Only a short drive up to Bogus Basin, Mores Mountain affords two granite spires with enjoyable sport climbing—and a couple trad routes—in a cool, alpine environment offering an alternative to the hot Black Cliffs in summertime.
The easy access to the Black Cliffs makes them an appealing crag for a quick session, but the summer heat that bakes these dark basalt columns makes chasing the sun a big challenge in the summer. For an easy alternative to hunting for shadows, head up to Bogus Basin for cooler alpine temps and for a little taste of granite.
What Makes It Great
While there are just a handful of routes on Mores Mountain’s two spires, Roadside Rock and the Pincer, these options are a welcome change to the Black Cliffs. The slabby granite is diverse with knobs and crystals, though be aware the rock is a bit crumbly (those knobs can occasionally pop off) and they're infrequently climbed, so frequently lichen-covered. Keep your wits about you and climb smart.
In addition to refreshingly cooler temps, and often much clearer air than Boise due to inversions, reaching the top offers fantastic views of Boise and the valley spreading out roughly 5,000 feet below you. A few “classics” in this fairly-recently developed area include 17-bolt Shades of Gray (5.10b), Midnight Visitor (5.10b), and the bouldery, 2-pitch Computer Girl (5.9+). There is room for development in the spires, and even on established pitches, the pioneering spirit persists with often-dirty routes, and the likely snap or crumble of a hold or two.
At the end of your session, stop in at the Bogus Basin Lodge for a beer and a bite when their patio barbeque is open for the season, or head down to Highlands Hollow Brewhouse for a craft beer on their front patio and live music.
Who is Going to Love It
Some people think that the possibility of the rock crumbling or breaking off isn't worth the trip, but if you do take the trip, you will be rewarded with great views!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get to Mores Mountain, drive up Bogus Basin Road and hang a left once you get to the lift area. Continue on toward Shafer Butte Picnic Area. Roadside Rock and the Pincer are the obvious spires across the road – a climber’s trail will bring you to the base.
Pick up a copy of Sandy Epeldi’s book, Boise Climbs at Idaho Mountain Touring. While the most recent edition was published in 2003, its still a great guide. Sandy’s website has a link to “New Routes” with…you guessed it, new beta.