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Fourth of July Celebration Rick Baugher

The splintered west face of Mt Frank overlooks Born Lake 9555'. Photo by Rick Baugher.

A Fourth of July Celebration

It's August already, the squadrons of mosquitos are pernicious, and most of the forest had burned down. No matter, because it's time to celebrate the Fourth of July. This was the first time I'd been back to the Fourth of July trailhead, that ever busy westside entrance to the White Cloud Mountains, since the big fire of 2005. After a moment grieving the charred timberland and the ending of a life cycle, it was time to get on with the business at hand, finding new peaks to climb. Here are two.
Born Lakes is a popular backpacking destination, and rightly so. It's an Idaho gem. The backdrop peak of the Born Lakes is Mount Frank el 10857' (prom 557'), on the White Cloud main crest. It's only line of weakness is a couloir of decomposed granite cutting the peak's west face.


West face couloir of Mt Frank. Photo by Rick Baugher.

Granite towers stand guard at regular intervals along the west face couloir of Mt Frank. The tread in the gully runs the gamut from dirt, to scree, talus, and slab. Sidewall climbing eliminates some of this grung

Summit view north from Mount Frank to Lonesome Peak el 11302' on 8/11/09. Photo by Rick Baugher.

Summit view north from Mount Frank to Lonesome Peak el 11302' on 8/11/09. Note the peak name etched into black lichen. Looks to be 40 or more years old. There was no other sign of summit visitation. Who was Frank? I don't know, but let's take a WILD guess: Frank Church (proponent of 1964 Wilderness Act).

View SW to Six Lakes Peak el 10179' (prom 439') looking across the burned out Fourth of July Creek drainage. Photo by Rick Baugher.


Six Lakes Peak's SE face. Photo by Rick Baugher.

The only appealing line I could find was this quartzite couloir, center of photo, on Six Lakes Peak's SE face.


Crux of the Six Lakes Peak's SE face couloir. Photo by Rick Baugher.
Crux of couloir involved stemming around an overhanging chockstone, one move of easy 5th class climbing.


Summit of Six Lakes Peak. Photo by Rick Baugher.

Luckily, this couloir continued right up to the summit, a diretissima. Summit view N. In center, Blackman stands in front of D.O. Lee. Lonesome on right. Cairn and note placed 8/12/09. There was no sign of prior summit occupation, save for an errant clump of mountain goat hair. We know who the real king of the mountain is, don't we?

Rick Baugher
Aug 13, 2009

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