Buffalo Skull, Mill, and Little Mill peaks

This trip involved some peaks in the vicinity of Mill lake in the northern Lemhis.  There is an undeveloped campground along the lake at the end of a very bad road which is accessible from highway 28 a little north of Leadore.  A lot of the vehicles that make it across that road are ATVs, which make for a modest amount of activity there.

Mill Lake

It was a long drive, and Steve, Chris and I (and Braxon and Abby) went to Jeff's house in Salmon, where he and his wife Sandy graciously put us up for the night and served us breakfast in the morning.  We also met their dog George and several cats.  We left early in the morning and arrived at the campsite Tom had selected a little before 7:30, and by 8:00 we were all on the trail.

Near Buffalo Skull

At the saddle separating Mill lake valley from Buffalo Skull lake Valley, Chris left us to scout the next day's route.  That left Steve, Tom, Jeff and I along with Abby and Braxon.  I misunderstood the directions and led us up earlier than intended, but it didn't work out too badly.  Either way, there is a fair bit of talus to clamber over before you reach the ridge that is crowned by Buffalo Skull peak.  We gained the ridge right above a small snowfield that Braxon made a beeline for.

Kilroy was here

Except for the Talus, Buffalo Skull was a pretty mellow peak.  It took us about 7 hours for a laid back climb.  It was also pretty dog friendly.  That evening, Michael Pelton joined us, and the wind also picked up.  I spent the night in my truck rather than set up a tent, and fortunately, Abby was tired enough that she didn't try to take advantage of the close quarters.  The wind wasn't as bad the next day, but it still blew pretty hard for most of our climb.

Buffalo Skull lake

The whole group did Little Mill on a sunny, windy, hazy day, and from there Chris went back while the rest of us went off to tag Mill peak.  Jeff had climbed it previously from the northeast, which looked like a very gentle approach, but like the previous day, except for the talus, it wasn't all that difficult.  No snow for the dogs, but they seemed happy to be there nonetheless.

from Mill Peak