by Dustin Fric
In January I took a trip DEEP into the Frank Church River of no Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the lower 48. Matt Scrivner, Angela Lynch and I climbed several new routes in the area but one stands out as momentous. We named it Salmon River Quiver and to me it is one of the most significant waterfalls to be climbed in Idaho in quite a while. Armed with kayaks, wetsuits, dry tops and a small assortment of rock and ice pro we were not taking no for an answer. The ice flow snakes it's way 450' feet to the top of the shelf. Tucked away in a shallow groove the climb embodied an Alpine feel and character was oozing out of the tie-dyed ice when we first saw it. The best part of the climb is the third pitch; starting at a rock anchor and climbing a two foot vein for 70 feet and ending at a double tiered curtain. Sometimes you stumble upon Real Gems that take your breath away, and sometimes you get to climb them in the presence of the best company imaginable, that's what MAKES climbing.
After ripping endless runs of lift accessed powder on Hoodoo's second-to-last day of the regular season, Tyler, Dustin and I headed to Smith Rock to make the coveted first ascent of a little known tower near Monkey Face.
"Brad Englund's Tower (or some other phallic name if you prefer)" rises an astounding 30 feet from the desert floor and consists of the best rock Smith has to offer. The route "Piolet d'Or" follows an astonishing line of four bolts to the summit. Brad Englund is a low profile Oregon hardman who pioneered many ascents on chossy features throughout the state, often rope solo and involving bolt ladders. (He even made the first ascent of the finger on the Titan down in the Fisher towers). We thought this would be a fitting tribute to our friend.
If an intrepid adventurer decides to repeat this daunting route, be sure to tread lightly as the whole thing seems on the verge of falling over.