Peak 8110 (Little Phosphy) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,110 ft
Prominence: 380

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018


Peak 8110 is a neglected summit that is tucked in between Freeman Ridge to the north and Snowdrift Mountain to the south. This is an active phosphate mining area. Freeman Ridge is currently being mined for phosphate; previously, Snowdrift Mountain had an active phosphate mining operation. Access is restricted in the area north of Peak 8110.There is no mining activity on Peak 8110 and foot traffic IS allowed on this mountain. USGS Snowdrift Mountain 

Date of Climb: August 31, 2018

West Face, Class 4

Access

From the signed turnoff on Highway 30 in the center of the bustling metropolis of Georgetown, ID, turn E 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 3.5 miles, you enter the Caribou National Forest.  At 11.7 miles, the road crests at Georgetown Saddle and enters Caribou County. At 12.9 miles, the road forks (STRAIGHT is CR-1102/Diamond Creek Road; RIGHT is FSR-146); go straight here onto Diamond Creek Road. Drive about 0.2 mile on Diamond Creek Road to a saddle at 7,870 feet. Park here.

Route

From the saddle on Diamond Creek Road, scramble E over a minor ridge then drop 20 feet to the [active] service road for the phosphate mining operation on Freeman Ridge to the north. The service road is a wide, hard-surfaced road and has phosphate-hauling trucks traveling it from early morning onward. Be careful in crossing it. On the E side of the road, you face the crux of this climb. The mining company cut away the side of this mountain to create the service road and denuded the once-forested slope above the cut. Surmounting the steep cut is difficult. The terrain is hardened schist-like gravel/broken rock. You will struggle to find ANY line to make your assault up this initial 20-foot wall. I had to kick-step into the wall to get any purchase, and it wasn’t very good. There are no handholds. It is a tricky, somewhat dangerous short pitch.

Once atop this initial wall, climb up a steep open slope of dirt/gravel to reach the untouched forest above. The forest has quite a bit of deadfall and thick brush. Just keep pushing eastward. You will soon reach a minor ridge point at 8060+. You will be disappointed when you find that it is not the summit. I know I did. From this ridge point, drop 20 feet or so eastward to a saddle of thick brush and scattered trees. Continue eastward up onto the Northeast-to-Southwest summit ridge. Follow the clogged ridge L/NE to reach the summit high point. This high point is in a thicket of willows. Stand atop the willows and claim VICTORY! There were no signs of previous ascent.

The descent of this route is quite fast (15 minutes). Fortunately, on the descent, I found a minor diagonal “ramp” and plunge-stepped in the loose gravel/schist to reach the base of the 20-foot wall at the base of the face. Look both ways, cross the active service road, and return to your vehicle. You’ll be glad to have this climb over with. It’s ugly, scarred, and scary.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: West Face
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.21439   Latitude: 42.59139

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