Titus Ridge
Titus Peak - 10110'
December 31, 2006
43.8363°N / 114.7113°W
The final climb to Titus Peak.

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Titus Ridge is located at the northern end of the Smoky Mountains, west of Ketchum. It’s a great winter destination thanks to a high elevation trailhead at Galena summit (8700'), and generally low avalanche danger. The views from the ridge are fantastic with the Sawtooths to the northwest, Castle Peak and the White Clouds to the northeast, as well as the Boulders and Pioneers to the east.

John and George had already been talking about heading out, and I was also anxious to get out and try my new snowshoes. The weather forecast looked good so plans were set for New Year's Eve day. George met me at around 5am, we picked up John on the way, and made it the Galena Summit by around 8:30. The area gets quite a bit of usage in the winter from snowshoers and backcountry skiers and boarders, so the trail was easy to find leaving the highway. After a short while, we found that we were overdressed and had to peel off a few layers to keep from overheating. There was an inversion in the valleys making for single digit temperatures down low but it was about 20 degrees warmer up on the ridgeline.

The trail starts out winding through patchy forest, but the terrain opens up after a while to provide views of the surrounding Sawtooths, White Clouds, and Boulders. Our pace was slow but steady early on as our bodies tried to overcome those extra holiday pounds. Lots of good discussion about the virtues of each of our chosen snowshoes. We stopped at the weather station on lower Titus Peak for lunch where George shared some Gallo salami with us that tasted like a Christmas tree (an acquired taste no doubt). The view of the ridge to the south was great, but based on the time and short December days, we could tell that making it to Saviers Peak was out of the question, and Bromaghin Peak would be a stretch. We decided to head to Titus Peak and decide from there.

No one had been past Lower Titus, so we got to break trail from then on. We made the 200' elevation drop to the saddle then climbed up the north side of Titus Peak for awhile before deciding there was enough rock exposed to leave the snowshoes behind and continue without them. By the time we got to the summit, it was too late to head for Bromaghin, so we just hung out for a while snacking and taking photos. On the way back, we could see skiers dropping off the face of Lower Titus and snowshoers making their way up the ridge. It was actually the most people I'd seen on any outing all year.

The rest of the way out was pretty uneventful. John set the pace on the uphill portions, making it obvious to us that "he didn't need no stinking Televators" on his snowshoes to climb hills. The highlight for me during our return was the view of the Sawtooths, with rays of sun shining across the tips of the peaks. It was a great day in the mountains, I didn't want it to come to an end
.

Overview map of the route.
Overview map of the route.
John and George climbing the ridge towards Lower Titus Peak (summit in the upper right).
John and George climbing the ridge towards Lower Titus Peak (summit in the upper right).
Titus, Saviers, and Bromaghin from the ridge north of Lower Titus.
Titus, Saviers, and Bromaghin from the ridge north of Lower Titus.
The Boulder and Pioneer Mountains visible to the east from Titus Ridge.
The Boulder and Pioneer Mountains visible to the east from Titus Ridge.
Here are the White Clouds to the northeast. The most prominent summits are DO Lee Peak to the left and Castle Peak on the right.
Here are the White Clouds to the northeast. The most prominent summits are DO Lee Peak to the left and Castle Peak on the right.
Here's George nearing the summit of Titus Peak with Castle Peak in the background.
Here's George nearing the summit of Titus Peak with Castle Peak in the background.
The view from Titus Peak towards Lower Titus with the Sawtooths in the background.
The view from Titus Peak towards Lower Titus with the Sawtooths in the background.
The north side of Saviers Peak from just below the summit of Titus Peak.
The north side of Saviers Peak from just below the summit of Titus Peak.
George, John, and me on the summit of Titus Peak.
George, John, and me on the summit of Titus Peak.
Galena Peak in the Boulders, view from Titus Peak.
Galena Peak in the Boulders, view from Titus Peak.
John and George in the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus, with Saviers and Bromaghin Peaks in the background.
John and George in the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus, with Saviers and Bromaghin Peaks in the background.
This is the north ridge of Titus Peak as seen from the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus.
This is the north ridge of Titus Peak as seen from the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus.
Looking towards Lower Titus from the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus.
Looking towards Lower Titus from the saddle between Titus and Lower Titus.
George and John making their way along the trail coming back down the ridge.
George and John making their way along the trail coming back down the ridge.
One last view of the Sawtooths, with the sun beginning to set behind us.
One last view of the Sawtooths, with the sun beginning to set behind us.

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