Peak 8801 (Copenhagen Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,801 ft
Prominence: 461

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018


Peak 8801 is the highest and westernmost of three ranked summits on the south side of Copenhagen Canyon. It is seldom visited. Peak 8801 is located at the head of Copenhagen Canyon and is the highest of five ranked summits that surround the canyon. Unlike its ranked counterparts, Peak 8801 has extensive boulders (whitish in color) on its upper reaches (top 300 vertical feet).  USGS Midnight Mountain 

Date of Climb: September 14, 2018

Northeast Ridge, Class 3

Same as for the West Ridge of Peak. This route is part of a ridge traverse from the summit of Peak 8142.

Route

From the 7,780-foot connecting saddle at the base of the Northeast Ridge, bushwhack SW across the open forest (with only sporadic blowdown to circumvent) of the saddle. The terrain quickly changes to massive blowdown (HUGE diameter pine tree logs), requiring lots of weaving to make upward progress. Just keep grinding your way SW up the rounded, ill-defined ridge in the pine forest. Ground boulders start appearing at 8,350 feet and a full-blown boulder field starts at 8,400 feet. The boulder field initially has veg mixed in (ouch!) but soon loses the veg and becomes a straightforward scramble on open, whitish-colored boulders that are reasonably stable.

Higher up the ridge, the terrain changes to a mix of forest and large boulders (Class 3 terrain). When you reach the summit plateau at 8720+, you find Point 8760+ (barely visible on the USGS topo map) at the E end of the summit plateau. This point is a nice perch from which to view the surrounding area or to have a snack. I found a torn-down cairn here. Perhaps hunters use this spot to scope for their prey. Unfortunately, you are still a good ¼ mile away from the true summit to the west.

Leave Point 8760+ and scramble due W through a confusing mix of ground boulders, sand/gravel, and scattered trees (both aspens and pines). In addition, there are some entire sections of forest to block your visual of the plateau. When you finally reach the highest ground (an area of elevated aspen trees), it is difficult to identify the high point/summit for this peak. The USGS topo map suggests that there is a small hump or pinnacle that sticks out of the terrain, but that is not the case. The high point is one of a series of massive ground boulders that protrude from the ground by a good 2-3 feet. Sections of forest/trees are nearby, as the map suggests.

I found nothing on top—no cairn, no summit register. I built a small cairn on what appeared to be the highest boulder, using the few loose pieces of talus that I could round up. My GPS gave it an elevation of 8,801-8,804 feet, dead on the money. There was an old, crushed soda can nearby. That was the only sign of previous ascent. Given the surrounding trees and the flat, expansive nature of the summit area, there are no views to speak of.

North Face, Class 3 —DESCENT

Access

Same as for the Northeast Ridge Route.

Route

From the summit, descend N (briefly) then slightly NE down the face to follow the fall line. Your objective is to reach the canyon floor and find an old road/trail that follows the [dry] drainage eastward to Copenhagen Canyon Road/FSR-442. The upper section of the descent is on large boulders with aspens mixed in. This changes to an open boulder field with veg mixed in (Class 3). Upon reaching the 8,400-foot level, you reach the forest and say “Goodbye” to the whitish-colored boulders. Cruise downhill through the open pine forest, skirting forest brush and blowdown as necessary.

Use game trails to expedite your descent into the canyon, reaching the dry drainage on the floor of Copenhagen Canyon at about 7,750 feet. You will immediately find an old trail (remnants of an old road) on the S side of the drainage. This is a GODSEND. Follow this trail eastward down the drainage and pick up an unmaintained ATV road/trail that soon becomes Copenhagen Canyon Road/FSR-442. Follow FSR-442 back down to the NF boundary where you are parked.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Northeast Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: North Face -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.56029   Latitude: 42.32979

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