Damnation Peak by Salvation Peak via Thornton Lakes Road / 詛咒峯

  • Reading time:7 mins read

Damnation Peak by Salvation Peak and Oakes Peak is accessible via Thornton Lakes Road. It rests above the headwaters of Damnation Creek, overlooking North Cascades Highway. In turn, the highway offers the quickest way to the peak.

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 areas’ peaks.

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

This way to Damnation Peak
This way to Damnation Peak

See more trip photos here.

Road 3745

We drove up to the abandoned road (Road 3745) fork at 2245′ in the early morning. Shortly, we walked the path to its end without route-finding. We bypassed the brush, down trees and mud puddles mainly from the west.

Snow showed up at mile 1.5 but was still firm to continue in boots comfortably. After putting on snowshoes by the confluence, we crossed the raging water on a big log. I took off the snowshoes when the slopes steepened later at 3400′.

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 stood before us at 5000′. The wet snow hasn’t made any releases today. So we bypassed via the more moderate east side 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′ 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. Then there were Mount Baker, Mount Blum, Bacon Peak, Canadian Bacon, and the tip of Mount Shuksan. 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

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

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