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Mount Breitenbach

Lehmi + Lost River Range, Idaho

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Mount Breitenbach

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  • Mount Borah from the summit of Mount Breitenbach.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Mount Donaldson and Mount Church from Breitenbach.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Looking to the east from the summit.- Mount Breitenbach
  • The view east from the summit ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Rugged terrain in the Lost River Range.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Dry creek from the summit ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Endless scree in Pete Creek.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Leatherman Peak and Mount Idaho from the summit of Mount Breitenbach.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Mount Borah from Mount Breitenbach.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Lost River Peak from the summit of Mount Breitenbach.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Lost River Peak from Pete Creek.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Panoroama looking to the north from the summit of Mount Breitenbach. Five of the 7 peaks over 12,000 feet in the Lost River Range are visible.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Borah from the summit.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Looking up Pete Creek in the morning.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Midway up Pete Creek.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Pete Creek- Mount Breitenbach
  • Pete Creek- Mount Breitenbach
  • Looking down Pete Creek from the ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Endless scree below the ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Rugged terrain on the summit ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Walking along the narrow summit ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • There is a rock glacier below all the scree.- Mount Breitenbach
  • The rugged south wall of Pete Creek- Mount Breitenbach
  • Walking through the scree.- Mount Breitenbach
  • Looking to the north towards the summit along the ridge.- Mount Breitenbach
  • The summit of Breitenbach- Mount Breitenbach
  • Nearing Breitenbach's summit.- Mount Breitenbach
  • A snowmelt waterfall in upper Pete Creek.- Mount Breitenbach
  • The waterfall in upper Pete Creek.- Mount Breitenbach
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Solitude. Big views. High elevation.
Cons: 
Scree. Bushwhacking. Little shade.
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Region:
Lehmi + Lost River Range, ID
Access: 
Vehicle
Climbing:
Non-technical rock
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Unfrozen water
Recommended Equipment:
Helmets, Ice axe / crampons
Highest point: 
12,140.00 ft (3,700.27 m)
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade I
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Primary aspect: 
West facing
Total Distance: 
9.50 mi (15.29 km)
Total elevation gain: 
4,740.00 ft (1,444.75 m)
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,400.00 ft (2,255.52 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Sponsored Contributor

Mount Breitenbach is one of Idaho's nine 12,000-foot peaks, and at 12,140 feet, it is the fifth highest peak in the state. Because of it's status as a 12er, it sees more traffic than it probably would otherwise; however, compared to many other peaks it is still lightly visited. From the summit of Mount Breitenbach, all of the other 12ers in the state are visible, including the six other 12ers in the Lost River Range.

This mountain is generally rated as a class 3 YDS climb, but there is very little actual scrambling involved. However, there are places with a lot of exposure along the summit ridge, so it would probably be more like a 2+. What climbing Breitenbach does involve is a lot of off-trail travel through a rough canyon and then miles of hiking through open scree. The scree is surprisingly solid, which makes the ascent easier but the descent much harder on the knees. At the upper end of the enormous scree field is a snowmelt waterfall cascading off the rocks above. Where the water hits the scree it disappears under a sheet of ice, revealing that the scree is just covering a perennial snowfield, (possibly a rock glacier). The upper reaches of the mountain involve a breathtaking ridgewalk to the summit with some exposure on both sides in places.

The mountain is accessed via Pete Creek on the western side of the Lost River Range. Pete Creek is a short but steep drainage with an intermittent stream. While water is usually found at some point along the hike, do not count on it and come prepared to bring your own for the entire way. Climbing in the spring and early summer make it much more likely water will be found. Pete Creek is very rough and has no trail. There is a lot of downed timber, rocky terrain, and some bushwhacking.

Mount Breitenbach has been climbed in the winter and makes for a great winter or spring ski outing. Once the upper slopes of Breitenbach are covered with snow, there are very few obstacles standing in the way of an epic ski descent. However, do not understimate the mountain. Avalanche potential can still be very high, and it would be advisable to bring and ice axe, crampons, and a helmet on a winter ascent.

Mount Breitenbach is named for Jake Breitenbach, an Idahoan that was killed on the 1963 American expedition to Mount Everest.

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(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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