Idaho Tragedy: Classic Summits Fall To Earthquakes

  • The Arrowhead, near the Finger of Fate, in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains, went down in the 6.5 earthquake last week. A quick Google search shows no news on the subject, but three different friends have confirmed it.

    The Arrowhead is marked with a red arrow in this scenic photo from my archives. Taken from Hell Roaring Lake.

    Arrowhead marked from Hell roaring Lake.jpg

    This recent photo show avalanche activity on the ridge the Arrowhead used to perch on & no Arrowhead.

    a missing Arrowhead after 6.5 earthquake on March 31.   from Sawtooth mt. guides.jpg



    The only route up The Arrowhead was rated 5.9. Harry Bowron on the route in 1973.


    Happily, both times we tried to climb it, a thunderstorm drove us off, before we could hurt ourselves. Harry Bowron 1973.

    Saw_01_029Harry on Arrowhead 1973 small.jpg

    Currently working on plans for a Memorial at its remains next summer.

  • So sad. Tragic. Indeed.

    R.I.P. ⚰


    Long live the Arrow Head Commemorative Wake Photo Thread!

    Rock on!

  • Thank you Toby, in this sad time. So the scads of people who read this are not confused, Toby's photo is taken from the North-side of the one-time Arrowhead.

    Speaking of a wake, there is a small tarn at the foot of the ridge The Arrowhead fell from, on the SE side. I suppose it's possible The Arrowhead is now submerged in it. Here's Harry, getting ready for a refreshing dip in that tarn in July 1973.


  • @FritzRay -- oh my, say, thanks for sharing... about the quake and mts... i love seeing photos of those mts... wow....

  • Idaho rocks aren't the only victim. Can't remember when it happened, but sometime around 20 or 30 years ago the iconic Washington climb "Trigger Finger" toppled over.

    Thankfully, I had already climbed it, and was not on it when it toppled.

  • I heard "what really happened to the Arrowhead," from a friend who lives nearby, today.

    It's all a secret, since those involved fear reprisal, but -------

    Some locals reported seeing three flying saucers hovering above the Arrowhead on March 31, the day of central Idaho's big 6.5 earthquake. Soon some "community activists" roared up the Hell Roaring Creek road on their "sleds." (Idaho-speak for snowmobiles).

    At the end of the road, there is a clear line of sight to the Arrowhead, which is still five-miles away. Rumor has it, the "community activists" could see bright-vivid lights between the flying saucers & The Arrowhead. They concluded the saucers were a "deep-state" creation, & the vivid lights were likely another "Deep-State" invention, "anti-gravity" tractor beams, trying to lift The Arrowhead.

    Of course, their obvious conclusion was, "Deep-State" folks were stealing The Arrowhead, so they could drop it, like a meteor, on some key American icon, like the White House, for April Fool's Day.

    As The Arrowhead started to lift from its perch, they started shooting at the saucers with their 50 caliber Barrets sniper rifles. Amazingly, one saucer swerved away, venting smoke.

    The sudden loss of that saucer's tractor-beam, resulted in The Arrowhead being displaced from its ridge, & likely also touched off Idaho's 6.5 earthquake.

    Please keep this to yourself, for now, but I thought you should know.

  • @FritzRay Okay, I didn't hear this from the guy I heard it from, and he didn't hear it from anybody, but...

    Yeah, word is some libtard was climbing the Arrowhead with the key to socialized medicine in his backpack.

    If he had been able to deliver it to the ETs that were waiting above in the saucers, the game would have been up for the entire US healthcare industry. Fortunately, several of the megachurches in the US South got wind of the escapade and petitioned The Lord for intervention.

    And, as always, The Lord responded.

    I expect that some day, someone will find that brave soul's remains in the rubble below the ridge, but The Lord will ensure that no trace of the plan to give the US a first-world health care situation will be found.

  • @David-Harris! Of course, I didn't hear any of this from you, just like you heard nothing on this incident from me.

    It does appear we are living in interesting times.

    Heidi & I found this recent Idaho earthquake damage on a hike today. The 160 ft, long fissure had grown wider by 4" to 6" very recently, likely on March 31.

    20200406_142741-165 ft fissure small.jpg

    And, if the area of basalt, the fissure separated from solid rock, broke off, it was a big ride down to the river.


  • I had to check the date on this original post, since the Totem Pole has "fallen over" every year for the past several years on April 1.

    Sorry about the fallen Idaho landmark! Reminds me of the Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia Notch, Cobra Tower near Moab, the summit of Mt. Cook in NZ, the Gendarme at Seneca Rocks, etc.

    Talus fields exist for a reason. A glance at the base of the southeast face of El Cap should unsettle anyone.

  • The same March 31 earthquake also removed the summit block from the nearby Finger of Fate.

    The Finger gets more climbing attention than the Arrowhead did, but the scary 5.8 moves to the top are no more.

    Finger of Fate at center, pre earthquake, with the Arrowhead on the ridge at left.


    A slightly closer view pre-earthquake.

    Finger of Fate from the south (1).jpg

    Detail shot of the top of the Finger, pre-earthquake. Note the daylight visible under the right-side summit block.

    Finger from south-borrowed from ST-crop.jpg

    Post-earthquake Finger detail. Note the missing right-side summit block.

    finger deanna 6-12 3.jpg

  • fingeroffate03.jpg


    R.I.P. F.O.F. ⚰ 😢

  • @toby --- wow, toby... wow, i will go read up more, on this...

  • More sad news from the center of Idaho's Sawtooth Range. On August 7th, a 4.6 magnitude earthquake, centered northwest of the Sawtooths, knocked off the famous summit tower of Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie. Baron Spire & the flawless 110' tall summit tower were first climbed by Fred Beckey ,Pete Schoening, and Jack Schwabland, in 1949. In a two day epic they survived an intense thunderstorm that sluiced them off the peak & placed 20 1/4" bolts to get up the overhanging & vertical part of the summit tower. Near the top, some bold free-climbing put them on top.

    Baron Spire summit block from El Pima.

    Big Baron Spire.jpg

    A Fred Beckey bolt still protected the airy summit moves.
    Becky broken drill bit Big Baron spire 2..jpg

    The whole peak in the past.

    Big Baron Spire NE Face Old Smoothy.jpg

    Our 2007 group with Baron Spire at right & El Pima at top center. Yes! I have climbed both.

    8-16-07  Sawtooths 142.jpg

    What it looks like now. Baron Spire at right of photo.

    big baron spire after landslide in 4.2 earthquake 8-6-2020.jpg

    The debris-cloud from the fallen summit block reached all the way to Baron Lake.

    big baron spire landslide in 4.2 earthquake 8-6-2020.jpg

  • A FB friend just shared this youtube video of the debris-cloud. Warning, some four letter words are part of the video. The climbers in that camp had been in the "death-zone" earlier in the day.

    big baron spire debris cloud.JPG

    Youtube link

  • @FritzRay

    Holy, holy, Guacamole!!!

  • Holy Shit!

  • The Big Baron Spire story finally made it into the mainstream news. This was posted today on Boise's NBC station website.

    Before and after: Sawtooth rock slide topples mountain-top climbing landmark

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