Peak 7551 (Gentle Meade) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,551 ft
Prominence: 531

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018

Peak 7551 is a satellite summit of the long west ridge of Meade Peak. It is a gentle hump of broken rock and desert scrub. It provides an outstanding view of the aforementioned ridge, just the ticket if you are doing recon on Meade Peak, which I was. I would climb that same west ridge three days later. It also offers a good look at the northern aspects of Threemile Peak, another ranked summit in the Right Hand Fork area. I was to climb that peak the very next day. USGS Georgetown

Southwest Spur/West Ridge, Class 2


From the signed turnoff on Highway 30 in the center of the bustling metropolis of Georgetown, ID, turn east onto Georgetown Canyon Road (which is called Stringtown Road within the city limits). Drive up the road to a junction at 2.3 miles (LEFT is CR-1095/Left Hand Fork Road; STRAIGHT is Georgetown Canyon Road/FSR-102). Go straight; the road changes from paved to gravel here. At 3.1 miles, you will see an unmarked dirt road on the R/S side of the road. This is the Right Fork Road/FSR-225. Park here. The elevation at this junction is 6,290 feet. FSR-225 is a narrow jeep road that is not suitable for most vehicles.

The Climb

From its junction with Georgetown Canyon Road, walk up FSR-225 for about 0.6 miles to a small meadow with a massive pine tree (providing excellent shade on a hot day) at its downstream end. This meadow is on the left/east side of the road as is the small babbling brook that drains the Right Hand Fork. More importantly, this meadow sits at the base of a steep face that leads up onto the southwest spur of Peak 7551.

Leave the road here, cross the stream, and climb up the steep slope of desert scrub in an easterly direction. The base is loose gravel, so proceed slowly and steadily to avoid losing your footing. Reach a flat area at 6,800 feet. This is the toe of the southwest spur. This spur leads up to the west ridge of the peak. Weave your way northeast up through the desert scrub, using gaps and game trails to expedite your ascent. You will notice a large gully on your right/south side, which also leads up to the west ridge. On the far side of the gully is Point 7320, but that is NOT the summit. The actual summit is not visible from here since it sits back to the east on a gradually-rising ridge higher up.

You will soon intersect the west ridge at just over 7,000 feet. Bend right/east here and continue up more desert scrub until you reach the flat summit area. The summit high point is at the east end of this gentle summit hump. No signs of livestock on this peak, but I did find deer scat on the summit. The actual highest point is a bit difficult to ascertain and there were no signs of previous ascent. With the few rocks I could find, I build a small cairn on what I perceived to be the highest point of this open, airy summit.

South Face, Class 2+


Same as for the southwest spur/west ridge

The Descent

If you ascend the relatively straightforward southwest spur/west ridge, you might yearn for some excitement. The south face route might just be your ticket. This route is quite straightforward. From the summit hump, descend due south (with a slight eastward tilt) down the very steep face on scree/dirt/gravel and easy scrub. The USGS topo map shows the south face as mostly forested but it’s not. There are some scattered mountain mahogany trees on the slope but they are easy to avoid.

Plunge-step your way down this steep, loose face at a rapid pace. Stay left/east of a prominent gully that splits the south face. As you start to approach the creek (and nearby road), follow a game trail right/west until it drops to FSR-225 at a point just after the road has crossed to the north/near side of the creek. Cruise down the road to its junction with Georgetown Canyon Road where you are parked. The south face is a very steep, loose slope and is not advised as an ascent route.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Southwest Spur/West Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  • Other First Ascent: South Face -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.29089   Latitude: 42.49069

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