Peak 8018 (Pole Canyon Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,018 ft
Prominence: 358

This peak is not in the book. Published 2018


Peak 8018 sits at the head of Pole Canyon. The peak separates Pole Canyon from Copenhagen Canyon. The West Ridge is a straightforward ascent from the junction of FST-309/Midland Trail and FST-938/Pole Canyon Trail. This junction can be reached either from the north via FST-309 or from the east via FST-938. Both trails begin near ID-36. USGS Midnight Mountain 

Date of Climb: September 12, 2018

West Ridge, Class 2

Access

From the junction of US-89 and ID-36 in Ovid, drive west on ID-36 for 12.0 miles (1/4 mile past Emigration Pass) to an unmarked L/E turn into a large trailhead/camping area. The Highline Trail/FST-316 cuts through this informal campground and follows FSR-430 SE then S. The elevation at the trailhead for FST-316 in this camping area is 7,400 feet.

If you are only climbing Peak 8018, the easiest access is via FST-309/Midland Trail from ID-36. The trailhead is located just off ID-36 on its L/S side about ¼ mile below (E of) the Emigration Campground turnoff. FST-309 leads up to a junction with FST-938/Pole Canyon Trail at the base of the West Ridge of Peak 8018. Scramble up the West Ridge from this junction.

Route

This route is part of a traverse from Peak 8482 to the west. Please refer to the Northeast Ridge/East Face Route for Peak 8482 for further details on the approach. From the junction of FST-309 and FST-938 (at 7,580 feet), hike S on FST-309 for about 100 yards to position yourself at the base of the West Ridge of Peak 8018 at a point where the forest bushwhacking is minimal and your access to the open, R/S side of the ridge crest is expedited.

Leave FST-309 here and bushwhack E through a short section of thick forest with lots of blowdown. You will quickly reach the open desert scrub of the R/S side of the West Ridge. Scramble eastward up the ridge on a delightful combination of easy scrub and scattered mountain mahogany. You will soon reach the summit of Peak 8018, only having to ascend 440 vertical feet in so doing. The summit is a narrow, rocky ridge with no signs of previous ascent. I built a nice cairn on the high point using ample loose talus nearby.

But is this the true summit? It is measured at 8,018 feet on the USGS topo map, but it shares the same contour with a large summit area to the east with the same highest contour interval (8,000 feet). Is the 8000+ east summit higher than the 8,018-foot west summit? I gots to know. So I did a laborious trek over to the east summit area through some thick brush and forest and explored that area. The east summit is a mix of desert scrub and scattered trees. The high point is on a minor “ridge” of sorts. However, the east summit measures at 10 feet lower in elevation, according to Mr. Altimeter. The western summit IS higher at 8,018 feet. Case closed.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

Longitude: -111.53229   Latitude: 42.35129

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