Peak 8074 (Big Dry Canyon Ridge) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,072 ft
Prominence: 1,334

The [lower] Southwest Summit (left) and Point 7967 (right) as viewed from the summit of Peak 8074. Livingston Douglas Photo

This peak is not in the book. Published December 2019


Date of Climb: June 11, 2019

Peak 8074 is the high point of a long ridgeline that separates Big Dry Canyon from Martin Canyon. The easiest ascent route is via a BLM trail from Muldoon Summit up to the Italian Spring area and a scramble up the Southeast Face. A long, more aesthetic route is the Southwest Ridge and would make a good early-season, snow-free scramble. USGS Seamans Creek

The [lower] Southwest Summit (left) and Point 7967 (right) as viewed from the summit of Peak 8074. Livingston Douglas Photo

The [lower] Southwest Summit (left) and Point 7967 (right) as viewed from the summit of Peak 8074. Livingston Douglas Photo

Northeast Ridge, Class 2

Access

Same as for the Southeast Ridge Route of Peak 8301. This route is the final leg of a ridge traverse from Vue Benchmark to Peak 8074.

The Climb

From the saddle at the head of Martin Canyon, follow a “revegetated” dozer line SE up to a ridge. Once on the ridge, turn R/S and continue up a dozer line on the W side of the ridge crest to reach a saddle just SW of Point 7515. The dozer line is quite overgrown with vegetation now and isn’t much better than the surrounding bushwhack. The underlying loose dirt/scree/gravel in the tracks of the dozer line is also a negative factor.

The BLM sign for the “Revegetated Dozer Line” which can be seen behind the sign. Livingston Douglas Photo

The BLM sign for the “Revegetated Dozer Line” which can be seen behind the sign. Livingston Douglas Photo

At some point here (or soon after), leave the overgrown dozer line as it moves off the ridge to drop onto the L/SE face of the ridge. The ridge terrain is actually MORE STABLE than the dozer line! Scramble up the open terrain of the ridge to reach the scrub/grass summit of Peak 8074. The summit had no cairn, so I built one. The Northeast Summit measures at 5 feet higher than the Southeast Summit (Point 8040+).

The newly-built summit cairn atop Peak 8074. Livingston Douglas Photo

The newly-built summit cairn atop Peak 8074. Livingston Douglas Photo

Northwest Ridge, Class 2+

Access

Same as for the Northeast Ridge Route. This is the final leg of a loop route that begins and ends on Martin Canyon Road.

The Descent

From the Northeast Summit (8,074 feet), descend a short distance SW toward a saddle. Leave the ridge at 8,040 feet to descend (and find) the [somewhat-elusive] Northeast Ridge. To find it, stay to the R/NE of an obvious gully. The ridge becomes well-defined pretty quickly after an ill-defined start. Follow the ridge crest down through a charred pine forest and make fast time down the steep, loose gravel, scree, and pine duff. The forest is much better than the nearby scree slopes.

Use elk trails in the forest to expedite the descent. The forest is mostly open with standing snags and there isn’t much downed timber to slow you down. The charred soil is somewhat slippery. Lower down, the forest has some live pine trees and the vegetation thickens and becomes somewhat tedious. Eventually, Martin Canyon Road appears below. Drop down to the road at a point just NE and upstream from the base of the Southeast Ridge of Peak 8301. Once you reach the road, follow it down to your parking spot.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Pioneer Mountains

Longitude: -114.16209   Latitude: 43.49319

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