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Sat, Sep 1 2018 - Imp Peak (View Original Event Details)

Coordinator(s): Mark Pearson
Participants:Mark Pearson, Matthew Keller, Bob Lorenz, Millie Carson, Tim Lorenz

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Write Up:
Imp Peak is one of several peaks over 11,000 in the Madison mountain range. It is a relatively remote mountain located in the Taylor Hilgard Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. A quote from “This is the highest and arguably the most majestic section of the range, and it is the largest of the wilderness units at 141,000 acres, nearly twice the size of the Spanish Peaks Unit. In this section, one will find classic Madison peaks such as Hilgard, Koch, and Echo and intriguing ones such as Sphinx and Helmet. The peaks in the Taylor-Hilgard Unit consist mostly of metamorphic rocks that are nearly 3 billion years old (they used to be topped with sedimentary rocks, but those are mostly gone, ripped away through the ages). The faulting that uplifted these peaks also formed the Teton Range, and the southern portion of the area is still rising.” Although the mountain sees ascents on a day-trip basis, I decided to have a 3-day tour where we could enjoy two nights in the remote Alp Lakes basin which also served as a base for our climb. Distance from the trailhead to Alp Lakes is approximately 8 miles and about 2,400 vertical feet. The trail is well marked and passes through/along private property but then ascends through scenic meadows to the alpine in the wilderness. We had five team members on the climb: Mark Pearson, Bob and Tim Lorenz, Matthew Keller, and Millie Carson. Our chosen route was the south ridge leading to the west summit of Imp Peak. This ridge offered easy route finding and scrambling up to easy third class. In fact, we liked this ridge enough to descend it. Ascent time from camp to the west summit was about 2.7 hours and 1500 vertical feet. We also ascended the east summit which was about a 20-minute walk and climb from the west summit. Although appearing steeper with more rock faces, the east summit presented only easy third class climbing on the ascent. Our summit day was cloudless, with minor smoky haze, visibility to the Tetons, and a cool breeze. There are other mountains to the south of Alp Lakes that appear attractive including Echo Peak in the Taylor Hilgard Basin. We had considered doing one of these mountains but everyone was satisfied with the Imp Peak ascent and chose to hike out to the trailhead. Bob and Tim hiked out to the trailhead immediately after descending Imp Peak on the second day of our tour. The remainder of us hiked out on the third day. Everyone agreed that Imp Peak is a unique and beautiful mountain in a spectacular part of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. -Mark Pearson

Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.

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