Peak 8990 (Border Joe) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,990 ft
Prominence: 410

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This peak is not in the book. Published October 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 south in open terrain up and over a few ridge bumps to reach a minor saddle just north of Point 9316. Follow the ridge south 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 north 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 north 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.

The Climb

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 east but it has a cliff face on its west side.

You now face the Class 3 crux of the climb. Downclimb south then west from this point. Quickly return north to the right/north side of the ridge crest and skirt the right/north side of some ridge blocks/towers on a wonderful ramp that descends to just below a final, minor ridge saddle. Climb 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 north side (in thick, angled, blowdown-strewn forest) nor on its south side (in veg + boulders/ridge rock) are good alternatives. Sorry. The final scramble up the ridge (west then north) 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 right/east 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

The 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.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: East Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.68179   Latitude: 42.00229

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