Peak 7072 (Horse Basin Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,072 ft
Prominence: 372

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019


Peak 7072 is a ranked summit that lies on the west side of the primary ridge of the Bear River Range. It is a pyramidal-shaped hump that sits just above Horse Basin to the northeast. Interestingly, its nearby neighbor to the north, Point 7322, is an unranked point. Peak 7072 is surrounded by higher peaks/points and, consequently, is a rather unimpressive bump. But its West Ridge is a fun scramble from Birch Creek Road/FSR-407. USGS Mink Creek

West Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: September 10, 2019

Access

Birch Creek Road/FSR-407 is located along ID-36 just south of the turnoff signed for “Mink Creek.” It has a simple street sign and is easy to miss. From the north/east, Birch Creek Road is located 26.7 miles from Ovid, ID, on ID-36. From the south, Birch Creek Road is located 7.0 miles north of the junction of ID-34 and ID-36.

Once you turn east onto Birch Creek Road, the road is paved and does a quick jog L/N at a stop sign then R/E almost immediately thereafter. Pay attention to the street signs here. At 1.3 miles, the pavement ends. At 1.7 miles, there is a large parking/turnaround area. The road gets narrower and rougher now. At 2.3 miles, you cross a cattle guard/fence and enter the Cache National Forest (signed). At 3.2 miles, there is a large dispersed campsite on the R/W side of the road. Pull off the road at 3.3 miles to park at the 2nd entrance to the campsite. The elevation here is 5,855 feet.

The Climb

From the campsite parking area, walk about 0.1 mile SE up Birch Creek Road to reach the massive powerlines that cross above the road. Leave the road here and scramble E up the clear cut below the power lines for a short distance. Leave the clear cut before the powerlines turn R/SE and climb L/N up onto the West Ridge. Follow the steep ridge to the small summit area. The ridge terrain is a mix of scattered junipers, scrub/grass, and ground talus/boulders. It is a rather fun scramble.

The summit area is semi-open. The high point is near the N end of the small summit cap, near 2 clumps of boulders. The USGS map incorrectly shows the high point at the S end of the summit cap. The N end is slightly higher. There was no summit cairn or any signs of previous ascent.

South Ridge (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the West Ridge Route.

The Descent

From the summit, descend the obvious, open South Ridge on easy scrub, staying to the R/W of thicker scrub/brush and trees. As you descend, the slope steepens and you can see the unpleasant combination of thick willows and aspens that await you lower on the ridge/face. Move L/E to stay in open terrain (or semi-open terrain) as long as you can. Then move back to the R/W using minor ramps of open scrub. Find some cattle/game trails lower down to make your way through the thick forest/brush to finally reach FST-313 (an old road/trail) in Mill Canyon. Go R/W on this wonderful trail, which stays R/N of a creek, to quickly reach FSR-407/Birch Creek Road in an open meadow. Hike NW down Birch Creek Road to your parking spot.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

Longitude: -111.65749   Latitude: 42.21001

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