Low clouds engulf Frank.















Terbo loves the trail.














Sing Sang loves it too.




















Frank and Terbo rejoice.


Seven Devils Mountains,
Hells Canyon Wilderness, ID

Friday, May 27, 1994

After meeting and drinking with the rest of the Hampers in Riggins, Idaho, we tried to drive to the trail head. We could only get within 4 miles because of the snow, so we had to follow the road and finally camped at Seven Devils Lake. Not much mileage today, but we were pretty well hung over.

Weather was a little cold with very low hanging clouds that didn't let us see many peaks. Along on the trip were Terbo, Marvo, Rando, Ron, Frank, Dave (Sing Sang) and the labradors Bailey and Jack.


Saturday, May 28, 1994

Still cold weather and a little snowy. We all slept pretty well and were ready to hit the trail. Little did we know that we would have a rough hike ahead of us.

We made it to the top of the ridge behind the lake. The elevation was about 8800 feet and the wind was really howling. Add the snow and it was very tough conditions to travel. We hid behind the cliffs and boulders to escape the cold. With all the bad weather, we still couldn't see the peaks.

As we began to head down the ridge to the bottom of the valley, it got steeper and steeper. For a while we had to climb down one at a time because each step let more rocks tumble down the mountain.

About halfway down, we saw two mountain goats on the ridge next to us. The male with big horns and the female just watched us; they didn't seem at all concerned, just curious.

The dogs had a rough time of the climb. They often wimpered and refused to move down, so Ron and Frank made bridges out of their bodies.

Once at the bottom of the valley, we found a campsite overlooking Sheep Lake, Devils Tooth, Tower of Babel, She Devil and He Devil. Perhaps the greatest campsite I've ever stayed at. The wind was fierce, but spirits were especially high.


Sunday, May 29, 1994

Still very windy in the morning, but the view is still spectacular. As we packed our packs, the tents got lighter and the wind blew mine 10 feet down the hill with Rando's gear and both our packs inside. Sing Sangs, Ron and Frank's tent also got blown away, but it ended 100 yards down the hill.

The snow was pretty wet (as were my boots) for hiking, but it was too tough to use the snowshoes we carried. (Next time I may forget the snow shoes.) Lots of pretty views up here. We crossed the low pass behind us and hiked along several lakes.

Along the way we had to cross a stream to follow the path to the river basin. Frank, Ron and the dogs couldn't find a good place to cross, so they followed their side of the stream. But once they got aways, they found an impassable cliff. Frank has a slight fear of heights, so they backtracked to rejoin our group. Fortunately for them, the dogs could smell our scent and they made good time.

Near the river basin, we saw some fairly fresh tracks of a large black bear. And when we made camp, Terbo said he saw some fresh bear scat just up the hillside. Luckily, we didn't see any bear.

An easy hike today, nearly all downhill and not many miles. We camped at a very nice spot next to the stream. The site had been pretty well used by other campers and teams of horses in the past. By the looks of things we were the first people in this part of the Sevin Devils this year. Pines towered above us, the rocky hillside was behind us. Slept outside tonight as the weather began to improve.


Monday, May 30, 1994

We got up a little earlier than usual as we had lots of mile to put behind us. As we traversed up the hillside, the sight of the trail cutting into the rock and Devils Tower behind us was truly inspiring. But that was just the first of two strenuous uphills.

Terbo led us on an aggressive pace, which was a nice change of pace. It seemed that we made up all our elevation today. We rested for a long time back at the main campground as we knew the road back downhill would be easy.

We finally left the area at 7:30 and stopped in Riggins for two beers. I enjoyed meeting Frank, Dave and Jack and hope to Hamp with them again.

A word on the dogs: Bailey was a happy-go-lucky, overgrown pup and Jack was an intelligent, confident adult. I liked both, although Jack nipped me when I tried to pet him in the back of the truck. That's alright though, as he also bit Frank at the end of the trip.

We nearly stayed this night at Weir Creek Hot Springs, but we were too tired to make the 15 minute trip. Instead, I spent the night at Terbo's.

Back to Backpacking

















Jack and Bailey carry their share.

















A bedroom with a view.


















The long trail nears its end.