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The Inertia

Right now, Idaho is experiencing an inordinate amount of seismic activity, especially along the Sawtooth Fault, a nearly 40-mile fault line on the eastern base of the Sawtooth Mountains in the central part of the state. In March, a 6.2 magnitude quake shook Idaho with the quake originating along that line, according to scientists. In the months since, aftershocks have continued to rock the state. Speaking of rocks (and aftershocks), another one hit near Stanley, Idaho on August 7 coming in at 4.2, causing the massive slide you see above.

Unfortunately, this time, an important climbing area was damaged. The quake triggered a slide above Baron Lakes, toppling Baron Spire, aka Old Smoothie – which was first climbed by the legendary Fred Beckey in 1949, according to the Mountain Project. It’s apparently one of the more difficult routes in the state and there were several groups on hand who had reportedly just climbed it or were preparing to climb it the next day. You can hear some colorful commentary from the climbers who witnessed the rock avalanche, above. They were obviously more than thankful not to have been on the climb at the time of the slide.


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