Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation gain: 3200'
Class (difficulty): 3
Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
After climbing Mount Rainier on July 3rd, I went into full-on softball mode. One week after Rainier, one of my daughter's teams played in Lewiston and took 4th place in the ASA state tournament. I volunteered to manage her all-star team. That team won the state Babe Ruth title in the 10U division 2 weeks after my Rainier trip. That meant another tournament, this one the regional championships in Oregon. 3 weeks after climbing Rainier, we finished out the season winning 1 game and losing 3 others (all by one run).
With softball finished, the family decided a camping trip was in order, so nearly one month after my last hike/climb I finally got an opportunity to head out on July 30th. Since we were in the Sun Valley area, I wanted to pick something I could do early and still be back early. I also wanted to hit at least 2 or 3 peaks. With those criteria in mind, I chose peaks 10598 and 10566 in the Boulder Mountains.
The drive to the trailhead was effortless. The road was blocked off sooner than expected, but only by 1/4 of a mile or so. I knew there was a way to hit 4 or 5 10000' peaks on this trip, but with time contraints, I immediately quashed those thoughts when I headed up the West Fork Trail Creek trail. After following the trail to around 8000', I lost it from time to time between 8000' and 9000'. By 9000' I just gave up and made my way toward the basin below the 10000' saddle that seperated the branches of Trail Creek. This basin was gorgeous and I eventually could see the trail coming down from the saddle (it disappeared into the basin).
I then proceeded up to the saddle which had incredible views in all directions. Turning my attention to Peak 10598, I noticed a narrow, but smooth start to the ridge. This initial hike was very fun and led way to harder climbing just below the summit. Here the climbing was steep and definitely class 3, but it was not exposed, nor was it loose or rotten. Soon I stood atop Peak 10598 and soaked in sunshine and the incredible Boulder Mountain views. The views of the Pioneers were decent, but morning haze and sunlight left that range murky. I took a look at my next objective, Peak 10566.
The descent to Peak 10566 was steep, but straightforward. Once at the saddle between the two 10000-footers, I headed straight up the southwest face of the peak and quickly summited. To avoid loose rock, I did a couple of class 3 moves. However, one could avoid those spots and keep this climb class 2 if they wanted, Realizing my time was dwindling, I decided to bail off the southface of 10566 (smart move because it provided at least 500 feet of perfect talus glissading). I then followed a creek that started in a basin just below 10598 and 10566. Once the vehicle was visible, I made a beeline for it and descended down the southeast slopes of point 8xox and eventually intersected the trail.
Follow the left fork of the Trail Creek Loop trail around the massive that contains Peaks 10598 and 10566. Once you reach the saddle where the topo shows the trail crossing over the divide (between Point 10270 and Peak 10598), climb southeast from the saddle to the top of Peak 10598. Once atop Peak 10598, head over to Peak 10566 if you have time.
To reach the trailhead, head to Trail Creek Summit. .9 miles from the summit, turn left onto Park Creek Road. This road is in good condition and leads to the trailhead in about 3.5 miles.