Borah Peak

Borah Peak

August 2009
Elevation 12,668 ft (3,861 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence 5,982 ft (1,823 m) [2]
Parent peak Gannett Peak [3]
Listing Ultra
U.S. state high point
Borah Peak is located in Idaho
Borah Peak
Custer County, Idaho,  USA
Range Lost River Range
Coordinates 44°08′15″N 113°46′52″W / 44.1373891°N 113.78110123°W / 44.1373891; -113.78110123Coordinates: 44°08′15″N 113°46′52″W / 44.1373891°N 113.78110123°W / 44.1373891; -113.78110123[1]
Topo map USGS Borah Peak
First ascent 1912 by T.M. Bannon [4]
Easiest route Scramble

Borah Peak (also known as Mount Borah or Beauty Peak) is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Idaho.[5] It is located in the central section of the Lost River Range, within the Challis National Forest in eastern Custer County. The peak is named for William Borah (1865–1940), a prominent U.S. Senator from Idaho (1907–40).


1983 earthquake

Borah Peak with fault scarp

On Friday, October 28, 1983, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the Borah Peak area at 8:06 am MDT.[6][7]

The earthquake lifted Borah Peak over 7 feet (2.13 m). The peak was scarred on the western side and, as of July 2010, the mark is still visible. Two children in Challis were the only fatalities of the quake, struck by falling masonry while walking to elementary school.


The normal route involves ascending 5,262 vertical feet (1604 m) from the trailhead to the summit in just over 3.5 miles (5.6 km). This route on the southwest ridge, the most popular route, is a strenuous hike for the most part until one reaches a Class 4 arête just before the main summit crest. This point is known as Chickenout Ridge as many people will abort the attempt once they see the hazards up close. In the cooler seasons this dangerous crossing involves a traverse over snow, with steeply slanting slopes on either side. An ice axe is strongly recommended for this section. Parties should turn back if there is any doubt about being able to make the crossing.

Borah Peak's north face is one of Idaho's only year-round snow climbs and provides a much greater challenge than the normal route. The face features a number of grade II class 5 routes on mixed terrain.

Three climbers have died on Borah Peak. Two climbers ascending the northwest ridge in 1977 were killed in an avalanche. Another climber in 1987 lost his life on a glissade during descent.[4]

Borah Peak, looking east

See also


External links

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