Peak(s):  Borah Peak 12,662 ft
Date Posted:  01/10/2022
Date Climbed:   08/29/2021
Author:  rob runkle
 Borah Peak, Idaho High Point and Mesa Falls Marathon   

Saturday, August 28, 2021 - Mesa Falls Marathon:

After hiking the highpoint of Utah, Kings Peak, I drove 5 hours to Ashton, Idaho, and setup my tent at a local campground. I arrived at the campground and finished setting up camp around 10:30 pm. The next morning, I work up at 4 am the next morning, so that I could get to the race area, for the bus to the start line. I picked up my race gear and jumped on the bus. The buses started towards the start line around 5:30 am. The race started just after sunrise (around 6:30 am). I knew going into the marathon that I would be slow. My early miles were 10-minute pace. Some of the early miles were on a dirt road, and later pavement. At about the halfway point (13 miles), the course provides a long, fast downhill portion, eventually landing on a nice flat dirt trail. That dirt trail continues flat for about 3.5 miles. The downhill section had given me a big boost, and I was able to run solid on the trail section, passing several people. As the course left the trail, it goes back onto the streets. Soon after getting back onto pavement, there is a nasty uphill (around mile 17). I was able to keep the legs running on the uphill, but greatly slowed. The elevation gain was only 100ft per mile for the next 3 miles, but it felt steeper, probably because it went on for so long, and since the rest of the course had been mostly downhill. I survive the hill and was able to keep my legs moving sold for the final 6 miles, ending in 4 hours 33 minutes. I was very happy with that time, considering the cumulative mileage and adventure on my legs.

After the marathon, I grabbed some food and drink and started the 4-hour drive to Borah Peak, the highpoint of Idaho.

Sunday, August 29, 2021 - Borah Peak

I arrived at the trailhead parking lot late in the day, but people were still coming down from their hikes, and everyone looked beat. I parked in a nice flat spot, where I could setup my tent next to the car. Once I got everything setup, I just hung around until it was time to go to bed.

I got started up the trail just before 6 am in the morning. The initial trail was very steep, but mostly dirt. I was glad to be gaining a lot of elevation quickly. I finally reached the initial ridge (about 10,000 ft) in just under 3 hours. At this point, I had a very clear view of Borah Peak. As I walked along the ridge, I was watching the peak. The previous day, I had met some people who were going to be parasailing off the summit, and they were planning on starting just after sunrise. As I got closer to the crux of the climb - Chicken Out Ridge - the first of the parasailers launched. For the next 30-40 minutes 3 others followed. It looked like fun. It took me about an hour to traverse the initial ridge walk and get to the base of Chicken Out Ridge.

Lower Trail
Lower Trail
Borah Peak Summit
Beginning of Initial Ridge
Chicken Out Ridge (COR)
COR Crux in the middle
Parasail in the middle

The beginning of Chicken Out Ridge was solid class 3. I found out later that I was off route at the beginning and made it more interesting for myself. After 30 minutes of moderate scrambling, I reached the true crux. At the end of Chicken Out Ridge there is a stout downclimb. There was a rope hanging at the crux, but I chose to downclimb without trusting the rope. The downclimb was about 30 feet, and probably low class 4. I safely made the downclimb and was on solid ground for the remainder of the hike. The rest of the hike to the summit was just a class 2 hike. I ultimately arrived at the summit in just over 4 hours from the trailhead.

COR Route
Borah Summit
COR Route (not the Crux)
COR Crux Downclimb
Summit Selfie
Summit Selfie

I spent about 15 minutes on the summit, then started back down. I had a long drive ahead of me, so I was trying to descend as quick as I could. The climb down Chicken Out was easier on the descent. I got off Chicken Out Ridge just over an hour from leaving the summit. The remainder of the hike was class 2 downhill, and I was mixing hiking and running.

I got back the trailhead in just over 2.5 hours from the summit, almost exactly 7 hours roundtrip. I jumped in the car and started driving towards Nevada.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Fulfilling my dreams!
01/12/2022 10:59
I've been looking hard at this area for a long time now - and regretting that when I lived in Missoula back in 90s i didn't make a point to get down this way.

Was there a lot of other people around? Curious how popular this area is now.

01/12/2022 20:09
Can‘t imagine doing a peak a day after a marathon. Strong work!

Class 4?
01/14/2022 17:04
Definitely looks like class 4 in your photo, but I don't recall this section when I climbed it in 2013. The only semi-technical part was at the beginning of COR, just before the route bends around to the north. I'm thinking that there is an alternative route that avoids that class 4 section, though I can't figure it out by looking at your photos or GPS track. I see your track leaves the trail that appears on Google Maps. Is that where the class 4 is located? Congrats on a great climb following a marathon, unbelievable!

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