Trip Report
Elephant's perch EPIC PHOTO TR, ON TOPIC!
Friday August 6, 2010 6:29pm
I first dreamed of climbing the mountaineers route when I read about in a 2001 climbing magazine article and had built it up to be a huge route in my mind.
One of my regular partners scott v was available and our wives gave us permission so it was on!

I have a 4 year old and a 7 month old so getting permission wasn't easy!
I decided to drive my car a decision that likely save my life!

We left town at noon on thursday and made the boat shuttle across red fish at 4:30.

cheeter's approach-scott at the boat dock





our first view of the route



Lichen it


Saddle back lakes at sun set- one of the most beautiful places ever!




Moon rise

Sun rise



I didn't sleep well as I had a 20 degree sleeping bad and was much too warm, was on top of the bag most of the night

P1

Looking down p1




Looking up p2

Looking down p2


Looking up p3



Looking down at our 3rd belay

Looking up p4

down p4

up p6


We made it to the top around 3:30 pm and had started at 7:30 not to bad, we got lost on the descent and took the east slabs, as the first descent gully did not look good, we should have gone up another 15 minutes and then down the main gully.

We ran very hard to make the boat and made it there at 6:50 pm a decision I would later regret!

We had a snack at the lodge and started home.

After 2 hours it got dark and we saw some deer and had slowed down to 60 miles and hour in a 65 zone.

Then it happened, scott was driving and I see this elk 40 feet in front of us, he managed to slow to 40 before we hit, both screaming obscenities.

The engine revved to 7000 rpms and scott was standing on the breaks, the engine was what I though smoking and I was worried about a fire. scott shifted in to neutral and the engine was still spinning 7k. we made it in to some one's drive way and slammed it in to park and shut it off.

We had cell reception and called the police, they came we filled out 1 hour of paper work.

My insurance company wouldn't pay the 75 mile tow home so we had to ask very firmly as there were no hotels open at midnight which it now was.

we got home at 2 am 3 hours later then we should have.

My totaled car more then 13k in damage!
Watch out for elk y'all!



Had we been in scotts civic, we would have likely died, the elk was perfectly positioned to come throught the wind shield!


  Trip Report Views: 4,282
Ezra Ellis
About the Author
Ezra Ellis is a trad climber from WA, & NC & Idaho.

Comments
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Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:13pm PT
Great TR, sorry about the car!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
glad you are ok. Assuming you guys made some great elk jerky right?
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:40pm PT
Msiddens,
they won't let you keep road kill in this state.....unfortunately....:)
Probably so the police can have it...:)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:50pm PT
have you ever thought about getting a climber in frame on the pics?;-)
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:50pm PT
Beautiful TR!

Thanks for the ride....er...I mean....uh...sorry for the car reference.
Dudeman

Trad climber
Idaho/Beyond
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:57pm PT
Nice story and pics. Sorry to hear about the road kill ending.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Aug 6, 2010 - 02:58pm PT
Looks like some great climbing in a awesome setting!

That sucks a$$ about the car though...at least you weren't injured.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 6, 2010 - 06:11pm PT
Thanks y'all,
Yeah I can always replace the car, and no one was injured,
you can't replace those memories though!

Oh, one more thing, bring bug spray, the skeeters are MEAN!
We had the deet!

Ron, My partner doesn't like when I take pics while belaying....:)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Aug 7, 2010 - 12:10am PT
A nice report - thanks! Too bad about your van and the ELKEPHANT, but it clearly could have been much worse.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Aug 6, 2010 - 07:09pm PT
Wow; that's an amazing place. Great TR!
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Aug 6, 2010 - 07:11pm PT
Hey, Ezra. Topnotch TR.
That is 1 great rock, huh? I dunno, but the bugs didn't bother me so much last July. They bit, but whatever.
Sorry about your car, man. Glad no one was hurt.
Zander

climber
  Aug 6, 2010 - 08:35pm PT
Looks like a great climb!
Sorry about your car. Glad you are OK.
Zander
Pate

Trad climber
  Aug 6, 2010 - 08:52pm PT
nice line- looks like a fun route.


I'm a firm believer in not hitting the breaks pre-collision with a large mammal. Keep the bow high and the chances of the windshield entry are mitigated.
Credit: Pate
I hope the passenger ducked.
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
  Aug 6, 2010 - 11:44pm PT
Ezra, Great work, I was in Idaho Falls last week, then up to Sunbeam, ID for family reunion. Miss that area and wished I had more time, Skully & I were hoping to get up The Perch! The only climbing I got in was with my former 74 year old neighbor who managed a 5.9 at Paramount near Heise, ID!!! He amazes me every year!

