Peak 7870 (Clifton Basin Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,870 ft
Prominence: 450

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019


Northeast Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: September 15, 2019

Peak 7870 is a ridge bump located on a magnificent narrow ridge crest that connects Buck Peak to Weston Peak. Peak 7870 sits directly above, and due west of, Clifton Basin. The summit is BARELY higher than Point 7863 to the northeast. Do all of the ridge points here, just to be sure! If the west wind is blowing, this is a breezy spot. USGS Clifton 

Access

Same as for Buck Peak. This climb is part of a ridge traverse from Buck Peak to Peak 7870 to Weston Peak to Old Baldy Peak.

The Climb

From the saddle connecting Buck Peak and Peak 7870 (7,060 feet), at which FSR-045 crosses the saddle, follow a footpath on the L/SE side of a fence row that heads SW up through the dense forest and brush. Regrettably, the fence row soon ends but there is still a narrow footpath near the ridge crest. The terrain here is very thick willows and brush. Do everything you can to stay on this elusive trail because the bushwhacking is rough here. The trail itself is, unfortunately, surrounded and/or overgrown with willows/brush, but it is still somewhat useful.

The ridge bends L/S and reaches open scrub. At this point, a well-defined footpath emerges. Follow this unofficial trail W up the ridge crest (yes, this ridge does some weaving) to the top of Point 7863. This is one of four bald ridge points. The third ridge hump is the summit of Peak 7870. But you still have a good 0.8 mile to go before you can celebrate on top of that peak. The terrain on this ridge traverse is mostly short scrub and broken scree but there is at least one section of thick veg/willows. Stay on the trail to make the quickest progress.

The ups and downs on this ridge will frustrate you, as will the West Wind, which is almost always blowing up here, even on a calm Sunday morning. When you finally reach the ridge crest summit of Peak 7870, you will find remnants of a summit cairn. I rebuilt it with the few pieces of talus/scree that I could find. Surprisingly, this summit doesn’t seem to see many visitors.

South Ridge (Descent), Class 1

Access

Same as for the Northeast Ridge. This descent is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 7870 to Weston Peak.

The Descent

From the summit, follow a decent 2-track jeep road that follows the ridge as it heads southward, climbs up over another ridge bump then doglegs R/W for a short distance. The old road then doglegs L/S to make a final descent to a saddle. FST-444 comes up from Clifton Basin to cross the ridge crest at this saddle.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bannock Range

Longitude: -112.08019   Latitude: 42.17848

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