Betty and Goat Lakes
Pioneer Range
August 12-14, 2006
Peak 11887' (The Fin) - Standhope Peak - Altair Peak
Posers on the summit of Standhope Peak.

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The Pioneer Mountains lie east of the Sun Valley area and are home to many tall rugged peaks, wildflower filled meadows, and high mountain lakes including Goat Lake, the main destination for our hike. With an elevation of 10438’, Goat lake is the highest lake in Idaho according to the USGS maps. JJ, Jordan, Clint and I got an early start Saturday morning and made the drive to Ketchum, over Trail Creek summit, then through Copper Basin to the Broad Canyon campground. There are two trails leading up Broad Canyon and we ended up on the one to the north side of the canyon for the hike in.

We began hiking amongst numerous beaver ponds and a fair amount of sagebrush down low. The sagebrush thinned out pretty quickly and soon we were enjoying sub alpine meadows with late season wildflowers on the way to Betty Lake. Once at the lake, we dropped our packs and fished for a bit while taking in the views of Standhope Peak and the other mountains nearby. Next we headed up and over the saddle to Goat Lake where we fished some more before dropping down to our campsite at Baptie Lake. We’d been thinking about camping at Goat Lake (for bragging rights), but it was pretty exposed and there was no firewood. Plus Baptie Lake was just a short distance away and looked very inviting from above. So we headed down to make camp and do a little more fishing. We couldn’t have asked for a better campsite. The views were great and the lake itself was very nice. Soon it was getting dark and none of us were in the mood to gather firewood and it was pretty cold (especially for August), so we turned in early. At around 10150’ elevation, Baptie Lake is the highest elevation I’d ever spent the night.

The next morning was bright and sunny. My goal for the day was to climb three peaks. The rest of the guys felt that climbing one would be good enough so I got a head start and would meet up with them on Standhope Peak. I headed out for the saddle between Standhope and Peak 11887’, the rock was a bit loose but no major issues. Once on the saddle, I could see that the gnarly ridge leading to Peak 11887’ would be an adventure. I continued on, prepared to turn back if the going got too rough. Fortunately the route was well described by the Tom Lopez book and I was able to make it to the tiny summit without problems. The views were great and I could see the other guys already nearing the top of Standhope. From here I made my way back down to the saddle then up Standhope's southwest ridge to meet them. The views from Standhope were fantastic and we sat for a while enjoying the scenery and talking politics (lively conversation of course). From here, the others headed back to camp for a nap and I headed towards Altair Peak to the northeast. Dropping down the ridge towards Altair was very tedious and seemed to take forever. (If I were to do it again, I think I’d drop down Standhope’s southeast ridge, circle around Betty lake, then take the trail up to the saddle leading to Surprise Valley). By the time I finally got to the trail heading from Betty Lake to Surprise Valley, I was pretty tired, both physically and mentally and wasn’t very motivated since Altair looked like a pile of loose rock from below. Fortunately, once I started up the slope it turned out to be pretty stable and there were no issues reaching the summit. I hung out there for a while taking in the views before dropping back down to Betty Lake then back to our camp at Baptie Lake. I was pretty worn out. Climbing all three peaks had made for a long but rewarding day.

