Elevation: 10,555 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 301 of the book.
West Ridge Route, Class 3, by Livingston Douglas
Date of Climb: July 20, 2017
Middle Fork Little Timber Creek Trail [(A)(8.2)(a) on Page 314]
Hike up the Middle Fork Little Timber Creek Trail for 3.75 miles to a well-marked trail junction at a pass (9,500 feet). From the pass, scramble east across an open grassy field briefly. Then enter the steep, mostly-open forest. Climb northeast up through the forest, staying to the climber’s right/east of the ridge crest.
Higher up, the climb becomes more of a face climb than a ridge climb. At approximately 10,000 feet, climb east up a mix of talus and boulders. Finally, at 10,200 feet, the west ridge becomes well defined. Follow the ridge crest east over a false summit to gain the summit of Peak 10343/West Rocky Peak.
The crux of this climb is the descent from West Rocky to a forested saddle at 9,860 feet. This ridge section is narrow, the rock is unstable, and you will need to negotiate some ridge points and outcrops. Brief sections of steepness are not too bad. Stay on the south side of the ridge to avoid more serious exposure on the north side. You’ll be happy to reach the gentle, open forest of the saddle.
From the saddle, climb northeasterly through thick, low-growth pines, while spinning your wheels on loose gravel and also navigating some krummholz. Thankfully, you will soon reach the ridge crest. Move to the left/north side of the ridge crest to escape the unpleasant forest. Here, you will find open ground and more stable terrain (talus/scree rather than loose gravel).
Follow the edge of the forest upward, in an easterly direction, until you reach 10,240 feet, where the thick pine forest ends. Here, turn hard right/southeast and drop 20-30 feet to a wide, gentle saddle of easy tundra and broken rock. After cruising across the saddle, scramble up scree, then talus, on the west face of Rocky Peak. You will find a weak climber’s trail here to help you. When you reach the class 3 summit boulders, scramble the path of least resistance to the peak’s small summit. Now you know why they call this one “Rocky Peak.”