Threemile Peak by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,215 ft
Prominence: 435

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018


Threemile Peak is an impressive mountain that rises up from the farmland and ranchland of the Bear River Valley. It is located east of Highway 30 between Georgetown and Bennington. USGS Georgetown

Date of Climb: September 2, 2018

Northwest Spur/North Ridge, Class 2

Access

From the signed turnoff on Highway 30 in the center of the bustling metropolis of Georgetown, ID, turn E onto Georgetown Canyon Road (which is called Stringtown Road within the city limits). Drive up the road to a junction at 2.3 miles (LEFT is CR-1095/Left Hand Fork Road; STRAIGHT is Georgetown Canyon Road/FSR-102). Go straight; the road changes from paved to gravel here. At 3.1 miles, you will see an unmarked dirt road on the R/S side of the road. This is the Right Fork Road/FSR-225. Park here. The elevation at this junction is 6,290 feet. FSR-225 is a narrow jeep road that is not suitable for most vehicles.

Route

Due to access issues on the west side of Threemile Peak, I had to give up my planned ascent of the West Ridge and climb this peak via a longer, more difficult route on its north side. The route begins at the junction of Georgetown Canyon Road and the Right Fork Road/FSR-225. Hike up the Right Fork Road for 0.9 mile to a [signed] junction with FST-522, an ATV trail on the R/S side of the road. This trail is NOT shown on the USGS topo map. Follow FST-522 as it climbs diagonally up to a saddle (6,980 feet) then drops southward 200 vertical feet to intersect the Dunns Canyon Trail/FST-504 at a signed junction.

Go L/E on FST-504 (an ATV trail) for ½ mile to the 6,950-foot level at the base of the Northwest Spur of the North Ridge of Threemile Peak. There is an obvious gully on the R/W side of the spur. Leave the trail here and begin a bushwhack up through the forest to reach the North Ridge. Initially, it is best to start in the gully and climb L/E up onto the Northwest Spur almost immediately. Deadfall is a bit of a problem in this gully, but it is short-lived. Once on the Northwest Spur, follow it SE through open forest (with some short sections of open terrain) using game trails and gaps in the veg to expedite your ascent. There are some annoying sections of willows, thick veg, and blowdown. At about 8,150 feet, the Northwest Spur merges with the Northeast Spur to form the North Ridge.

At this point, the ridge bends R/S and continues almost due S to the summit. At about 8,700 feet, you must scramble up an open talus slope. Continue bushwhacking southward to reach the thickly forested summit ridge area. The high point is at the SE end of this flattish summit ridge section. You will pass a minor false summit en route. Views from up here are minimal due to the thick forest, but on the summit high point (which has a modest cairn), there is a nice view of Bennington and Montpelier. There was no summit register on top. For the purists out there, the actual high point is slightly W of the cairned summit location, but the two spots are very close in height.

North Ridge/Northeast Spur, Class 3 —DESCENT

Access

Same as for the Northwest Spur/North Ridge Route.

Route

From the summit of Threemile Peak, descend the North Ridge to 8,300 feet. From there, descend the Northeast Spur down to Dunns Canyon. This is a somewhat tedious endeavor since the forested spur is not well defined until farther down and you must battle with thick brush and blowdown. The R/E side of the spur is better defined in that there is a prominent gully there. Keeping that gully in sight is helpful in staying on course in this thick forest. As you approach the valley floor, the ridge steepens considerably and you have two options: either descend NW or N.

The NW descent is shorter and faster, so I chose it to minimize any additional bushwhacking. This section is so steep (Class 3) that you will be grabbing tree branches to brake your descent. Once you reach the valley floor, you must cross Dunns Canyon Creek (a dry creek bed) and then climb up out of the creek bed to reach Dunns Canyon Trail/FST-504. At this point, you are positioned at the base of the South Face/South Shoulder of Peak 7885. If you plan to climb that peak (as I was), you are in an absolutely perfect position to do so.

Southeast Ridge, Class 2 —ASCENT AND DESCENT

Access

Same as for the Northwest Spur/North Ridge Route. This ridge is part of a ridge traverse from Threemile Peak to Peak 9420 (and back), its higher neighbor to the southeast. The easiest access to this ridge is via Little Threemile Canyon (I found a well-beaten cattle trail heading down this canyon), but this access is blocked by private land at the mouth of the canyon.

Route

This ridge is navigationally challenging. You must consult a USGS topo map to avoid getting off course in this mix of thick forest and semi-open terrain. You will even find an area of open terrain (desert scrub) on the R/S side of the ridge just above Saddle #1. The terrain on this ridge has thick trees, brush, and lots of blowdown. It is NOT FUN. The only respite is an open scrub slope that has cattle trails (and, when I was there, cattle) in it. Unfortunately, it is a tease because it doesn’t last for long.

From the summit of Threemile Peak, descend the ridge southeast down to 9,000 feet. At this point, it is critical to turn L/E to reach Saddle #1 at 8,860 feet. If you miss this turn, you will descend into Little Threemile Canyon. Saddle # 1 has a well-beaten cattle trail crossing it and has a forested hump on its east side. From Saddle #1, contour eastward through a miserable section of forest with excessive blowdown to reach Saddle #2 (8,780 feet), which lies at the head of Little Threemile Canyon. This forested saddle is riddled with blowdown. It is very unpleasant to navigate across.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Northwest Spur/North Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: Southeast Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  •  
  • Other First Ascent: North Ridge/Northeast Spur -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.28249   Latitude: 42.46401

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