Elevation: 8,990 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published October 2018
Date of Climb: August 21, 2018 Peak 8990 is arguably the ranked Idaho summit that lies closest to the Idaho/Utah border. It is located about 0.2 miles directly north of the border. USGS Mapleton
East Ridge, Class 3
This route is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 9331 to Peak 8990 via Point 9316. Consequently, the route begins at the 8,980-foot ridge saddle at the base of the South Ridge of Peak 9331 (South Nyman Peak). Please consult the route descriptions for Peak 9331 for information regarding the climb up to Peak 9331 from White Canyon Road.
From the 8,980-foot ridge saddle just south of Peak 9331, follow the ridge southward in open terrain up and over a few ridge bumps to reach a minor saddle just N of Point 9316. Follow the ridge southward from the saddle briefly to reach the West Ridge of Point 9316. Descend the steep West Ridge to a saddle at the base of the East Ridge of Peak 8990. The elevation at this saddle is 8,580 feet. The West Ridge has some serious chop in it. In addition, the ridge crest has sections of large pines and blowdown to contend with. It is best to stay close to the ridge crest and move to the steeply angled N face of the ridge (Class 3 terrain) as necessary to make progress. There are two separate, well-beaten cattle/use trails that cut across the N face diagonally that may help you in your descent to the 8,580-foot saddle at the base of the ridge. This gentle saddle has a trail crossing it and a cairn on it.
This route is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 9331 via Point 9316. In the Approach section, the ridge traverse from the saddle just south of Peak 9331 to the saddle just east of Peak 8990 is discussed. From the 8,580-foot ridge saddle at the base of the East Ridge, climb the ridge westward, using an elk trail initially to help in your ascent. Unfortunately, the elk trail flames out rather quickly and you must scramble up the ridge through a mix of forest and open terrain to reach Point 8,800+. This point is much more of an obstacle than the USGS map suggests. It is easy to ascend from the E but it has a cliff face on its W side.
You now face the Class 3 crux of the climb. Downclimb S and then W to descend from this point. Quickly return N to the R/N side of the ridge crest and skirt the R/N side of some ridge blocks/towers on a wonderful ramp that descends to just below a final, minor ridge saddle. Upclimb leftward to leave the ramp and reach the saddle. Unfortunately, the descent from Point 8,800+ requires a 110-foot loss in elevation, which must be re-climbed on the return. Neither skirting the point on its N side (in thick, angled, blowdown-strewn forest) nor on its S side (in veg + boulders/ridge rock) are good alternatives. Sorry. The final scramble up the ridge (W then N) is on open terrain—a mix of easy broken rock and veg. The summit area is an elongated North to South ridge of talus/scree with a couple of rocky outcrops to skirt on the R/E side to reach the summit. The summit of Peak 8990 is a boulder on the ridge crest. No signs of previous ascent, so I built a decent cairn atop this boulder.
East Ridge, Class 3 ––DESCENT
This route is part of a ridge traverse to from Peak 8990 to Peak 9260 via Point 9316. Retrace the route from the summit back to the 9,580-foot saddle at the base of the East Ridge.