Freeman Peak

Elevation: 10,273 ft
Prominence: 733

Climbing and access information for this peak is found on pages 320 to 322. On this page you will find a photo essay covering the East Face/Ridge Route which is my list of favorite peaks and a detailed route description of Livingston Douglas’ recently climbed new route utilizing the East Face and Southeast Ridge. Read about a 1903 ascent of the peak at this link: Went to the Top of Freeman Peak


This eye-catching rock dominates the Salmon, Idaho skyline. The peak has been climbed via its three major ridges, and during the winter. The northeast and southeast ridges are the most accessible and the most difficult routes.

West face, Freeman Peak.

West face, Freeman Peak.

Freeman Peak's north face in early May.

Freeman Peak’s north face in early May.

East Face/Ridge, Class 3, Photo Essay.

Upper Freeman Creek is reached via an old mining road which makes the walk easier.

Upper Freeman Creek is reached via an old mining road which makes the walk easier.

There are ruins of the mining era scattered around the upper canyon.

There are ruins of the mining era scattered around the upper canyon.

This slope leads up to the east face cirque.

This slope leads up to the east face cirque.

The East Face/Ridge route leaves Freeman Creek and climbs up this east face cirque.

The East Face/Ridge route leaves Freeman Creek and climbs up this east face cirque.

Dana Hansen climbing out of the gully at the top of the cirque and onto the face.

Dana Hansen climbing out of the gully at the top of the cirque and onto the face.

East Face/Southeast Ridge Route, Class 3 by Livingston Douglas 

Date of Climb: 7/28/17
Map: Homer Youngs Peak

Access

Freeman Creek [(A)(3.1)(a)].

Route

Follow the East Face/Ridge Route (on page 320) up into the “prominent gully” at the base of the east face of Freeman Peak. Climb up the loose scree/gravel in the gully (skirting the right/east side of a low snowfield early on) to just below the upper snowfield in the gully. The gully is Class 2 and gains about 375 feet in elevation. Exit right/west out of the gully via a steep chute that leads up onto the east face. Please note that this chute is about 50 feet higher (in elevation) up the gully than the standard East Face/Ridge Route.

Do an ascending traverse southwest up through cliff bands and face rock. The path of least resistance will push you toward the Southeast Ridge of Freeman Peak. This is NOT the standard East Face Route, which follows the East Face the entire way to the summit and does NOT entail climbing the Southeast Ridge. When I did this climb, I was very concerned that I would get stuck on the Southeast Ridge and would have to backtrack and climb the East Face proper. But when I climbed Monument Peak two days earlier, I got a good look at the Southeast Ridge of Freeman Peak and could see that, while the lower half of the Southeast Ridge is problematic, the upper half would probably go at Class 3.

After a grueling 30 minutes of face climbing in a diagonal manner, I had gained about 550 feet in elevation and found myself on the Southeast Ridge. While choppy, the Southeast Ridge is a Class 3 scramble this high up. Staying on the ridge crest or just to the climber’s right of it, you’ll be on the summit of Freeman Peak after gaining a final 200 feet of elevation. Congratulations, this magnificent summit (and it’s equally-magnificent 6-foot cairn) is yours! From your perch atop Freeman Peak, you have a superb view of three routes on Monument Peak: the North Ridge, the Northwest Face, and the Southwest Ridge.

It’s quite easy to find your way back down to the “prominent gully” since there is a large, permanent snowfield in its upper reaches. This snowfield is visible the entire way as you descend back to the chute which you earlier ascended to get up onto the East Face of Freeman Peak. Descend slowly and carefully, as this is a full-on Class 3 endeavor. Surprisingly, the East Face was bone dry while the cirque below the East Face was full of hard packed snow and the “prominent gully” had two notable sections of snow in it.

Looking south from the summit toward Monument Peak and the Doublets.

Looking south from the summit toward Monument Peak and the Doublets.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Beaverhead Range

Year Climbed: 1994

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: East Face/Southeast Ridge
  • Year: 2017
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: East Face/Southeast Ridge
  • Year: 2017
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -113.7012   Latitude: 45.2743

Photos:

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