That night we stayed up late around the campfire while Clint and JJ enlightened us on advanced geology and other such things. The next morning I slept in until 8am, probably a backpacking sleep record for me. We broke camp, then followed the other trail on the south side of Broad Canyon back to the trailhead, passing through numerous wild flower filled meadows along the way
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Overview map of the trip.
Overview map of the trip.
This shot gives a feel for the terrain near the trailhead in Broad Canyon.
This shot gives a feel for the terrain near the trailhead in Broad Canyon.
Altair Peak first comes into view from this meadow. Jordan, JJ, and Clint are just visible in the distance.
Altair Peak first comes into view from this meadow. Jordan, JJ, and Clint are just visible in the distance.
Here's a photo of Standhope Peak, Betty Lake is just over the next rise.
Here's a photo of Standhope Peak, Betty Lake is just over the next rise.
Standhope Peak behind Betty Lake.
Standhope Peak behind Betty Lake.
Looking towards the outlet of Betty Lake, notice the large glacially placed boulder on the far shore.
Looking towards the outlet of Betty Lake, notice the large glacially placed boulder on the far shore.
A view of Peak 11887' over the saddle leading from Betty Lake to Goat Lake.
A view of Peak 11887' over the saddle leading from Betty Lake to Goat Lake.
Standhope Peak from the pond above Betty Lake.
Standhope Peak from the pond above Betty Lake.
Altair Peak above Betty Lake from the saddle leading to Goat Lake.
Altair Peak above Betty Lake from the saddle leading to Goat Lake.
Goat Lake, highest lake in Idaho at 10438'.
Goat Lake, highest lake in Idaho at 10438'.
Peak 11887' rising above Goat Lake.
Peak 11887' rising above Goat Lake.
Looking down on Baptie Lake from the rim of Goat Lake. Broad Canyon is in the background.
Looking down on Baptie Lake from the rim of Goat Lake. Broad Canyon is in the background.
Standhope Peak from the outlet of Goat Lake.
Standhope Peak from the outlet of Goat Lake.
This is the waterfall tumbling down from Goat Lake to Baptie Lake with the tip of Standhope Peak in the background.
This is the waterfall tumbling down from Goat Lake to Baptie Lake with the tip of Standhope Peak in the background.
The morning sun shining on Peak 11887' from our camp at Baptie Lake.
The morning sun shining on Peak 11887' from our camp at Baptie Lake.
Peak 11887' reflecting in Baptie Lake.
Peak 11887' reflecting in Baptie Lake.
This is the gnarly north ridge of Peak 11887'.
This is the gnarly north ridge of Peak 11887'.
The main Pioneer crest southeast of Peak 11887', including Cobb, Old Hyndman, and Hyndman Peaks.
The main Pioneer crest southeast of Peak 11887', including Cobb, Old Hyndman, and Hyndman Peaks.
A view of Betty, Goat, and Baptie Lakes from the summit of Peak 11887'.
A view of Betty, Goat, and Baptie Lakes from the summit of Peak 11887'.
Standhope Peak from the summit of Peak 11887' with Pegasus Peak to the left and Altair Peak to the right.
Standhope Peak from the summit of Peak 11887' with Pegasus Peak to the left and Altair Peak to the right.
This is the crux of the climb to Peak 11887's summit, a 20' notch to climb through.
This 20' notch is the crux of the climb to Peak 11887's summit.
Here's Clint, me, JJ, and Jordan on the summit of Standhope Peak with the main Pioneer crest in the background.
Here's Clint, me, JJ, and Jordan on the summit of Standhope Peak with the main Pioneer crest in the background.
With this view from Standhope Peak's summit, you can see why Peak 11887' is sometimes called
With this view from Standhope Peak's summit, you can see why Peak 11887' is sometimes called "The Fin".
Looking down on Goat and Baptie Lake from the summit of Standhope Peak.
Looking down on Goat and Baptie Lake from the summit of Standhope Peak.
Altair Peak from Standhope Peak, Betty Lake is below. Big Black Dome is to the left.
Altair Peak from Standhope Peak, Betty Lake is below. Big Black Dome is to the left.
A view back up the northeast ridge of Standhope Peak.
A view back up the northeast ridge of Standhope Peak.
Betty Lake from Standhope Peak's northeast ridge.
Betty Lake from Standhope Peak's northeast ridge.
Surprise Valley from the north.
Surprise Valley from the north.
Standhope Peak from the summit of Altair Peak. Peak 11887' is to the left and Hyndman Peak is to the right.
Standhope Peak from the summit of Altair Peak. Peak 11887' is to the left and Hyndman Peak is to the right.
Betty Lake from Altair's summit, Goat Lake is over the saddle to the right.
Betty Lake from Altair's summit, Goat Lake is over the saddle to the right.
Altair Peak from a meadow below Betty Lake.
Altair Peak from a meadow below Betty Lake.
JJ with the big fish of the weekend, caught at Baptie Lake.
JJ with the big fish of the weekend, caught at Baptie Lake.
Baptie Lake in the morning as we headed out.
Baptie Lake in the morning as we headed out.
Clint and JJ in one of the numerous wildflower filled meadows we passed through on our way back down Broad Canyon.
Clint and JJ in one of the numerous wildflower filled meadows on our way down Broad Canyon.
A final view of Standhope Peak from down in Broad Canyon.
A final view of Standhope Peak from down in Broad Canyon.

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