Peak 9331 (South Nyman Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,331 ft
Prominence: 351

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This peak is not in the book. Published October 2018

This peak is at the south end of Andrew Nyman Mountain and is two miles south 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

Southeast Face Via White Canyon, Class 2


From the Utah side, leave US-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 6.4 miles, you reach a junction with White Canyon Road/FSR-1113 to the left. This road is unmarked and has only a small sign at it (“White Canyon”) with an arrow pointing to the left.

White Canyon Road is a rough jeep road, so you may wish to park at its junction with Franklin Basin Road (7,756 feet). There is not much parking space here—only parking alongside the road for perhaps 2-3 vehicles. The road drops 0.2 miles (and about 30 feet) to the trailheads for both White Canyon Trail/FST-303 and Boss Canyon ATV Trail/FST-003. The Boss Canyon ATV trail goes left/south and has a small sign (FST-003). The White Canyon Trail has no sign and is no longer maintained. There is a footpath that goes to the right/north (it soon turns westward). This is the White Canyon Trail as it currently exists. It is used mostly by ranchers/shepherds and their cattle/sheep. As I recall, there is a small “no motorized vehicles” Forest Service sign at the start of this footpath.

Shamefully, all of the key maps show this trail as though it still exists (the NFS map and the Trails Illustrated Logan/Bear River Range map). The USGS topographical map actually shows a jeep road starting here and going up White Canyon. That road is long gone. The good news is that horse hoofs, cattle hoofs, and sheep hoofs have kept the trail in existence and it’s not too difficult to follow, but there are some areas (such as at the start) where it’s a faint footpath.

The Climb

From the junction of Franklin Basin Road and White Canyon Road, hike 0.2 miles down the road to a flat parking area. You will probably find ranchers’ pickup trucks here as well as a portable shepherd’s shack. If it’s summertime, you are undoubtedly going to run into a herd of cattle and/or sheep on your journey. Look for a footpath heading off to the right, with a “no motorized vehicles” Forest Service sign at its start. Follow this footpath across Logan River (a dry drainage in late summer) as the “trail” heads northward and upward. The trail soon bends left/west and follows the right/north side of bone-dry White Canyon Creek. You will go through thick willows at times on this dusty, sandy trail. The trail is mostly in desert scrub but eventually goes through some short sections of forest. Even in late summer, this canyon is quite chilly in early morning before the sun reaches the canyon floor.

At about two miles, the trail bends left/southwest and continues to gradually climb up the canyon. After about three miles, in a clearing at approximately 8,100 feet, leave the trail to scramble west up through desert scrub onto a prominent ridge/shoulder. Finding and reaching this shoulder is KEY to this climb because it is the gateway to the southeast face. The bushwhack up onto the shoulder is steep desert scrub and is not pleasant, but it’s relatively short (only 200 feet of vertical ascent). Upon reaching the crest of the shoulder, follow it upward in a southwesterly direction. The terrain on the left/southeast side of the ridge crest is open desert scrub with deer trails in it (+ lots of deer scat to boot). The terrain on the right/northwest side of the ridge crest is thick forest with lots of blowdown. Stay on the left/southeast side of the ridge crest to make your going easier. As you ascend this shoulder, look rightward to get a visual of the open terrain of the southeast face. You are now looking for a good place to descend rightward off the shoulder to cross a minor drainage and to reach that wonderfully open southeast face.

When you reach a flattish area at about 8,500 feet, leave the shoulder and descend northwest through thick forest (with lots of blowdown) to reach a dry drainage about 65 feet below the ridge crest. Contouring across this drainage is a BAD IDEA as it prolongs your battle with the downed timber and only saves you 65 feet of drop. When you reach the small, dry drainage, cross it and quickly climb up through a short section of trees to reach the open desert scrub (mostly sagebrush) of the southeast face. At this point, you will feel like you’ve almost got this bad boy in the bag. Unfortunately, you still have almost 1,000 feet of uphill to go. Grind your way up the steep, open slope, avoiding sections of willows and thicker scrub by staying to the left. As you go higher, the slope steepens even more but the desert scrub thins out and gets shorter.

It is extremely difficult to tell exactly where the summit is when you’re climbing up this face because the face is so steep. I reached the summit ridge about 100-150 feet northeast of the high point. A short stroll got me to the top. If you’ve been doing your aerobic training, you’ll be on the summit in under an hour from when you left White Canyon “trail.” The summit is a ridge with a couple of minor rocky outcrops/boulders on the ridge crest. Two boulders (fairly close to each other) were of similar height and were the high point(s). I believe that the north boulder is slightly higher, so I built a small cairn on it. No signs of prior ascent but I’m sure the peak has been previously climbed.

From the summit, you can follow the ridge northward two miles to Wilderness Peak or southward a mile to Point 9316 (a ridge corner point), from which you can either descend west on a connecting ridge to Peak 8990 or descend east on a connecting ridge to Peak 9260. From Peak 9260, you can descend to the Boss Canyon ATV Trail (FST-003) and follow it back to the White Canyon Road and nearby Franklin Basin Road.

South Ridge, Class 2


Same as for the southeast face via White Canyon

The Descent

This descent route is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 9331 to Peak 8990. From the summit of Peak 9331, follow the ridge southward to a minor saddle at 8,980 feet. The ridge crest has short pines clogging it. The right/west side of the ridge crest is thick with short pines, krummholz, and blowdown and should be avoided. Stay to the left/east side of the ridge crest in open terrain. The open terrain begins as a combination of rock and desert scrub and becomes purely desert scrub as you descend to the saddle. The south ridge goes at easy Class 2 since the desert scrub is relatively short and gapped at this altitude. The 8,980-foot saddle is the low point between Peak 9331 and Point 9316 just over a mile to the south.

If you wish to return to White Canyon, simply descend east down the drainage to re-join the ascent route at the crossing of the dry drainage and retrace your route back to the White Canyon Trail. You may be tempted to continue following the ridge southward to reach White Canyon “trail” where it crosses the ridge crest. Unfortunately, I traversed the entire ridge and found no sign of the White Canyon Trail there. If it is there, it’s mixed in with cattle trails. Given the uncertainty about the trail’s existence this high up, it may be better to follow the ridge southward from the saddle up to the first ridge hump. This ridge hump conveniently sits at the top of the shoulder that you climbed earlier in the day on your way to the southeast face of Peak 9331. Leave the ridge here and follow the shoulder east then northeast down to 8,300 feet then drop east to the White Canyon Trail where you left it earlier in the day. Follow the unmaintained trail back to White Canyon Road and nearby Franklin Basin Road.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Southeast Face via White Canyon
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  • Other First Ascent: South Ridge —Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.66069   Latitude: 42.01839

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