Climb of Newman Peak (10171)

Date of trip: 06/12/2013

Mileage: 7.52 Miles

Elevation Gain: 3234 Feet

Time: 4:45 Hours

Class: 3

Partners: None

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Newman Peak10171351SmokyKetchum, IdahoNoNo43.7565, -114.6311

Trip Report

I wanted to get out again while in Hailey for work. I was limited to something accessible via 2-wheel drive. I had Peak 10171 (Newman Peak) on my list for quite some time.

According to listsofjohn.com, nobody had claimed an ascent. I kind of expected to find an un-touched summit.

I left Hailey at 7am on a mostly cloudy morning. When higher peaks of the Smoky Range came into view, I consulted my topo and it seemed as if Newman Peak was the peak with the prominent rocky face most visible from the highway. Turns out it was.

I drove up Baker Creek Road, then onto Newman Creek Road. I followed Newman Creek road about a mile before it deteriorated, then stopped near a cabin.

The area I stopped at was covered in Arrowleaf Balsam Root and Lupine... very pretty! I started up the road. After .5 miles the road is marked closed and changes to a trail, before jumping back to a road bed when it switches back up the Newman Creek drainage. I followed the creek and not the road for about a mile on the way up, but I recommend the road! In addition, the road in this section is covered in Lupine and the views are better from the road (it is up out of the canyon bottom).

At around 8200' the road ended. I meandered towards the base of the east ridge of Newman Peak. It was very steep at first, with so-so footing. Once the ridge narrows, the footing becomes better and you have nice alpine basins on both sides of you.

The climbing is never too bad, with an occasional easy class 3 move (that could be avoided if you wanted). There are several places where you can stare down a steep couloir on either side of the ridge, so despite no technical difficulties, there is a nice feel to the ridge.

I sat on top for a few minutes taking in the view and snapping off pictures. I thought I'd investigate to see if there was a cairn, register, etc... Just then I saw a can of Coors on top... not a "Silver Bullet" can, but an old metal can where they used a can opener to poke a hole in the top. Then I saw what I thought was another can under a rock. When I got the rock up, I noticed it was a metal Wilson tennis ball container. Inside was a register, placed in 1954 and claiming ascent of Norton Peak. The only other signature in the register was from year 2000. I was only the 3rd party to visit the peak in 59 years! I thought this was a great find and welcome surprise.

Along with the surprise of the register, the views from the summit were better than expected as well. Boulders, White Clouds, Sawtooths, Smokys, Soldiers, Boise, and Pioneers were all in view. Plus, the clouds had cleared and it was a sunny day.

To top it off, I hit perfectly tempered hot springs only 6 minutes from the trailhead. A nice ending to a nice day!


Getting There

Turn off Highway 93 on Baker Creek Road. Drive 1.3 miles up Baker Creek Road and turn right onto Newman Creek Road (signed). I drove up Newman Creek road for 1 mile then parked. I believe you can get another .5 miles in a high clearance vehicle.


Hiking Directions

Follow the closed Newman Creek road up the drainage to 8200' where the road ends. I crossed the 2 creeks shown on the topo and then headed up to the east ridge. The ridge is wide and undefined down low, but narrows down and becomes obvious around 9400'. Continue to the summit on class 2 slopes.


Photos

View Slideshow

Newman Peak (left) from Highway 93
Newman Peak (left) from Highway 93
Peak from 500' Below
Peak from 500' Below
Looking down the route and Big Wood Valley
Looking down the route and Big Wood Valley
Sawtooths beyond Norton Peak
Sawtooths beyond Norton Peak
Summit register from 1954
Summit register from 1954
Baker Peak area
Baker Peak area
Lake 9192
Lake 9192
Galena Peak with Castle Peak behind
Galena Peak with Castle Peak behind
Newman Peak from around 8000'
Newman Peak from around 8000'
Lupine that stretched for miles!
Lupine that stretched for miles!
Hot springs after the hike!
Hot springs after the hike!




Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to Dan.
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