Woods Peak by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,730 ft
Prominence: 1,470

Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 134 of the book. Please note that the book contains another dyslexic error. The route described climbs the Northeast Ridge NOT the Northwest Ridge. Updated November 2019


Woods Peak is the highest of 3 ranked summits in the vicinity of Alder Creek. It is a rugged, beautiful summit. The standard ascent route is a Class 2 route up the Alder Creek Road/Trail then a finishing scramble up the final section of the East Ridge (some call it the Northeast Ridge). USGS Black Mountain 

North Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: July 26, 2019

Access

Same as for the Southeast Ridge of Peak 9140. This is the final leg in a climb of Peak 9140, Peak 9414 and Woods Peak with a return to the base of Alder Creek Road. This climb begins at the connecting saddle with Peak 9414 (9,080 feet).

The Climb

From the saddle, scramble up the obvious ridge crest SW (initially) then S. The lower section of this climb is heavily charred but more live trees mix in higher up. Just grind it out and work around the blackened pines and downed timber. The summit of Woods Peak has a decent cairn on top. It’s a bit difficult to ascertain the highest boulder/outcrop but the cairn is in the center outcrop, which seems to be the highest one.

East Ridge (Descent), Class 2+

Access

Same as for the North Ridge Route.

The Descent

From the summit, you have a birds-eye view of the long East Ridge, which leads down to Alder Creek. The initial 1,100 feet of descent is in a northeasterly direction. The ridge then bends R/E and continues down to 7,000 feet where it ends at Alder Creek. The Alder Creek Trail comes up out of the Alder Creek drainage to briefly follow the East Ridge but then drops ENE off the ridge to angle its way up to Alder Creek Pass.

There is a massive ridge buttress on the East Ridge at the 8,600-foot level. This buttress is clearly visible from the summit and is a good landmark to aim for when descending the ridge. From the summit of Woods Peak, descend ENE down the ridge on loose shelves of talus, scree, and boulders for 200 vertical feet to reach easier, safer ground below (less rock, more forest). There are still some rocky outcrops to maneuver around on the way to the ridge buttress.

Upon reaching the buttress, skirt its R/S side on boulders and talus to return to the ridge crest in easier, forested terrain below and move R/E as the ridge bends in that direction. The forest is now half-charred, but it goes quickly (no rock) and the MC/hiking trail (FST-4135) appears on the crest of the East Ridge as it reaches the ridge from the L/N side. Follow the trail briefly E along the ridge. It soon turns R/S and drops briefly to meet an old jeep trail (signed trail junction here). Go L/E onto the old jeep trail (which is the continuation of FST-4135) and follow it a short distance down to a major saddle/pass and another signed trail junction.

Go L/N to continue descending FST-4135 on an old jeep road. Follow the road/trail as it descends to, and crosses Alder Creek, making a sharp turn to the R/E. Continue to follow the old road/trail another 2 miles back to the base of Alder Creek Road and your parking spot. When viewed from a distance, Woods Peak is an impressive, rugged mountain.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Eastern Salmon River Mountains

Longitude: -114.31549   Latitude: 44.80169

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