Scout your next climb in Idaho
Two Wrights and a Long Rick Baugher

Wright Peak. Rick Baugher photo.

Two Wrights and a Long

Viewed from the Beaverhead Mountains, near where Lewis & Clark entered Idaho in 1805, this northern section of Lemhi Range presents an imposing alpine wall. It was no mistake The Corps of Discovery saw these as 'terrible mountains' that only blocked their progress. It was then with a sense of wonder to come to the realization that these first big Idaho mountains to be seen by explorers were among its last to be climbed. This would be as close as I could get to feeling the spirit of the two captains.

Kadletz Creek on the east side of the range is an adequate portal for making an ascent of these peaks. From there, bring along your bushwacking skills and plan to learn some new ones along the way. The Wright Peaks very well may prove to be a rite of passage for you also.

View SW to Wright Peak el 10744' from Right Wright drainage on
10/4/00. John A. Wright was Agent on the Lemhi Indian Reservation from 1878-1880.

Cairn on Wright Peak, Rick Baugher photo.

Can we talk cairns for a moment? These friendly summit markers send a simple signal "Hooray, I made it!" In times of poor weather they can be a safety beacon. They are an ecological asset. Ladybugs choose these summit rockpiles to lay their eggs. Raptors perch on them. To build a workmanlike cairn it is best to find 'slatey-platey' rock, like this siltstone/argillite. Think big- start with a large diameter base, put biggest rocks on bottom, tilt rocks so they want to fall in on
themselves, and most important, wear eyeglasses and don't mash your fingers. Henry Gannett in his 1893 "Manual of Topographic Methods" instructed his topographers to build 'simple stone cairns 7' to 10' high' on treeless summits. Come on Henry! Do you know how hard it is to do that?

Without spending all day to build one, here's my 4 footer on Wright
Peak, 10/4/00.

Left Wright Peak. Rick Baugher photo.

View NW to Left Wright Peak el 10550' on 9/22/01. For a long time I had been searching for permanent snow in the Lemhi Range. Eureka! Near here I found it- a dirty, shaded 50'x 50' patch of snow & ice.

N to the summit of Left Wright Peak. Rick Baugher photo.

View N along the main Lemhi crest to the summit of Left Wright Peak. Cairn and register placed 9/22/01.

May Mountain. Rick Baugher photo.

Long Mountain el 10728' has a mile long summit area. On 6/22/97 I
found no sign of a prior visit and left a cairn. On 9/22/01 I went over
to the lower 10696' point identified as Long Mountain and found a pole and maybe a broken down cairn.

From the true summit of Long Mountain el 10728' this view is SW to May Mountain on 6/22/97.

Article and photos by

Rick Baugher

April 6,2008

Photos and information by Rick Baugher

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