Mount Loening is the tallest peak on the Tango Peak Ridge located roughly between Loon Creek and the West Fork to the Yanky Fork of the Salmon River. This set of peaks, located on a southern nob of the Frank Church, seems to see less traffic than the adventure 'hot' spots which I do enjoy. Mount Loening was going to be our first summit of the season, and I was looking forward to getting atop one for the grand view of Idaho that would await.
We started up the West Fork just outside the ghost town Bonanza. I was the frist to make it to the trail head during sunrise. On the way to the trail head I noticed there was a lot of water on the ground and a really wet spot in the road. While sitting at the trail head I ran across two women who were camped down below who said that they had expereniced a high density rain fall for a long enough time to cause lots of damage including washing out the road. Needless to say I was glad that I hadn't made it up there the night before to camp at the trail head as is tradition.
While waiting for my other two companions, John and Jason, I had plenty of time to walk around and check the area. I first walked up to Boothill Cemetary where I got to hear the story of how Liz and her two husbands are the only three burried on that hill. From there I made it down below to the main cemetary and back to my car.
That afternoon we set out for our camp at Crimson Lake. The trail headed up the West Fork. Along the way we saw evidence of the storm the night before, include a few areas the trail had been partly washed away. After aproximally 6 miles we forked off the West Fork up Cabbin Creek. From Cabbin Creek we made it up into the peaks at Chrimson Lake where we set up camp.
The next moring was magical as the sun rise along the redish rock and the reflection gave new understanding of Crimson Lake. Over the lake we saw two unamed crags below Cabin Creek Peak (class 5). From the lake we walked up to hit the end of Tango Peak Ridge. From that point we could see the maginificiant Cabin Creek Peak to our south, while 3+ miles to our north along the ridge was Mount Loening.
We spent a good part of the day moving along the ridge twoards the summit. This gave us many great views of the area around us. Though out the day scattered showers were being blown thought the mountains, covering some in darkness, while the sun broke though and shined on others allowing the distant peaks to glimmer. After moving along the ridge we made it to Mount Loening which required a little class 3 scrambling up. We made it to a goat camp just below the peak where we all stoped, took a break and left lizzy at before the final scramble to the summit.
Atop the summit we saw a goat and her kid slightly bellow us on a saddle. Tis always good to be looking down on the mountain goats. After spending our time on the summit we headed back the way we came. After working our way down from the peaks we returned to our camp for another great meal. A great day, got to see multiple goats, climb a peak and watch the rain avoid our little corner of the frank church so we were mostly dry.
The adventure ended with the three of us making our own way back to the trail head and our respecitve homes. Another great weekond spent in the mountains was over and talk of the mountains to come was fresh on our minds.
|©Jaimos F Skriletz 2004-2017.|