Thanks for sharing, and sorry you got an elk out of season!
Thor
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 6, 2010 - 11:47pm PT
Pate, we braked and let off on the brakes at the last minute.... I have thought about the whole angle thing, I don't know if it was better to hit it at 40 vs 6o mph with a different angle. That passenger was dead if there was one, scarry.


Thorgon, who is your 76 year old neighbor, sounds like some one I'd love to meet, send me an e-mail if you could. The perch is amazing, hopefully you'll make it next time. best y'all!
-e
valygrl

climber
Boulder, CO
  Aug 7, 2010 - 12:45am PT
Gnarly!

When were you up there? Did you meet Z from Boulder and J from SLC?
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 7, 2010 - 10:29pm PT
Vallygirl,
we were there july 22nd -23rd. We saw some people coming in on friday but did not get their names, I hope your friends had a good time!
valygrl

climber
Boulder, CO
  Aug 8, 2010 - 08:01am PT
Thanks Ezra - they just hiked out last night, so you didn't cross paths. They had a great time, & your photos were cool for me to look at and see sort of what they were up to. Gorgeous place!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Aug 8, 2010 - 10:07am PT
Ezra: Thanks for sharing the EP adventure. Sorry you had the elk adventure.

Was that by Craters of the Moon? Since there is no hunting in the National Monument, the deer hang there. I've only seen elk there once in many trips through------so you had the "special" experience.

At least when the "did you get a elk?" conversations come up this fall, you can tell stories.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Aug 8, 2010 - 10:09am PT
Nice Ezra. Sorry about the car but you're lucky it wasn't a Moose.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 8, 2010 - 10:43pm PT
Fritz- I was 4 miles north of arco (heading south) on us 93. The fields near craters often have a massive amount of antelope when I visit.

Jim- I have nightmares of hitting a moose- it would not be pretty no matter what you were driving...:)

Thanks for the comments y'all!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Aug 8, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
Ezra: It is amazing that there was an elk out in the middle of sagebrush and alfalfa fields.

One bad-chance in a million!

Big Lost River Valley, ten miles north of where Ezra got his elk.
Big Lost River Valley, ten miles north of where Ezra got his elk.
Credit: Fritz


A few years back: I did see a moose running through the sagebrush, towards the head of Birch Creek, on the road from Idaho Falls to Salmon.

The closest water was 10 miles away.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Aug 15, 2010 - 05:04pm PT
Yeah Fritz, a once in a million chance, although the tow truck driver said a herd of Elk had been in the area for a week!

Here is a great pic of the perch at sunset!



Funny story, I got a new car, it had less than 1,000 miles on it and while passing a car going 20 miles slower then the limit I blew the serpentine belt on it (likely from a kicked up rock). I just need to stop driving and start biking more....:)

Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Aug 15, 2010 - 05:31pm PT
GREAT TR. Sorry 'bout the auto. I agree with whoever said it was a good thing it wasn't a moose.
Love the lake approach. Cooooolio!!!! But, yeah, a skeeter-breeder.
Ezra

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
  Sep 3, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
Thanks Tammi!

Yeah Glad it wasn't a Moose!
I loved your Pigeon spire write up in the last Aplinist Mag!

Best
-e
Phil_B

Social climber
CHC, en zed
  Sep 3, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
Shee-it!! That was a pretty close call. We were in Jellystone last week and I see why they have the speed limit lower at night.

Looks like really fun climbing though. Thanks for the TR
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Dec 11, 2010 - 01:41pm PT
Phil, I definitely am more careful at night any where in the region.

Missing the Warm sawtooth weather,
oh well, it's skiing time!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Dec 11, 2010 - 03:21pm PT
No Rox, they totaled the car and gave me $13K for it. So I Bought another similar car.

-e
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Author's Reply  Dec 11, 2010 - 05:10pm PT
Thanks Rox,
I think the MR is currently rated 5.8+ in most guide books, which seems about right, we did the 5.9 variation on the 5 or 6th pitch.

I didn't notice the death block, but we belayed higher then the traditional first belay, think we belayed at a small tree on a ledge.
Best
Love that sawtooth granite!
-e
Prod

Trad climber
  Jan 15, 2011 - 11:13am PT
Great TR. I love the boat approach.

Prod.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 18, 2011 - 01:01am PT
Thanks again Ezra. Great pictures!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 18, 2011 - 01:25am PT
GREAT PIX ANTI LEB BUMP
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 30, 2011 - 11:57pm PT
Nice report Ezra.
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