Peak 7462 (Rocky Bench Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,462 ft
Prominence: 402

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019


Peak 7462 is one of three ranked summits surrounding South Worm Creek Basin. This peak towers over Rocky Bench to the south. The easiest ascent route is up the South Spur/Southwest Ridge (or the wide gully to its R/NE) from Cub River Road near the Cub River Guard Station. It is a reasonable bushwhack in open terrain with a finish on the open West Face of the peak. Any other route is pure misery due to dense brushwillows, and aspens. This is the first peak of a 3-peak journey, a true triumvirate of torture. If I live to be 125, I will NEVER come back here. USGS Mink Creek

Southeast Shoulder, Class 2

Date of Climb: September 13, 2019

Access

Cub River Road is located on US-91 between Franklin, ID and Preston, ID. From the junction of US-91 and ID-34 in Preston, Cub River Road is 5.5 miles south on US-91. From Franklin, Cub River Road is 2.3 miles north of Main Street on US-91. Cub River Road heads northeast from US-91 and passes through an extensive area of residential homes and private property. The road is paved for the first 8.5 miles and is a fast drive.

The following mileage marks are calibrated from the base of Cub River Road at US-91. At 8.5 miles, the pavement ends. At 8.8 miles, you enter the Cache National Forest and the road becomes FSR-406. At 9.3 miles, Albert Moser Campground is on the right. At 11.8 miles, you reach a junction with FSR-407. Park at this junction (5,615 feet).

The Climb

From the road junction, cross to the W side of Cub River Road and briefly follow FST-299/Cub River Trail, an unsigned ATV trail up into the forest. Leave the trail to bushwhack W through a short section of forest to reach the vast, open expanse of Rocky Bench. This area is a relatively flat meadow of open sagebrush. Cattle graze here, so you will find cattle trails to expedite your approach to the steeper terrain above.

Scramble NW up through the somewhat tedious combination of tall field grass and embedded boulders/talus to reach the unpleasant terrain that awaits you above. Climb W to reach the crest of the rounded, elusive Southeast Shoulder of Peak 7462. The bushwhack to the ridge crest is brutal. Contrary to the forested terrain shown on the USGS topo map, the terrain is actually thick, tall brush with willows, aspens, young trees, scrub, and thick bushes all mixed together. It is a BATTLE ROYALE. Try to find “lanes” through this mess to make progress. The bushwhack is particularly punishing as you approach the ridge.

Once on the wide, rounded ridge, use intermittent cattle trails to help you advance through the thick brush. There is a short section of easy open scrub on the R/E side of the ridge higher up, but it doesn’t last. The final push is on a narrow, rocky ridge crest (boulders + thick scrub + willows) to the summit area. The high point is one of two boulders that are hidden in the dense brush on the narrow ridge crest. There were no signs of previous ascent.

North Ridge (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the Southeast Shoulder Route.

The Descent

From the summit high point, follow the blocky, narrow ridge crest slowly northward through a mix of large boulders, thick willows and brush. The terrain changes to a thick forest with ample bushes and willows to tie you in knots. Visibility is nil here and the ridge bends R/E to reach a small saddle. Bushwhack E through the almost-impenetrable bush/brush/forest to reach the [blessed] hiking trail that passes through the saddle. Hopefully, you pop out near, or just N of, the saddle. It is only ¼ mile from the summit of Peak 7462 to this saddle, but it is an unforgiving, brutal experience. You will never do it again.

Descend the trail (used mostly by cattle and ranchers) northward to the S end of South Worm Creek Basin, an area of open terrain and an old jeep road to boot. Pass a road junction at the S end of the basin, and follow the jeep road N to reach the middle of South Worm Creek Basin. You will soon reach an unsigned trail junction with a cattle pond nearby on the L/W side of the road. This is the launching point for climbs of two other nearby peaks—Peak 7303 and Peak 7951.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

Longitude: -111.67389   Latitude: 42.15979

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