The mission to ski all 12 months in 2014 is continuing with fantastic trips each month. July was no exception! Based on some expert advice from Sara Lundy of Sawtooth Mountain Guides, we set our sights on the basin above Hell Roaring Lake that is guarded by the Finger of Fate. We overnighted at the Upper Hell Roaring Lake Trail Head and got a nice early start on Saturday morning.
The skiing was awesome and the climbing was also fun. Mainly just hiking up trails, but the upper part of the route involved some class 3 scrambling and on the descent we went a bit high on one of the rock outcrops so we did a little technical down climbing of 20 feet or so. The actual skiing was on one of the generally north facing chutes and snowfields on the serrated ridgeline between Finger of Fate and Sevy Peak.
The only problem we had was fully following Sara’s instructions regarding when to head up the mountain from Hell Roaring Lake. When she said go right to the inlet and then turn right and head up she meant to go clear to the inlet, not head up a few yards early. Here is the problem; she did say that the trail is a bit faint right after you begin this climb, and that there is a little bushwhacking involved. So, the issue is that my tolerance for bushwhacking is much greater than most people. As a result, of the early turn we took AND the assumption that we SHOULD be bushwhacking, we kind of went a little further than we needed to before getting back on track.
So, here are the little nuggets of wisdom in this:
1. In life, it is best to listen and follow advice when it is given by someone who truly is an expert or authority in that field.
2. Make sure that your understanding is based on common ground and definitions.
3. And finally, trust and follow your instincts. Both of us knew we were headed in the right general direction, but our gut feel told us that we needed to be further left. As soon as we trusted that instinct, and worked to the left, we immediately found the trail.
GPS Data and map of summer skiing in the Sawtooth Range adventure: