Peak 9331 (Firebox Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,331 ft
Prominence: 313

This peak is not in the book. Published December 2019


Peak 9331 sits just above Firebox Summit (9,018 feet) and Firebox Meadows. This peak is hidden in the pine forest on a flat hill. It is a navigational challenge to find it. The easiest ascent route is via FST-082 at Firebox Summit and the Northeast Face. It barely qualifies as a ranked summit. Peak 9331 is, in reality, a forested hump on the West Ridge of Gilmore Peak (10,748 feet). USGS Gilmore

West Spur/South Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: July 13, 2019

Access

Sawmill Canyon Road/FSR-101 is located 36.6 miles N of Howe on the Little Lost River Highway. Turn R/E onto [signed] Sawmill Canyon Road at a fork in the highway. At 6.7 miles, reach the Challis National Forest boundary. At 13.2 miles, reach a road junction near the Timber Creek Campground. Go straight here to stay on FSR-101. At 13.3 miles, reach a junction with Quigley Creek Road/FSR-523. Park here (7,320 feet). This climb is part of a loop route that includes an ascent of Peak 9331, Peak 9137, and Peak 9660. It begins and ends along Sawmill Canyon Road.

The Climb

From the road junction, hike up Quigley Creek Road/FSR-523 for about 0.7 mile to a R/S switchback at 7,720 feet. Continue a short distance farther up the road and leave it at 7,750 feet to climb the obvious ridge to the E. Bushwhack E up through a dense pine forest with lots of brush to bash through. Move L/N to the ridge crest for easier going. The brush and trees are thinner here and the blowdown is more moderate.

Work your way up the ridge through an open pine forest with embedded talus, short scrub, and minimal rocky outcrops. At just under 9,000 feet, intercept an old jeep road (not shown on the USGS topo) and follow it L/NE up on to the South Ridge. The South Ridge is very wide and ill-defined here. And it is, of course, forested. Continue on this good jeep road as it bends L/N and goes over Point 9185 and then descends slightly to an open saddle.

There is a major road junction in this saddle (also not shown on the USGS topo map). There is a good jeep road coming up a gully from the E here. Ignore it. Continue straight/N past a Forest Service sign that prohibits ATVs and MCs. The road seems to end here, but it doesn’t. You will almost immediately pick up the old road again, albeit in poorer shape than it was previously. Follow the old road N then NE up the amorphous ridge, with some minor meandering and switchbacking, to a high point area. There is no more uphill from here.

Leave the road and bushwhack through reasonably easy forest to the R/E to a nearby forest-and-rock ridge crest. Here you will find the summit cairn (dinner-plate shale) in the semi-open forest. This point is about 100 horizontal feet E of the jeep road and 20-25 vertical feet higher.

North Face (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the West Spur/South Ridge Route. This is the first leg of a ridge traverse from Peak 9331 to Peak 9137.

The Descent

From the summit, return W to the jeep road. Follow it briefly but, since it is heading NE then E, leave it to scramble N directly down the North Face of Peak 9331. You will soon reach an open area of talus and scree with great views of the Moonshine Creek drainage and the next peak on today’s agenda: Peak 9137. There is a small, open meadow among the pine trees in the saddle at the head of Moonshine Creek. Your objective is to reach that meadow.

Descend a slope of loose shale talus/scree to the awaiting forest. Bash your way through this dense forest, battling lots of downed timber. Maintain a dead N trajectory to reach the elusive meadow. When you pop out of the forest into the meadow, you will be relieved that you found it. But you will be dismayed when you discover that it’s a MARSH. A very wet one. This is the terminus of the North Face of Peak 9331.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Lemhi Range

Longitude: -113.36601   Latitude: 44.41729

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