Scout your next climb in Idaho
Nicholson Peak (11,051') Rick Baugher

View NW to Nicholson Peak, from Swanson Peak, 11/17/90. Rick
Baugher photo.

For the entire 50 mile stretch of Little Lost River Valley- Summit Reservoir to the sinks below Howe- the bold silhouette of Peak 11051' in the Lemhi Range stands visible. This is Nicholson Peak, and it's named for a civic leader and one of the nicest persons in Little Lost country- Orville Nicholson.
Orville and Rea Nicholson moved to Sunny Bar Ranch, at the base of the mountain, in 1952. Orville had just been discharged from the Army after serving in World War II and the Korean War. When they moved in there was no electricity. There was no well. Water had to be hauled using 10 gallon cans. The log house had no insulation. But Orville and Rea were persistent and creative. Three mountain streams were harnessed. They generated their own hydropower. He eventually was able to irrigate 1100 acres in which to plant hay and grain for a 200 head dairy herd. They brought life to a dry, desolate, but breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Even their roadside mailbox brings cheer.
I once asked Orville if he had climbed any of the mountains behind his ranch. He said as a young man he got to the top of one of them, but wasn't sure which one. My best guess is Sunny Bar Peak el 10512'.
On 5/26/90 I ascended an unnamed boulder strewn westside canyon. After topping the last interminable vitreous quartzite boulder of Nicholson Peak I was smitten by the wild craggy view. The only link to civilization was far below- Orville Nicholson's green Sunny Bar alfalfa fields. By the time I finished building the summit cairn there really was no question- this is the kind of mountain you want to honor a true Idaho pioneer.

Nicholson summit. Rick Baugher photo.

Summit cairn placed on Nicholson Peak 5/26/90. View SE, with Little Diamond Peak on far left. To the near right is The Joker el 10965'. Two weeks after this photo was taken all of Joker's snowfields had melted, thus playing a nasty trick on this would be skier.

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March 31, 2008

Photos and information by Rick Baugher

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