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[cdt-l] Q: Crest above Cowbone and Jahnke Lakes

John Brennan wrote:
>Has anyone walked the crest above Cowbone and Jahnke Lakes (Montana/Idaho)?
>How's the climb up?  How is the climb down?  Is it easy to find the trail
>after descent?

John -
We did.  But you really don't want to do it the way we did.

Ginny got hurt (took off the end of a finger in a rock slide at the pass 
above Rock Island Lake).  That's on the east side of the Divide.   We ended 
up in Salmon for nearly a week.  That's on the west side of the Divide.

When we went back to the trail we had a choice - to hitchhike 150 miles to 
get back to Rock Island Lake - or to accept a ride from a retired BLM ranger 
back to the Divide.  We took the ride - and he dropped us on the Divide 
above Jahnke Lake.    If you're going up from the west side from Salmon 
there are a number of roads that go right to the Divide (or close to it) - 
but it's a long way.  If you're going up from the east side near Jahnke 
Lake, it's an entirely different story.  I remember looking up at the ridge 
before Ginny got hurt and wondering if we could get up there.  But the maps 
showed no reasonable way to get up there and the terrain was not at all 
friendly.  I think Jonathon is right - you'd need technical climbing gear - 
and a lot of luck.  The rock up there is generally loose.  I REALLY wouldn't 
want to try to climb down there.

When we got up there we walked south to Goldstone Pass. And from where he 
dropped us, north didn't look like a real good idea anyway because the ridge 
was solid rock outcropping.  But south toward Goldstone Pass the walking was 
easy.  We found a CDT blaze at the point where a trail comes up to the ridge 
from Cowbone Lake.  It was a surprise because the CDT (at least at the time) 
didn't go up there. I think that trail shows on the maps. The "trail" 
between that point on the ridge and Goldstone Pass got very obscure in 
places.  We decided it wasn't really a trail, but just a goat path across 
the scree and shale.

Good luck,

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