over 12 hours. That is practically the only way in which you can be sure that you would have great trips. In addition, you would be able to reach the peaks at a perfect time to take pictures and videos.
Never Forget About The Weather
Obviously, you do not want to reach peaks when there is a lightning storm and unfortunately, this does tend to happen with peak baggers that do not plan ahead. You want to be sure that you know the weather forecast and that you watch the weather while you are on the climb.
Be careful with snowmelts and warming temperatures. In the event that the route is on dried creek beds, it is possible to end up with water flowing during afternoons if the temperature is warm and the upstream snowpack is melted. Stream crossing will be deeper during afternoons.
As an extra fact of interest, mountain peak routes towards Pioneer, White Clouds, Boulder, Sawtooth and Smoky mountains will pass by scenic alpine lakes. A perfect, refreshing break can be had there.
Make Smart Clothing Choices
It is a really good idea to dress in layers. Performance underwear should be first and synthetic fleece should be second. Make sure that you have protection from the rain in the even that a storm comes. A perfect layer is offered by nylon pants that are fast drying and wind proof. Packing winter gloves and ski hats is also a really good idea since snowstorms can appear during August and July. You need trekking poles with you when peak bagging in Idaho.