Peak 7389 (Middle Sister) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,389 ft
Prominence: 379

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018


Peak 7389 is one of three scrub-covered hills above the large meadow at the confluence of the mouths of all three of the Sulphur Canyons (North, Middle, and South). Peak 7470 and Peak 7631 are the other two hills. All three of these ranked summits are visible from the junction of North Sulphur Canyon Road and South Sulphur Canyon Road. I unofficially call them The Three Sisters. The standard ascent route for Peak 7389 is its West Face, though I doubt that it sees too many visitors. USGS Johnson Creek

Northwest Face, Class 2+

Access

From the stoplight at the junction of Highway 30 and South 3rd Street in Soda Springs, drive east on Highway 30 for 3.9 miles to a signed turnoff for “Sulphur Canyon.” Turn L/NE onto Sulphur Canyon Road and reset your odometer to 0.0. At 1.2 miles, you reach an unsigned road junction with a parking area nearby (on the LHS of the road). Park here. The elevation at this junction is 6,100 feet.

Route

This climb begins on North Sulphur Canyon Road, an unmarked dirt road that heads NE up North Sulphur Canyon. Please note that the USGS topo map inaccurate labels another road going due N as “North Sulphur Canyon” road, but that is incorrect. This hike is entirely on BLM land so there are no NFS road signs/markers on this road. North Sulphur Canyon Road is a narrow dirt road that climbs steeply over a rocky hill about ¾ mile from the parking area. This road is not suitable for passenger cars.

Hike up North Sulphur Canyon Road for just over a mile to an unmarked junction with an old two-track road on the left at the base of a prominent dry gully. There is a small meadow here with numerous cattle/sheep trails. The elevation here is 6,320 feet. The large gully heads northward directly at the summit of Peak 7470. Continue hiking up North Sulphur Canyon Road for another 100 yards or so, looking for an open section of slope on the Northwest Face of Peak 7389, which lies to your R/SE. Do everything you can to avoid the thick forested areas (mostly aspens) on this climb. The steepest parts of this climb are the initial climb from the canyon floor and the final climb up onto the summit ridge area. Most of the climb is of moderate steepness.

Leave the road here and bushwhack up a short section of steep forest (aspens + brush) to reach open desert scrub in somewhat less-steep terrain. Grind your way up this open slope with an aspen forest to your R/S and mountain mahogany to your L/N (higher up). Surprisingly, there were no game trails or sheep trails on this face. Once you are very high up on the Northwest Face, you must move to the R/S to skirt trees above you. Then you must skirt farther to the R/S to skirt the bottom of a rocky buttress/cliff. Once past the rocky buttress, climb up more desert scrub to reach the summit ridge just N of the high point. Stroll southward to reach the true summit. The summit of Peak 7389 is semi-open terrain (a mix of scattered trees and desert scrub). The summit has a modest cairn on top but no summit register. I added a few rocks to the cairn to enhance its girth.

South Face, Class 2+ —DESCENT:

Access:

Same as for the Northwest Face Route. This is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 7389/Middle Sister to Peak 7631/South Sister.

Route

From the summit of Peak 7389, descend the steep South Face on a mix of open scrub, scattered trees, and a few hidden cliff bands. Descend slowly as the gravel/broken scree base is loose/unstable. If you plan to also climb nearby Peak 7631 today, do your last-minute recon as you descend this face. Note that the ridge point/hump directly S of you will be your first objective if you plan to climb Peak 7631 from here.

That point IS on the West Ridge of Peak 7631 and, contrary to how it may look, it connects nicely to the upper section of that ridge. Also note the most open section of the NW side of the West Ridge so that you can establish your line when climbing up to that ridge point/hump. You want to avoid forested sections whenever possible and stay in the open.

As you approach the Middle Sulphur Canyon drainage in the descent of the South Face, angle L/E to intercept the dry drainage at the least-brushy crossing (just above an elevation of 6,300 feet). The drainage crossing is the terminus of the South Face route.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Northwest Face
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: South Face -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.48749   Latitude: 42.65209

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