Damnation Peak by Salvation Peak via North Cascades Highway / 詛咒峯

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Damnation Peak by Salvation Peak rests above the headwaters of Damnation Creek. Meanwhile, this high point inside North Cascades National Park overlooks North Cascades Highway. In turn, the highway provides the most direct way to reach the summit.

There she is
Destination: Damnation Peak

See more trip photos here.

Damnation Peak at a Glance

Access: NF-3745
Round Trip: 7.7 miles
Elevation Range: 2240′-5635′
Gear: snowshoes, ice ax
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

In the past, I’d driven past Goodell Creek and Bacon Creek off the highway many times. But I haven’t had the chance to explore the area until now. Other than Mount Triumph, I was unfamiliar with most peaks in the area.

The pups joined me on Damnation Peak after my outing two days ago. I wasn’t 100% sure if the peak were dog-friendly, but I thought we’d give it a try. In the end, both of them were also able to reach the top with a bit of guidance.

This way to Damnation Peak
This way to Damnation Peak

See more trip photos here.

Road 3745

We arrived at the abandoned hidden road (Road 3745) at 2245′ in the early morning. Then the pups and I walked the path to its end. En route, we bypassed the brush, down trees, and mud puddles from the west.

Snow appeared at mile 1.5 but was still firm enough to continue in boots. I stepped through it a few times before I put on snowshoes by the confluence. Then we crossed the raging water on a log. Later, when the slopes steepened at 3400′, I took off the snowshoes.

Destination up ahead
Destination up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Damnation Peak South Ridge

South ridge was steepest from 3600′ to 4600′, and it was snow-free from 3600′ to 4000′. At the same time, it was too steep to walk in snowshoes comfortably. So I waited until the terrain flattened at 4600′ to put them on again.

Soon, a broad, steep gully appeared before us at 5000′. The wet snow hasn’t made any releases today. So we bypassed through the slopes on the east to avoid potential slides.

Oakes Peak from the south ridge
Oakes Peak from the south ridge

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

The most scenic part of the climb went from 5200′ up to the top. By then, all the high points around us had taken shape. Later at 150′ below the top, we went from snow onto a group of large boulders.

I left the snow gear at the bottom, thinking we were near the summit. But I quickly realized that wasn’t the case. So I went back and grabbed everything to finish the climb.

The final stretch
The final stretch

See more trip photos here.

Damnation Peak Summit Views

Mount Triumph and Mount Despair alone made me gaze for hours. Mount Baker, Mount Blum, Bacon Peak, Canadian Bacon, and the tip of Mount Shuksan all looked gorgeous! But we’ll come back for Salvation Peak for sure!

Views included Snowfield group, Icecap group, Big Devils Peak, Razorback Mountain, and the top of Glacier Peak. With Mount Triumph front and center, I could barely see the Picket Range behind it. Though, I managed to catch a glimpse of Mount Fury.

Northwest view
Northwest view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way back, I carried the snowshoes from 4600′ where it steepened again. Then we plunge-stepped our way down to 4000′ and re-entered the old-growth forest.

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