A magnitude-4.2 earthquake toppled a beloved Idaho climbing spire, sparking rockslide
Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
THE VIDEO IN THIS STORY CONTAINS PROFANITY. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
An earthquake toppled a popular Idaho rock climbing spot in the Sawtooth mountains, video shows.
Baron Spire, also known as Smoothie or Old Smoothie, fell when a magnitude-4.2 quake struck around 8:11 p.m. Friday. According to U.S. Geological Survey data, the earthquake originated around Observation Peak in the Sawtooth Mountain Range a few miles southwest of Stanley. Baron Spire was near the Baron Lakes about 7 miles southeast of the earthquake’s epicenter.
A video recorded at Baron Lake by Katy Murphree of Boise shows dust billowing down the mountain in the wake of the spire’s collapse, Idaho Statesman reports. Debris can be heard crashing down the mountainside.
Murphree wrote on Facebook that the spire came down “along with half the wall face.” She said the minutes following the quake were tense as she and others tried to confirm the safety of campers who were set up near the rockslide. Murphree said no one appeared to be injured.
Baron Spire contained several climbing routes and was considered one of the harder rock climbing spots in the Sawtooths, according to climbing website summitpost.org.
It’s the latest damage caused by a series on ongoing tremors in the Sawtooths, which have caused avalanches and rockslides in the area since a magnitude-6.5 occurred March 31. Two other Sawtooth rock climbs, the Arrowhead and Finger of Fate, came down during the initial quake or one of its strong aftershocks, the Idaho Mountain Express reported in April.
The magnitude-4.2 earthquake is among a handful of stronger tremors since the shaking began this spring. Several smaller quakes preceded and followed it this weekend, including a magnitude-3.0 around 9:45 a.m. Sunday.