Peak 8556 by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,556 ft
Prominence: 296

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2023

Peak 8556 is a rock-and-forest, ridgeline summit that sits due east of Golden Trout Lake in the Bighorn Crags. It is overlooked by climbers because it is four feet shy of being a ranked summit. But it is a beautiful mountain and is a worthy climbing objective. Finding it through the thick forest is arguably the crux. USGS Hoodoo Meadows

Peak 8556 (in mid-ground) as viewed from Peak 8762 to its northwest. My ascent route climbs the southwest ridge (skyline right of center). Livingston Douglas Photo


From the 4-way road junction, drive north then west then southup FSR-113 for a rugged, rutted 8.3 miles to a signed junction with FSR-114/Yellowjacket Lake Road.  Turn right/northwest to stay on FSR-113/Bighorn Crags Road and drive 1.8 miles to a signed junction for the “Outfitters Camp” (left). Park just past this junction in a meager roadside pullout (8,450 feet; 45⁰06’08”N, 114⁰31’05”W).

Southwest Ridge, Class 3

The Climb

From the road junction, bushwhack northeast down through easy pine forest down a face. There is an understory of short grass with minimal deadfall. The terrain morphs from a face to the right/southeast side of a ridge. Move onto the ridge crest and quickly reach a tiny saddle in the thick forest. From the saddle, scramble northeast up the ridge of pines and rocky outcrops/boulders to reach the summit area. Skirt the left/northwest side of several large ridge boulders/blocks to reach the hidden pile of blocks/boulders that constitute the high point of Peak 8556.

I mistakenly climbed one or two of the [lower] ridge blocks, thinking that I had reached the summit, which is not visible until you get very close to it. Scramble up the left/north side of the summit boulders (Class 3) to reach the top. There was no sign of previous ascent. The summit offers a magnificent, unobstructed view of the surrounding area. The southwest ridge is a mix of pines, ridge boulders/outcrops, granite gravel, short scrub, and minimal deadfall. It is an enjoyable short scramble to the summit boulders.

The rocky summit area of Peak 8556. Livingston Douglas Photo

The summit block of Peak 8556. Livingston Douglas Photo


Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Eastern Salmon River Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • First Ascent Year: 2023
  • Season: Summer
  • Route: Southwest Ridge
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -114.5075   Latitude: 45.1108

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