Photos from this trip can be found here.
I took notice of Beaver Peak and Coal Lake two weeks ago while looking for the source of target shooting that kept breaking the silence while pup and I were on Independence Peak above North Lake. Getting to Coal Lake took less than a minute since it’s just off of the service road. I could only imagine the amount of people fighting for a spot by the lake shore in the summer.
Pup and I followed a faint hikers path west of the lake to the north end where the path petered out, then we started working our way up the basin brushy basin. We stayed mostly on climbers left, which turned out to not be a bad idea, as the amount of brush and slide alder grew the higher we went. We backtracked a bit and moved closer to middle of the basin, then slowly followed the dry creek bed up the basin.
Gradually brush turned into talus/heather slopes, and just before coming to a dead end below Beaver Peak’s north cliffs, we followed directions in reports to traverse left. We side-stepped steep slopes while traversing under cliffs on Beaver’s north ridge, attained the ridge at 4,700′. On the ridge we took a sharp turn and headed south toward the summit, meanwhile staying mostly on the steep slabby east slopes. Ridge crest was a bit rocky to walk on, and with cliffs dropping straight down west face, pup and I stayed as far away as possible.
After getting a good look at the summit from false summit, we dropped down onto a notch before climbing up again to reach the top. Veggie belay seemed to be the common theme among these rocky summits in the Inner Mountain Loop area. We ate lunch on the summit boulder, which required me pushing the pup up the big steps, but a breeze for him to down climb. Seeing that we still had plenty of daylight left, I thought we’d go and check out Anchracite Peak.
The closer we got to Anthracite, the ridge crest became rockier with more down trees, but it was much easier to side step on the steep west slopes to get to the 4,600′ saddle. A couple hundred feet of elevation gain later the terrain tapered off, and we found ourselves in a large meadow east of the summit. Getting to the summit from the there required some exposed traverse on the south face.
Summit was much flatter than it looked from Beaver, and it was very woodsy. I had to work my way through thick growth to get a photo of Beaver Peak. Views weren’t bad on the north side, even Mount Pugh to the east was visible through trees. Meadow below the summit had a much more open view but with fewer mountains to see.
Pup and I got back to bottom of Coal Lake Basin just before dark, and soon afterward we reconnected with the hikers path to go around the lake and out to the car.