Peak 9140 (Castle Creek Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,140 ft
Prominence: 400

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019


Peak 9140 is a seldom-climbed, double-humped summit that is tucked behind Alder Creek Pass. It sits at the head of the Castle Creek drainage. The easiest ascent route is via FSR-341 then FST-4135 to Alder Creek Pass. Bushwhack NE from the pass then climb a ridge N to a saddle between the Southeast Summit and the Northwest Summit. Follow the ridge NW to the West Summit, the high point. This area is heavily burn-scarred and is not a pleasant place to bushwhack. This is one of three ranked summits in the immediate area. The others are Peak 9414 and Woods Peak (9,730 feet). USGS Black Mountain

Southeast Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: July 26, 2019

Access

Alder Creek Road is located 15.6 miles up Morgan Creek Road from US-93 north of Challis, ID. Turn L/W onto Alder Creek Road and drive 0.1 mile to a primitive campsite. Park here (6,650 feet). The road gets narrower and rougher from here and is best suited for ATVs and MCs.

The Climb

From the campsite, hike W up Alder Creek Road/FSR-341 for about 2 miles to an unsigned road fork (7,550 feet). FSR-341 goes L/S to cross Alder Creek here. Leave FSR-341 here and follow an old jeep road that goes straight/NW and then bends R/N to climb up to the crest of the Southeast Ridge of Peak 9140. This old road is not shown on the USGS topo map and it flames out pretty quickly, though it does help get you up near the ridge crest. The road weakens and becomes more of a footpath higher up. Once it reaches the blowdown and thick vegetation near the ridge, the road/footpath simply disappears at about 8,450 feet.

From here, bushwhack NW up the ridge (which is more of a face at this point) to reach a narrow, rocky ridge section at 8,800 feet.  This bushwhack is through an open, burnt pine forest and requires weaving around many downed, charred logs. The narrow ridge section is almost ¼ mile long and is a tedious combination of boulders, rocky outcrops, and burnt trees/logs. Once past this difficult section, the ridge drops about 60 vertical feet to a magnificent, easy open pine forest. There is no brush here and the charred snags are well separated, allowing for easy bushwhacking.

From this flat, saddle-like area, scramble northward, doing a diagonal ascent to the saddle that separates the Northwest Summit from the [lower] Southeast Summit of Peak 9140. Climb NW from this somewhat-clogged saddle up through a half-dead/half-live pine forest to reach the charred summit. A modest cairn is here. There are simply no signs of life here. The sense of death is profound.

West Face (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the Southeast Ridge Route

The Descent

From the summit, descend SW then W down the half-charred face. This face is slippery due to a loose gravel base. The terrain includes areas of thick pine forest and brush. You reach FST-135 (an old hiking trail) after descending about 500 feet in elevation. Follow FST-135 southward to reach Alder Creek Pass (8,750 feet), gaining just over 100 feet in elevation.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Eastern Salmon River Mountains

Longitude: -114.30689   Latitude: 44.82319

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