Elevation: 10,126 ft
This peak is not in the book. In the book, I mentioned this peak as Point 10126 in the route description for Mount Carpenter. Livingston Douglas points out that this peak has enough prominence to be considered a separate peak. Rick Baugher climbed this peak in 1996 but I am not sure of his exact route. I do know that access was open at that time.
Peak 10126/Clear Creek Peak is located high above, and in between, the upper reaches of the Clear Creek and Poison Creek drainages in the central Beaverhead Range. It is approximately 1-1/2 miles WNW of Mount Carpenter (10,684 feet), from which it is separated by a gentle saddle (9,700 feet). USGS Morrison Lake
Clear Creek Road [(B)(6.2) on Page 329]. Please be aware that, as of July 2017, access is restricted on Clear Creek Road. The road is gated approximately 1/2-mile past the bridge crossing of Clear Creek due to private property issues and an active mining operation. There is “No Trespassing” past the gate, so there is no access for hikers to reach the Forest Service road that climbs E up to a saddle overlooking Poison Creek. You must do an “end-around” to avoid the private land. Here’s how to do it.
From the parking area at the Clear Creek bridge crossing (7,365 feet), walk across the bridge to the south side of Clear Creek. Bushwhack through some creek brush then scramble up a steep tundra slope up to Point 8230. If you’re lucky, you might run into a few bull elk up here as I did. From Point 8230, you must drop southeast 350 vertical feet to cross a narrow drainage and avoid the mining property (and, yes, you’ll have to re-climb this 350 feet later in the day to return to your vehicle). Scramble southeast from the drainage up a steep tundra hillside to reach a flat area at 8,420 feet just north of Point 8492. Hike NE on easy terrain, dropping 20 feet, to reach a saddle. Stay on the east side of the saddle to avoid the private property line. You’ll find a lodgepole gate here (with a Forest Service road closure sign on the gate) where a jeep road crosses the saddle to drop east into the Poison Creek drainage. Congratulations! You’ve now completed the “end-around” Clear Creek approach.
Southwest Face/South Ridge Route, Class 2
Date of Climb: 7/19/17. Scramble northeast up the ridge crest, staying to the climber’s R/E of it to avoid private property. Climb up through a steep section of forest and minor cliff bands to reach Point 8939 (you can skirt the southeast side of Point 8939 on easy tundra to avoid some uphill). From Point 8939, drop 25 feet on easy tundra to a minor saddle. Climb up the steep, open forest on the Southwest Face to reach the South Ridge. Follow the ridge north to the grassy hump that is the summit of Clear Creek Peak. From the summit, you have superb views of the Continental Divide to the east. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a herd of elk grazing in the saddle down below you to the east-northeast. This saddle connects Clear Creek Peak to Mount Carpenter.