Swanty Peak by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,583 ft
Prominence: 203

This peak is not in the book. This peak is part of the Trout Creek Pass Grand Slam completed by Livingston Douglas. Published November 2019


Swanty Peak is an impressive mountain that sits due south of Dads Hump and South Tit. It has two summits of similar height. The south summit is about 20 feet higher than the measured north summit. The USGS map correctly labels the south summit as “Swanty Peak.” The traverse from South Tit requires a 650-foot descent to Little Willow Creek and a subsequent climb of over 700 feet to reach the north summit of Swanty Peak. It is the most difficult traverse of the Trout Creek Pass Grand Slam. Swanty Peak is Peak #3 in this multi-peak endeavor. USGS Mahogany Butte

North Face/North Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: October 5, 2019

Access

Same as for South Tit. This route is part of a traverse from South Tit.

The Climb

This climb begins on the summit of South Tit. The summit of South Tit provides a magnificent view of the North Face and North Ridge of Swanty Peak, but it does NOT provide an adequate perspective on the feasibility of descending the Southeast Face of South Tit. In retrospect, I wish I had descended the Southeast Face because, while it is steep, it is open scrub and is a direct line to the base of the North Face of Swanty Peak.

Instead, I descended the Northeast Face of South Tit and then bushwhacked E to begin a semi-circular contour route around the head of the Little Willow Creek drainage to access the North Ridge of Swanty Peak. Bad idea. The head of the Little Willow Creek drainage is a convoluted mess of brush/aspen-filled gullies and shoulders. It is tedious and miserable. Early on, I could see that this was not going to work, so I descended directly to Little Willow Creek and followed it to the base of the North Face of Swanty Peak.

From the 6,850-foot level in the Little Willow Creek drainage, jump across the small creek and grind your way up a steep, unpleasant face of thick sagebrush and loose underlying gravel, staying to the R/W of a thick forested area. The face here is a shoulder of sorts. As unpleasant as this bushwhack is, just keep working your way up the face until the sagebrush shortens and gaps out a bit, making the climb much easier. At about 7,300 feet, you will reach the open terrain of the North Ridge.

Now it is simply a cruise on open scrub and broken rock to Point 7583, the north summit of Swanty Peak. From this point, it is clear that the south summit is a bit higher. But since the south summit has no specific altitude measurement (it is simply “7,560 feet plus” based on the contour lines), Swanty Peak carries the elevation of the [lower] north summit (7,583 feet). But, make no mistake about it, the south summit is the high point and has a cairn atop it. Mr. Altimeter measures it at 20 feet higher than the north summit and, visually speaking, it is clearly the high point.

There is a rather ugly saddle between the north summit and the south summit—ugly because it is covered with a thick aspen forest. As you approach this saddle from the north, angle L/SE to minimize the forest bushwhack and reach a cattle fence on the other side of the forest/saddle. Follow the fence row R/SW to reach the open summit of Swanty Peak. The high point is at the W end of a slanted plateau. A couple of boulders and other rock/talus mark the summit. I rebuilt the torn-down summit cairn.

Northeast Face (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the North Face/North Ridge Route. It is, of course, much easier to access the Northeast Face from FST-874 to the northeast, but that is not the direction from which I approached the mountain.

The Descent 

From the South Summit of Swanty Peak, descend directly down the Northeast Face on steep scrub and loose gravel. You will probably find the going a bit easier and less loose if you stay close to the cattle fence on the L/N side of the face. Bushwhack through a short section of aspen forest to reach FST-874 in a flat, open area due NE of the South Summit of Swanty Peak.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: South Hills

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: North Face/North Ridge
  • Year: 2019
  • Season: Fall
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -114.15979   Latitude: 42.07089

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