Peak 8970 (North Nyman Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,970 ft
Prominence: 350

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This peak is not in the book. Published October 2018

Peak 8970 (North Nyman Peak) is located at the north end of Andrew Nyman Mountain and is just over two miles north of Wilderness Peak. Andrew Nyman Mountain is a very big mountain and extends for several miles on the west side of Franklin Basin Road. It has several peaks and numerous points on its summit ridge. USGS Mapleton 

Please note that Maple Creek Trail/FST-310 no longer reaches Franklin Basin Road, as all of the maps suggest. Perhaps it has just faded away. This makes it more difficult to reach and climb the south ridge of Peak 8970. I looked for FST-310 as I drove up and down Franklin Basin Road and saw nothing there. I had planned to hike up FST-310 to the south ridge and follow the south ridge to the summit, but shifted to Plan B instead (the east shoulder/north ridge).

East Shoulder/North Ridge, Class 2


From the Utah side, leave Highway 89 at its junction with Franklin Basin Road/FSR-006. This signed junction is located 2.8 miles west of CR-243/Beaver Mountain Ski Area Road and 5.8 miles west of Swan Flat Road/FSR -014 on Highway 89 heading south. Unlike the access from the Idaho side (see Page 367 of the book), this access does not require 4WD and can be driven by passenger vehicles. At 5.7 miles, the Forest Service road crosses into Idaho and becomes FSR-406. At 8.0 miles, you reach a junction with Gibson Lakes Road/FSR-450 to the left.

Continue driving straight/north on FSR-406. At 10.9 miles (5.2 miles north of the Idaho/Utah border), you will see an unmarked jeep road on the left. This is FSR-1112. Turn left onto FSR-1112 and drive 0.1 mile to a wonderful campsite on its RHS. Park here (elevation is 7,868 feet). The road is gated and closed to motorized vehicles soon after passing the campsite. FSR-1112 provides an outstanding view of the summit of Peak 8970 (it is just south of due west from FSR-1112), its magnificent open east face/slope, and the open terrain on the left/south side of the east shoulder (and where the shoulder is).

The Climb

Hike briefly on FSR-1112 to the gated closure. Follow a cattle/use trail southwest downhill 40 feet (vertical) to cross a dry drainage in open desert terrain. From that low point, bushwhack south up through a steep forest to reach the east shoulder. Scramble west then northwest up the left/south side of the shoulder in easy open terrain (desert scrub) for about 500 vertical feet. From this point, bushwhack up the narrow ridge crest through forested terrain, climbing over a ridge hump and dropping 50 feet to a minor saddle. The shoulder is now rising due west and soon opens up. Unfortunately, the terrain is thick, tall desert scrub and is not much fun to plow through. Do not attempt to contour southwest to the ridge saddle between Peak 8970 and Point 8713—it is steeply angled, thick desert scrub. Just continue west to the top of Point 8713.

From Point 8713, follow the narrow summit ridge south to a saddle clogged with blowdown. Climb southward from the saddle up the ridge, staying on the left/east side of the ridge in open terrain (albeit thick desert scrub). The right/west side of the ridge crest is thickly forested and will hamper your progress so avoid it. You will soon reach the summit high point, just another bump on the ridge (albeit the highest one for two miles). There was nothing on top, so I build a modest cairn with the dinner-plate shale that was scattered about the summit.

East Face/East Ridge, Class 2


Same as for the east shoulder/north ridge

The Descent

From the summit, you have a birds-eye view of the somewhat ill-defined east ridge. Burn an imprint of that in your head because you’ll need that image to prevent going off-course on this descent. There are a number of forested sections and undulations on the east ridge that can be confusing. But if you do this descent correctly, you will spend almost all of your time in open terrain when descending this route. Make particular note of where the open areas are (almost entirely on the right/south side of the ridge). The left/north side of the ridge is forested. There are a few brief sections of forest that are unavoidable, but they are short-lived.

The east face is no problem if you stay on its southern half, which is open desert scrub. Its northern half is forested and must be avoided. The east ridge is absolutely DEAD EAST from the summit. Notice the location of Point 7989, which is clearly visible from the summit. If you can reach Point 7989, you have an easy descent from it to Franklin Basin Road/FSR-406 then a quick hike up the road to its junction with FSR-1112 where you are parked.

From the summit, descend the steep desert veg of the east face, staying just right/south of the forest. Aim for an area of open terrain at the bottom of the face to best access the east ridge. Once you are on the east ridge, just go DEAD EAST and stay to the right of the ridge crest, seeking out the areas of open terrain that continue to present themselves. If you do this, the ridge descent will go quickly and you won’t lose your way. The forest is clogged with blowdown and has no visibility, so do everything you can to avoid it.

As you approach Point 7989, you must drop to cross a dry drainage then climb 90 vertical feet in open terrain to reach the top of Point 7989. From Point 7989, descend east or northeast to reach the open terrain on the west side of Franklin Basin Road. Cross a dry drainage and more desert scrub to reach the road. Hike ¼ mile northward along the Franklin Basin Road to reach its junction with FSR-1112 and the campsite where you are parked.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: East Shoulder/North Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  • Other First Ascent: East Face/East Ridge —Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.64429   Latitude: 42.07149

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