View SE to Ferguson Peak, 7/4/99. Baugher photo
Perhaps a good starting point is 8/15/93, my reckoning day for attempting the huge 11509' cliff rimmed mountain that divides Dry Creek and Long Lost Creek on the backside of the Lost River Range. The day before, from Far and Away Peak el 11930', I had spotted a gully on the southwest side of 11509' that looked climbable. It was. The top looked untouched, except for a little meat snack tin tucked into the rocks. Inside the tin was the name Chuck Ferguson along with the date 6/29/78.
I had known Chuck since the early '80's. This goes back to my YMCA days when I was organizing community fun runs in Idaho Falls. Chuck ran in all of them. As a public school math teacher Mr. Ferguson was a stickler for accuracy, and I was told more than once that my 10K courses were not measured accurately.
Anyway, after my 11509' adventure I felt compelled to call and compare notes. Turns out he picked a dicey eastside line from Swauger Lakes that involved crossing a catwalk snowbridge on the peak's narrow south ridge. Apparently, we had something in common, for over the next several years we did over a dozen peaks together.
Chuck's passion was running. He completed 100 of the 26.2 mile
marathons, and several ultras, almost winning the Lake Tahoe 72 miler.
In 1976 he began climbing mountains as a training tool. All together,
Chuck climbed over 200 peaks, including 54 Colorado Fourteeners.
View S to Ferguson Peak. David Ferguson photo, 2005.
Chuck passed away in 1998 at age 58. To use a racing analogy, he was
an early finisher, and for many of us we're still following in his
trail. If you were a family member, colleague, friend, or maybe one of
his students, chances are good he took you up Borah Peak. Altogether,
Chuck climbed Idaho's highest mountain 25 times.
Summit Ferguson Peak. View SSW to Far and Away Peak on 8/15/93.
In conjunction with writing his guide book I shared some of this
information with Tom Lopez in 1999. It was Tom who suggested Peak
11509' be known as Ferguson Peak. What an appropriate way to honor
Brothers Chuck (L) and David Ferguson (R) at snowbridge, Jones Creek,
on descent from No Regret Peak 11972', Lost River Range, 7/9/94.
On every summit David climbs he says out loud "Wish you were here,
Chuck". David made it to Ferguson Peak in 2006. In 1999 a memorial
climb of Borah Peak was held and Chuck's ashes were cast on the roof of
The Idaho Falls School District holds an annual "Chuck Ferguson
Memorial Walk/Run" and uses one of his sayings, "Curso Ergo Sum" (I run
therefore I am).
Chuck and Rick on 11112' Silver Peak, central Idaho, 9/28/96.
Chuck and Rick on 11112' Silver Peak, central Idaho, 9/28/96, David
Ferguson photo. Rest in peace good buddy.
Article by Rick