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[TR] Idaho Selkirks - Selkirk High Traverse, Harrison Lake to Beehive 7/4/2017


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Selkirk High Traverse; Harrison Lake to Beehive Lake


Figured it'd be good for someone to write a little report about the Idaho Selkirk High Traverse from Harrison Lake to Beehive Lake. The ordinary route for this is the opposite form Beehive to Harrison. I figured I change it up a bit as I was familiar with the traverse the year before, but just stayed below the ridge and traversed the snow with a couple buddies.


I got started late on Monday night as I arrived at the Beehive trailhead around 8:30 pm. From there I had to hike the road to the Harrison Lake trailhead. Got up to my camp spot just below the ridge, but above Harrison lake so that I had a good starting point for my next day.


Slept in and enjoyed the high alpine views(no early start as planned) before setting out to try to tackle the traverse over to Beehive lake via the ridge. Didn't get started until just after 10.


Walked up to the ridge that drops from Harrison Peak then started the fun hike up and over several ridge tops until reaching what I call the sharks tooth peak. Not sure what it's really called. It's the shark tooth looking peak above Harrison Lake. Great views the whole way.


From here I could see the ridge I was going to be traversing over to Little Harrison and eventually down to Beehive Lake. Last year when we did the traverse we dropped down from here into the snow and didn't stay on the ridge. This year, I said screw it, lets see what it looks like.


Something that I had heard of before, and looked at a little bit the year before was "The Fin". I've heard rumors of it being 5.something. I'm not a huge rock climber though, so didn't really know how to judge. The closer I got to it, I kept on scouting routes that I could be on in order to not drop off the ridge incase I was over my head.. But there wasn't really much scouting as it was truly a "we'll see what it looks like when I get there" type of thing.


Up until reaching "The Fin" it was a pretty non-tech hike. I had some fun scrambling to stay on top the ridge the whole time and it made it fun.


As I stood at the top of "The Fin" I sat there for a minute trying to see my route, but as before, there wasn't really anything I could do until I was on top of what I was to climb/downclimb.


Downclimbing The Fin was interesting. There were definitely a few spots where I was in complete exposure and down climbing some class 5. After a few times telling myself "that was probably the meat of it" there were a few more good ones that got the adrenaline pumping before I completed the down climb of The Fin. Good times.


A few more fun scramble/climbs on the ridge to continue to the hill top above Little Harrison Lake. Once I reached the top of it I could see Beehive lake and still a lot of snow going into Little Harrison. Decided that I needed a little snow in my life so I dropped down the Little Harrison Lake side instead of staying on the ridge. I'd done the ridge a couple times before, so wanted a change of scenery.


The snow was soft, I brought crampons and ice axe but didn't use the crampons. Glacaded around a bit and had a good time rolling around in the white stuff. The axe came in handy during one small slip but overall it was good snow to cross and low angle. Had some more fun practicing self arrest.


Finished by getting back to the ridge above Beehive and dropping down to the lake. Drank some water, ate a bar, looked around a bit and set back to the truck via the Beehive trail. I arrived at the truck just past 3 pm. So I guess my adventure took right around 5 hours for the day.


Overall it was a pretty rad traverse. Next time I'm going to do it the traditional way and start at Beehive and around to Harrison. I'd like to climb up The Fin, vs down climbing it.


Finished out with a nice drive out Pack River Rd, the Pack River itself was high and a great place to spend lunch. IMG_64811.JPGIMG_6485.JPGIMG_64891.JPGIMG_64971.JPGIMG_6499.JPGIMG_65021.JPGIMG_65042.JPGIMG_6507.JPGIMG_65242.JPG

Edited by apcastagno
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  • 1 year later...

This area is a family trip area for me since I was a kid and I've gotten up into the Selkirks a few times to camp and climb at Chimney Rock.  It is such an epic area, and virtually no one goes there because it doesn't get written up much.  Thanks for the TR, I'd love to do some of these traverses up there and go climbing again on Chimney Rock and some of the lesser known mountains, but I live in Seattle and always go out there with family, so tough to partner up and spend time out there.  It is a long ways from Seattle!


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