Intense. I guess that’s the best way to summarize my recent experience climbing Mt. Borah, the tallest point in Idaho. At 12, 662 feet, it’s no small task. I left town at about 4:30 am with John and Kelvin from work and we arrived in central Idaho and started the ascent at about 7:30. After the first half mile through the woods, I wondered if I could even make it much further. This was the flattest part, John constantly reminded us. The main route to the summit is about 3.5 miles along the southwest ridge, all uphill. I felt way better when we stopped to rest and eat at the tree line. Other than the occasional cramp and some actual climbing on “chickenout ridge”, the ascent was strenuous but doable.
The hardest part of the climb for me, though, was the final ascent. The last part is steep and mostly loose rock, so at times you are practically crawling. I was sucking wind big time and had to keep a pretty slow pace. Finally I looked up and saw people standing not too far above me and forced myself to keep going. The view from the summit was worth the effort – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Standing on top of a mountain you just climbed and looking out at the world below is an almost indescribable feeling. Try it sometime – you will not be disappointed.
* This climb was from 2009. Click here for a look at Borah in 2010.