Elevation: 9,180 ft
This complex, multi-summited peak, is found on pages 194 and 195. This page is a complete revision of the entry in the book. The book entry has a lot of reliable information but it is incomplete and wrong about the high point. Thanks go out to Grandjean Peak experts Greg Parker and Sean Duffy for their assistance with this revision. Thanks also to the Lists of John website which provides an excellent display of topographic data that clarifies the elevation issues.
Grandjean Peak is a complex mountain with five main summits, two of which are shown as the same elevation. For those who go by the rule that peaks that have 300 feet of prominence are separate peaks, you can count this complex as two separate summits because the two 9180+ summits are separated by a saddle giving them each 300 feet of prominence. The closest road access to Grandjean Peak is from Grandjean. [(B)(3)]
No matter how you measure the quality of a mountain as a climber, Grandjean ranks high. It’s easternmost 9180+ summit is the 3rd steepest summit in Idaho and all the summits but Point 9105 are difficult Class 5 climbing problems. It’s slopes are hidden from below but spectacular if you earn the right to view them by climbing a surrounding peak.
Greg Parker was the first person to explore the technical problems presented by Grandjean’s five summits and he made the first ascent of Peak 9180+ West. Sean Duffy is the only person who has climbed all the summits. He did the western summits with John Odle and the eastern summits with Chris Reedy. The summits have not been traversed in a single push. Greg Parker points out that: “this ridge is very similar in nature to the Grand Traverse in the Tetons, but on a smaller scale. I have done most of the Grand Traverse and thinking back, it has the same type of exposure, route finding difficulties and sustained commitment requirements. It is a very impressive ridge no matter who climbs it. If you want a lot of exposure and continuous 5th class climbing with some serious route finding….then this ridge is for you!”
The peak was named after Emil Grandjean, who was a Danish-trained forester and the first supervisor of the Sawtooth and Payette National Forests back in 1905. Grandjean came to the United States from Denmark in 1883 and mined, trapped, and explored in central Idaho before beginning his forestry career. The peak is located at the far northwestern end of the Verita Ridge. Its summits form a ragged, sawtooth line that is seldom approached by climbers.
Please note that crossing Baron Creek in the spring can pose a very serious risk and that it is not an easy crossing at any time. USGS Warbonnet Peak/SW
The western most is Point 9105. Prior to the arrival of Greg Parker this is the only summit with a known ascent. This summit does not have 300 feet of prominence but it is the location of a large summit cairn and the original register. The original summit register was placed in 1973 by Bob and Sheila Dargatz, but was damaged by water and most of the names in the register have been lost—there were 13 listed between 1973 and 1996. Greg Parker notes:
All of the people in the original summit register climbed peak 9105 as shown on the Warbonnet quad USGS map. As I remember, there were several members of the same family that signed the register, but there were only about 15 names in it from 1970’s to the late nineties, and several of the entries had 3-5 people in the group. There was no mention from any of the entries of anyone going beyond peak 9105.
Southwest Ridge (Class 3). Approach this ridge from the South Fork Payette River Trail [(B)(3)(b)]. Hike up the trail until it crosses Goat Creek, then hike up Goat Creek about 1 mile. Leave the creek and ascend to the col between Peak 9105 and the next Grandjean summit to the southeast. It is steep hiking to the ridgeline; after that the character changes to Class 3 scrambling, becoming more exposed as you reach the summit. The rock is generally rotten on this side of the mountain.
North Slope/West Ridge (Class 3). This route is easiest in the spring when snow still covers the small trees and brush on the lower slopes. Approach the route via the Baron Creek Trail [(B)(3)(c)] until you reach the obvious avalanche path through the trees. Ascend the chute to the saddle between Point 7888 and Peak 9106. From the saddle, follow the ridge to the summit.
Peak 9180+. West
The next summit east of Point 9105 is Peak 9180+ Wast may or may not have the distinction of being the highest point. Greg Parker who made the first ascent of this summit reports that: As far as which peak is higher, I don’t know. Both are close in my opinion and either one is a feat in itself to get to the top.
Summit Ridge Traverse (II, Class 4). Greg Parker’s Summit Ridge route traverses Grandjean’s summit ridge from Peak 9105 to Peak 9180. After climbing 9105, down-climb or rappel a short pitch to gain a ridge heading to the east. Scramble through very exposed rotten rock to the summit. First ascent: Greg Parker.
Northeast Face (II, 5.9). This route is under construction by G. Parker and M. Riffie. Approach by Baron Creek Trail [(B)(3)(c)] and begin climbing steep slabs on the south side of the creek just before the trail crosses a log at North Fork Baron Creek. Follow good friction face climbing (5.6) on slabs to the ridgeline, about three pitches. Then scramble to the upper face (Class 3), where the climbing changes to steep face climbing (5.9) on generally solid granite with few protection cracks. You can avoid the harder pitches with Class 4 and easy Class 5 climbing, but there is not a really easy way to the summit. The rock deteriorates near the summit.
Point 9120, which does not have 300 feet of prominence, sits between Peak 9180+ West and Peak 9180+ East.
Peak 9180+ East.
This Grandjean Peak summit is the 3rd steepest summit in Idaho. It has 300+ feet of prominence and for Lists of John adherents it is a separate mountain. The first ascent was by Sean Duffy and Chris Reedy in 2012. Sean’s trip report is found on a separate page.
The last and easternmost Grandjean summit does not have 300 feet of prominence but is just as impressive as its neighbors. (While I incorrectly identified this point as the highest point on Grandjean Peak in the book, Sean Duffy who has climbed all five summits notes that: I have been on all the points of Grandjean from 9105 to 9180+ and the highest point was clearly one of the two easternmost summits (9144 , 9180+). The first ascent of this summit was by Sean Duffy and Chris Reedy in 2012. Sean’s trip report is found on a separate page.
Mountain Range: Sawtooth Range
First Ascent Information:
- First Ascent Year: 1994
- Season: Summer
- Route: Traverse from Point 9105. II, 5.4 to Peak 9180+ West
- Party: Greg Parker
- Other First Ascent: Point 9144, NW Ridge 5.6 C1 or 5.9
- Year: 2012
- Season: Fall
- Party: Sean Duffy and Chris Reedy
- Other First Ascent: Peak 9180+ East
- Year: 2012
- Season: Summer
- Party: Sean Duffy and Chris Reedy