Jen was planning on flying in to Boise Saturday afternoon and needed us to come down to pick her up. This gave the kids and I a fantastic excuse to head down to Boise’s Black Cliffs for some climbing. We left Grangeville on Friday morning and made the 3 1/2 hour drive down. We made a quick stop by the grocery store to provision and then drove out to the cliffs.
Our first climb of the day was over at Fat Ankles, a 5.7 sport route that we have climbed several times in the past. We then transitioned over to Almer Casile Memorial Buttress, a 5.8 sport route. After letting all that were interested have a run at these two climbs we decided to call it a day and head to our intended campground for the night, Mack’s Creek Park.
Mack’s Creek Park is a small campground run by the Army Corp of Engineers on Lucky Peak Reservoir. When we arrived we were the only people there, but a troop of Boy Scouts soon followed. While Sabrina and I worked on cooking dinner and pulling out sleeping bags, Laurel and the boys headed down to the lake. While down there Laurel discovered a cave under a basalt flow. The cave is normally covered by the reservoir, but the low levels exposed it and enabled us to walk back about 30 or 40 yards and featured a central room that I could easily stand up in.
The seven of us enjoyed bean burritos for dinner and read by the fire until the crisp night drove us into our sleeping bags. We enjoyed a great show of the Leonid meteor shower before finally succumbing to sleep.
Saturday morning dawned quite chilly. The kids played for a while before we fixed breakfast and broke down camp. We then drove back over the Black Cliffs where we started of with Toddler, a 5.6 sport route. The kids made several laps before we moved over to Nash-E-Mun (5.7). We enjoyed the early afternoon as the temperature slowly warmed. Finally, it was time to head to the airport to pick up Jen. We had a lot of fun enjoying the relatively empty crag and sunny, albeit chilly, weather.