I spent all but two weekends over the summer in Bozeman. Normally I try and get out of town as much as possible over the summer making trips to Ten Sleep or Lander mostly. So when my friend Ian Cavanaugh suggested I come check out the Fins outside of Arco, ID last month I jumped at it. Ethan Edwards, Pat Dyess, and I on Friday evening and took a leisurely 5 hour drive to Eightmile Canyon at the base of the Lost River Mountians in Idaho (it’s a little less driving than going to Ten Sleep, WY from Bozeman).
We had been warned that the road would require 4 wheel drive so we had taken Pat’s CRV. The road itself is not that bad in terms of big rocks and water runnels, but being more or less a graded seasonal stream bed it had it was loose and STEEP! We got to the lower “parking lot” (one truck or van could take up all the room) and then started going up the next obvious steep section. We didn’t get more than a third of the way up what we could see before the car stopped. We tried calling Ian but reception was poor, so we backed down to the “parking lot” and started pulling off just as Ian comes careening down the road in his F-150, nearly plowing right into us. We got Pat’s car out of the road and packed everything in his truck and hauled ass up the hill, waiting for something to bounce out of the back the whole time.
We were all so psyched to be there that we took a midnight exploration of the closest cliff bathed in moonlight. Needless to say we got up early, made a huge breakfast and walked down to the cliff well before it got into the shade. Everyone did a ton of pitches that day taking a tour of the classics at the Discovery Wall. Ethan and I had particularly good days. Ethan flashed a 5.12a and did another 2nd go for his best day on rock ever. He also did very well when we forced him to get on a 5.13a each day of the trip. Ian worked on a nasty 5.13b with thuggy undercling moves. Pat onsighted a 25m 5.12c and worked on a really good 5.13a called Son of Discovery. I flashed a 5.12c and a 5.13a, and got another softer 5.13a second go. Exhausted we returned to the campsite got a fire going and lived it up. The next day we all moved a bit slower and after the wind picked up essentially just took down our project quickdraws but not before Ian and Pat both sent Hapachulo 5.13a.
Even though it was a short trip it was exactly what I needed. I got out of Bozeman, got to hang out with a great group of guys, and explore a new area I haven’t been to. Finally comp season is coming back around so more weekend trips are in my future!