Snow. Rock. Ice. A little bit of everything is what alpine climbing is all about. Sawtooth Mountain Guides offers a full-slate of guided alpine climbing in Central Idaho’s mountains including the Sawtooths, the Boulders, the Lost Rivers, and the Pioneers. June is the best for the classic Sawtooth couloirs and snow climbs, while the North Face of Mt. Borah is prime by mid-September. Many of these routes can be done in a long day, but better still is a multi-day adventure combining a scenic wilderness approach, a remote high camp, and sampling several different routes!
Visit our Mount Borah page for more information on Idaho’s highest peak – including the classic North Face alpine climb!
Sawtooths: Packrat Peak
Northeast Ridge – II 5.2
From Warbonnet Lake the Northeast Ridge leads directly to the summit of Packrat Peak. The ridge itself is mainly 3rd class rock and the summit block is easy 5th class. Packrat is a great option during a multi-day trip to the Warbonnet area.
Sawtooths: Grand Mogul
Chockstone/Boyscout couloir – Steep Snow/5.4
This is another classic Sawtooth snow climb and is accessed via the boat shuttle across Redfish Lake. Grand Mogul is located at the southern end of Redfish Lake, and the couloir is a prominant diagonal feature cutting the upper face. One can see this enticing line from anywhere on the lake and from Redfish Lake Lodge. The crux is often the giant wedged chockstone about a third of the way up the couloir. Easy scrambling leads to the summit from the top of the couloir.
Read related blog posts: Grand Mogul
Sawtooths: McGown Peak
North Couloir – Steep Snow/4th class
Situated prominently above Stanley Lake, McGown Peak is the most photographed mountain in the Sawtooths. The North Couloir is a steep snow climb up to fifty degrees with 3rd and 4th class rock climbing to the summit. It can be done in a full-day via the Alpine Way Trail from Stanley Lake.
Read related blog posts: McGown
Sawtooths: Horstmann Peak
Sickle Couloir – Steep Snow/Ice/5th class
This route has become popular in recent years for skiers looking to descend this highly coveted line! During early to mid summer the Sickle Couloir is a steep snow climb with 3rd through easy 5th class climbing to the summit. Fit climbers can get it done in a long day, but there are spectacular bivys below the base of the couloir.
Pioneers: Peak 11,280
Sky Pilot – IV 5.7
Sky Pilot is an undiscovered alpine classic in remote and rugged Wildhorse Canyon in the Pioneer Mountains near Sun Valley. It’s hard to believe that this amazing route wasn’t climbed until 2010 by SMG guides Marc Hanselman and Drew Daly. Though the climbing is never harder than mid-5th class, if pitched out in it’s entirety the route is 15 pitches long, making it one of the longest in Idaho. With a short approach (about 2 hrs.), excellent bivy at the lake below the ridge, and a spectacular alpine setting Sky Pilot should not be missed!
Pioneers: Devils Bedstead
Northeast Ridge – II 4th class
The Northeast Ridge of the Devils Bedstead (left skyline in the photo) offers up clean quartzite and fun climbing on one of the most dramatic peaks in Idaho. The ridge is intimidating from a distance, but goes with 3rd and 4th class scrambling. In the Pioneer Mountains, access is via Trail Creek Summit near Ketchum/Sun Valley.
Pioneers: Mustang Peak
Broken Arrow Arete – III 5.7
This route is an overlooked gem on the east side of the Pioneer Range. From the mouth of Wildhorse Creek you can see the sinuous Broken Arrow Arete as it weaves its way to the north summit of locally named Mustang Peak. Expect technical difficulties up to about 5.7, and 3rd and 4th class scrambling on an exposed quartzite ridge. The non-technical descent follows a boulder field down the south side of the mountain.
What We Provide
- All technical climbing equipment (harness, helmet, ice axe, crampons, carabiners, belay device, rope, etc)
- Food and camping equipment for multi-day climbs
What You Need
- Skill Level: Good to excellent fitness. Necessary climbing skill depends on the route.
- Lunch and energy food for day climbs
- Basic outdoor clothing, approach shoes or climbing boots, and backpack
- Review the equipment list
- Rates for Single-Day Alpine Peak Climbs:
- 1 person – $435/person
- 2 people – $245/person
- 3 people – $205/person
- 4 or more people – contact us
- Rates for Multi-Day Climbs – contact us
- Ratio: 2-3:1 depending on route
- Reservations: 50% deposit required – Book Now!
- Cancellations: Please review our policies
- Forms: Client Information Form | Acknowledgement of Risk