This is Castle Peak, on the left, with Merriam Peak, a solid one thousand feet lower on the right, reflecting in a beaver pond in the White Cloud Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho.
Castle Peak is one of the most recognizable mountains in Idaho. It holds a special, though unrecognized place in conservation history in the United States. In the late 60s, a mining company was proposing to develop a 700' deep two-mile-long open pit molybdenum mind in this exact location. Cecil Andrus ran for governor in 1970 on the platform of protecting Castle Peak from exploitation and won against an incumbent, thus becoming the first statewide elected official in the US elected on an environmental platform. In Idaho no less.
Castle is my sacred mountain. I have climbed it eight times, slept on its summit and return to it every year. It is a several-mile demanding backpack to get to and is not visible from any road. This photo is from a four-day backpack trip which yielded stunning sunrises and sunsets every day. But then, Castle Peak never disappoints.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor