Elevation: 10,327 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 296 of the book.
McNutt Peak/Peak 10327 is the northernmost Lemhi Range summit of at least 10,000 feet in height. There is good access to this peak and 4 other Lemhi 10ers via the Bear Valley Lakes Trail [(A)(10.2)(a) on Page 316]. Livingston Douglas has provided an alternative and more detailed route description than the one found in the book. USGS Lem Peak
South Ridge, Class 2+ by Livingston Douglas
Bear Valley Lakes Trail [(A)(10.2)(a) on Page 316]
Hike up the Bear Valley Lakes Trail to the northernmost Bear Valley Lake. However, my ascent differs from the standard “climb north from the upper lake to the summit ridge.” The standard climb requires scrambling to get to the summit ridge and actually puts you on the east spur of the summit’s South Ridge. Instead, from the highest lake, continue along and up a trail that switchbacks steeply to the west and ends on the ridge saddle at 9,820 feet, directly south of McNutt Peak.
The trail from the highest lake up to the saddle is NOT shown on the Lem Peak Quadrangle and was both unexpected and welcome. The trail was free of snow when I hiked it. This was surprising given its east-facing exposure and forested nature at a time when there were sizable snowfields lingering elsewhere in this area.
From the 9,820-foot saddle, follow the ridge north (staying to the west side of the ridge crest as necessary). Continue upward through scree, rocky ridge outcrops, and krummholz. The ridge steepness eases and the krummholz disappears around 10,200 feet. From here, you have a Class 2 talus hop to the summit. Skirt or climb over a false summit and two more ridge humps en route to the true summit, which lies at the north end of ridge “plateau.”