Mount Regan
Elevation 10190'
October 6, 2010
Mount Regan - Whiterock Peak - Alpine Peak
Sawtooth Lake and Alpine Peak from the southeast ridge of Mount Regan.

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Mount Regan is located in the Sawtooth Wilderness, near Stanley Idaho. This stunning peak towers over Sawtooth Lake, which is a must see attractions in the Sawtooths. The only non-technical route up Regan is the southeast ridge, which is typically accessed via Sawtooth Lake. The shortest approach is from the Iron Creek trailhead. I’ve had a long time fascination with Mount Regan, and it had been near the top of my climbing “to do” list for a few years now.

Mount Regan from Sawtooth Lake.Sean and I were at the trailhead by about 7:30am, and made good time on our way up the trail. It was a nice crisp morning, and we passed the time discussing various past climbs and the BCS football rankings. We made it to Sawtooth Lake in just less than 3 hours, and Regan beckoned us from the far side of the lake. After another 2 miles of highly scenic hiking, we left the trail near the base of Regan’s east ridge. We contoured around the base of the ridge (staying at about 8300’) through a boulder field, until we found an obvious gully. The gully is full of loose rock, so we spread out to avoid kicking anything loose on each other. We climbed until the gully became steep, then an obvious route became apparent heading to the left. From here, we pretty much followed the ridgeline to the base of Regan’s summit block.

Sneak peak of the summit block from the southeast ridge.To reach the base of the summit block, the climbing had been mostly Class 2. Lot’s of great scenery, but there had been no challenging climbing up to this point. Of course if you know anything about this route, you know that was about to change. The summit block was pretty daunting, with no obvious route. But we knew from Sean’s prior climb (and from the Lopez book) that we needed to angle out onto the northeast face and then find our way up to the summit. My adrenaline was pumping knowing what was in store for us, and the route didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of exposure, but the rock was generally pretty stable. We climbed a moderate angle face, traversed over to a gully, climbed for a ways, descended a bit, and then climbed some more. A couple tricky spots of low class 4, then we were on the home stretch once the angle eased off, and we were soon on the summit.

Awesome view of Sawtooth Lake from the summit of Mount Regan.I had been looking forward to looking down on Sawtooth Lake from the summit, reversing the view I’d soaked in so many times over the years. It was an awesome feeling to be perched on this fantastic summit after the good challenging scramble that had brought us here. But all good things must come to an end, so we began the descent after a bite to eat and numerous photos. The climb down wasn’t to be taken lightly. We took our time, carefully choosing the safest route down the face.

The east face of Alpine Peak from Whiterock Peak.Once we were off Regan’s summit block, our thoughts turned to other targets. If we made good time, we’d have time to tag two more peaks today. So down we went, retracing the route back down the ridge, and around to Lake 8271’. From here, we left the trail again, and set our sights on the saddle west of Peak 9486’ (White Rock Peak). The route was straightforward, but the pace wasn’t fast since I was feeling the effects of trying to chase Sean all day. In spite being in recovery mode from a recently broken foot, Sean was still very hard to keep up with. We made it to the saddle, and then turned east towards the summit, which is generally overshadowed by some impressive neighbors. There was quite a bit of white quartz amongst the summit boulders, hence the “White Rock Peak” nickname. The views from the top were good, and we had a great vantage point high above the seldom visited Lake 8771’.

Sean the photographer on Alpine Peak, with Sawtooth Lake in the background.Alpine Peak was the next objective. We descended back to the saddle, admired the upper lakes for a while, and then climbed up to gain Alpine Peak’s south ridge. The ridge offered up some great views in all directions, and we made good time covering the half-mile of ridgeline to the summit of Alpine Peak. This is a good Sawtooths “starter peak” since the route is easy, and the views are fantastic. It felt very rewarding to be standing on our third summit of the day, especially considering that one of them had been Mount Regan. As we were enjoying the scenery, a Pine Marten scampered across the rocks to see what we were up to. We took a few photos of the animal, and some more photos of the views, and then decided it was time to get moving if we wanted to get back to the car before dark.

It was a little after 5pm when we left the summit of Alpine Peak, and we made petty good time descending the scree slopes down to Sawtooth Lake. We would have trail from here on out, so we were able to cover ground quickly. Our only extended stop on the way back was to check out the awesome sunset from the meadow at the fork in the trail. It was nearly dark by the time we got back to the car, and we’d just barely made it out in time to avoid using headlamps. Our 17-mile day had taken about 11 hours. Not bad for a Wednesday...

Map of our route, a round trip of 17 miles and 5600' gain.
Map of our route, a round trip of 17 miles and 5600' gain.
Mount Regan from Sawtooth Lake.
Mount Regan from Sawtooth Lake.
Entering the grungy gully at the base of the southeast ridge.
Entering the grungy gully at the base of the southeast ridge.
Sneak peak of the summit block.
Sneak peak of the summit block.
Nearing the summit block. Once above the trees, head out onto the northeast face.
Nearing the summit block. Once above the trees, head out onto the northeast face.
Sean scrambing up the northeast face.
Sean scrambing up the northeast face.
Awesome view of Sawtooth Lake from the summit.
Awesome view of Sawtooth Lake from the summit.
Alpin Peak from Mount Regan.
Alpin Peak from Mount Regan.
Sean on the summit.
Sean on the summit.
Dave on the summit (Sean D photo).
Dave on the summit (Sean D photo).
A view down to the west of Trailer Lakes.
A view down to the west of Trailer Lakes.
Dave descending from the summit (Sean D photo).
Dave descending from the summit (Sean D photo).
Sean nearing the summit of Whiterock Peak (Peak 9486').
Sean nearing the summit of Whiterock Peak (Peak 9486').
Hidden Lake 8771' from Whiterock Peak.
Hidden Lake 8771' from Whiterock Peak.
The east face of Alpine Peak from Whiterock Peak.
The east face of Alpine Peak from Whiterock Peak.
Scenic little lakes near the saddle.
Scenic little lakes near the saddle.
Looking up the south ridge of Alpine Peak.
Looking up the south ridge of Alpine Peak.
Marten on the summit of Alpine Peak.
Marten on the summit of Alpine Peak.
Sean the photographer on Alpine Peak, with Sawtooth Lake in the background.
Sean the photographer on Alpine Peak, with Sawtooth Lake in the background.
Sunset view from the Iron Creek meadow.
Sunset view from the Iron Creek meadow.

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