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JZickler

[TR] The Lions Head - Lion Tamer 7/9/2011

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Trip: The Lion's Head - Lion Tamer

 

Date: 7/9/2011

 

Trip Report:

The Lion Tamer - Grade III 5.10b 6P

 

After two failed attempts last summer Ben Boldt and I managed to scale the sheer north face of Lion's Head Peak. At 800 feet, it’s the largest alpine rock wall in the Idaho Selkirks according to Thad Laird. Amazingly, this massive piece of granite rarely sees ascents and according to the summit register we were the third party to reach the summit via the Lion Tamer route. The FFA was done in 91 by John Kitel and Mark Pierce and there are no subsequent ascents recorded until 2001. I guess most climbers in the area prefer Chimney Rock or are perhaps just unaware of the incredible aesthetics and route potential offered by Lion's Head.

 

The approach is easy if you can stay on the broken and less than obvious climber’s trail. It took us an hour to get from the parking area to the beginning of the boulder field where we encountered a significant amount of snow on the final slopes leading to the base of the route.

 

Our previous attempts were thwarted by seeping cracks making the route impossible (for us at least) to climb free. Third times a charm – we found the route nearly dry except for the top of pitch 3, a short section of 5.7 that was wet and covered with lichen making for thought provoking foot-work. A sudden foot slip forced me to test my #1 C4 and luckily it held. This section is just below the large belay ledge at the base of pitch 4 that can hold snow and water well into July.

 

Overall a super fun climb on an incredible peak! The climbing is difficult old school 5.10 but protects well in all the right places.

 

a link to photos:

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/Zickler1981/LionTamerSuccess?feat=email

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Stoppers, Mastercams 00-6, C4s .3 to 3, 2x2 2x3, 1-60m rope, 10 or so alpine draws. (pitches are long). Step kicking boots for the final snow slope and an axe or a sharp stick, some of the run-outs pose severe consequences! The route description is vague in the guidebook. I have a hand rendered copy of the topo from the summit cairn left by John and Mark that is spot on if anyone is interested.

 

Approach Notes:

Park at the switchback near the caribou sign. Follow the old road grade until the trail breaks left. Take time to find the trail it will save you time in the long run.

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Nice work. I have been dying to get up there and it just hasn't worked out. Super Stoked!!

 

Joe

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Looks bloody awesome. Do you have more info on that area?

Edited by kevino

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I've wanted to get up there for a long time, but it's a 11 hour drive from Boise. Laird's book mentions the oldest entry in the cairn is from two guys from Bonners Ferry in 1938 or 39, and I figure one was my dad. Did you happen to read that entry?

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Outstanding stuff! Looks like there's more to do as well. Good excuse for me to get out there when I'm back North Idaho way.

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I've wanted to get up there for a long time, but it's a 11 hour drive from Boise. Laird's book mentions the oldest entry in the cairn is from two guys from Bonners Ferry in 1938 or 39, and I figure one was my dad. Did you happen to read that entry?

 

Yes the original summit record is still there in a small metal cylinder. I don't recall the names but I do believe they were from Bonners Ferry and it was dated 1930 something in old world cursive. Cool stuff!

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Very nice! Looks like lots of loose snow still on the slabs. Last time we were there trying for a route on the other side, lots of it broke off and made for a pretty quick pace :)

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Looks stellar! Went in there and up the standard 5-easy route from the Bonners Ferry/Smith Creek side several summers ago--super spot for sure. . .

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Any chance i can get a copy of that topo you copied from the summit? If you wouldnt mind emailing me a copy that would be super awesome. My email address is nels0891@vandals.uidaho.edu

 

Thanks!

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Just climbed the route over the weekend. It really is a great climb and the 3rd pitch is most likely wet until mid august. We found the route in good conditions and dry in all but this one section at the top of the third pitch. I believe the route has had about 20 to 30 ascents since 91'. I personally know more than five people who have climbed the route, but did not bother to write in the log book. The log book is ruined from being wet. Most likely people don't bother to leave there mark with pencil and paper. If it received more ascents it would be very good and much cleaner. Even in it's current condition it is a worthy objective just for the position and scenery it affords.

Edited by Christian511

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