Elevation: 9,780 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Peak 9780 is a ranked summit on the Continental Divide at the head of the West Fork Wimpey Creek drainage. It is one of many ridge bumps on the Divide. Old jeep roads will get you close to the top. The views from the top are expansive and beautiful. USGS Goldstone Pass
West Fork Wimpey Creek/West Ridge, Class 2
Date of Climb: August 1, 2019
From the Mormon Church at the south end of Salmon, drive south on US-93 for 5.3 miles. Turn L/E onto North Barracks Lane. Drive 1.2 miles on the paved road, which turns R/S and becomes Lemhi Road. Turn L/E onto Bohannon Creek Road and drive 2.7 miles. Turn R/S onto West Fork Wimpey Creek Road. Drive 4.3 miles on this narrow, but good, dirt road to an unmarked junction high on a ridge. Turn L onto an unsigned dirt road and drive 0.2 mile to a pullout/campsite. Park here (6,430 feet). The road gets steeper and much rougher after this point.
This climb is mostly Class 1 (on roads) with a short scramble to reach the summit. From the pullout/campsite, hike N up the road, which soon bends NE. Ignore any side roads. The road eventually drops off the ridge and descends diagonally down to West Fork of Wimpey Creek, losing 110 of elevation in so doing. The road follows the L/NW side of the creek NE then E.
The road eventually crosses to the R/S side of the creek. Thankfully, there is a massive fallen tree for hikers to cross the large creek without requiring wading. After a few minor creek crossings (of feeder streams), the road reaches an unsigned junction at the remains of an old cabin (to the left). Do NOT go straight and cross the creek again. Instead, go sharply R to begin the first switchback up this steep slope. You can kiss West Fork Wimpey Creek goodbye here because you won’t see it again until you descend back down the road.
The road does a series of steep switchbacks to approach the Continental Divide. It reaches an unsigned junction in open terrain just below the Divide. Do NOT go straight/NE here on the good jeep road. Instead, go R/E on the weaker jeep road. This weak jeep road gets better as it rises 10 vertical feet and then drops 40 vertical feet over a ¼-mile stretch to reach the final unmarked road junction.
The main road (the one you’ve been hiking on) bends R-ish to continue southward below the Continental Divide on its West Side. A weak 2-track jeep road goes straight. Leave this road junction and scramble L/E up a hillside of open forest, grass, and a rocky base to quickly reach the Continental Divide. Scramble R/E through an easy open forest to the small summit area of Peak 9780. From the departure point on the road, it takes a whopping 7 minutes to reach the summit.
There are two large cairns nearby, but neither is on the high point. I built a small cairn on the high point, which is near a pine tree. There IS a cairn and USFS metal post at the [lower] West End of the summit. There is a survey cairn with a simple wooden post in it near the East End of the summit area, just below the high point. The USGS topo map is very helpful in following the appropriate old roads to reach this summit. Since there are several ridge points on the Continental Divide with similar elevations, it is critical to find the correct one in order to bag Peak 9780. Don’t treat that aspect of this hike lightly. It would be very easy to accidentally climb the wrong ridge hump.