Elevation: 9,442 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Peak 9442 is the high point on a prominent, forested ridge on the East Side of Morse Creek near the mouth of the canyon. Peak 9122, also a ranked summit, lies at the Southwest End of this ridge. While not as high as its alpine neighbors to the north, Peak 9442 is no slouch. It rises over 3,000 feet above Morse Creek. The easiest ascent route is via the North Ridge/Northeast Spur from FST-072/Falls Creek Trail at an 8,340-foot saddle. USGS Mogg Mountain
South Spur/Southwest Ridge, Class 2
Date of Climb: July 29, 2019
Same as for the Northwest Ridge Route on Peak 9122. This climb is the final leg of a ridge traverse from Peak 9122.
From the 8,620-foot saddle at the base of the South Spur, scramble NE directly up the slope to reach the ridge crest of the South Spur. Once on the ridge, turn L/N and follow the ridge N then NE to reach open Point 9285. From here, you can see Point 9220 (a minor ridge hump) and the summit of Peak 9442 to the NE. Follow the easy forested ridge, skirting blowdown as necessary, to reach the open summit of Peak 9442. You will find an old elk/use trail on the final uphill to help you get through the gravel/scree base and navigate through the pines and blowdown. The summit has a modest summit cairn and is clearly the high point. The views from here are splendid, particularly when you’ve spent so much of this climb in the forest.
West Ridge (Descent), Class 2+
Same as for the South Spur/Southwest Ridge Route. This is the final leg of a loop route that begins and ends at the Morse Creek Campground.
From the summit, descend the open forest of the Southwest Ridge to a critical ridge junction just past Point 9285. Descend NW to find the West Ridge. It’s not obvious because the forest is thick here, but you soon find it as it becomes very well-defined. The ridge crest bushwhack from here is an unpleasant combination of thick/short pines, blowdown, and rock. Push down through this mess to reach a narrow, flat ridge section.
This flat section has pines and blowdown on the ridge crest to slow you down. At the end of this flat section, the ridge forks at Point 8580. But this fork is NOT OBVIOUS. Be sure to go L/W here. If you just keep following the ridge crest as it borders the massive gully to its L/S, you won’t even know that there was a fork in the ridge. I didn’t.
Now you must descend another tedious ridge section that is a combination of rocky outcrops, blowdown, thick pines, and mountain mahogany. There are areas of talus/scree mixed in as well, so side-hilling here is not a good option. You eventually reach a gentler pine forest below. Now you can cruise down the final 1,000 vertical feet or so.
You will find elk trails crossing the ridge lower down. As you approach the valley floor, look for a trail on the far side of the gully to your L/W. Cross the dry gully to reach it. This use trail is narrow and overgrown but it leads SW directly to the Morse Creek Campground and stays S of [raging] Morse Creek.