Salvation Peak by Damnation Peak / 靠詛咒峯的救星峯

During my research of Salvation Peak, I found that climbers sometimes referred to it as “Hellfire Peak.”. In reading more of the naming history, I, too, agree that “Salvation” played off “Damnation” well. The approach to the peak was very similar to Oakes Peak.

Salvation Peak summit ridge
Salvation Peak summit ridge

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Salvation Peak at a Glance

Access: Bacon Creek Road
Round Trip: 8.8 miles
Elevation Range: 800′-5560′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes, with guidance

Road Walk Plus the Lower Forest

Without a sound backup plan, I kept my fingers crossed for a short road walk. To my amazement, Bacon Creek Road was free of snow and drivable. We had to go over some rock debris. Then I parked the car before the landslide in fear of damaging the underside. High-clearance vehicles would be ok here. Then we walked under a mile up to the road junction.

Upon crossing Jumbo Creek, we walked on the decommissioned roadbed. Then large down trees forced us off the path. The plan was to go straight up the west ridge. So that would put us on the pass between Salvation Peak and Oakes Peak. But instead, we went too far north from the water. And that cost us some time getting through the down tree graveyard.

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West Ridge up to the 4800′ Saddle

After getting out of the tree pile, the rest of the semi-open forest approach was straightforward. Higher up on the ridge, we encountered another section of small down trees. But they were easy to bypass. Just as I wondered whether we’d see snow in the forest, the first piece appeared at 3600′. We weaved through snow patches for the next 400′. Then I put on snowshoes for the rest of the climb.

The terrain was especially steep between 3000′ and 4000′. And sometimes, I either sidestepped or made greater switchbacks to provide some calf relief. The ridge eventually flattened from 4400′ up to the saddle. From there, we got our first look at Damnation Peak. The weather forecast stayed true. It flurried for a bit after 11 AM.

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Rolling Ridge Traverse up to the Summit

The contour lines on the map don’t always do the broken ridgelines justice. So to call this a rolling ridge was a mild exaggeration. We got through a handful of drop-offs en route. But the one in the south basin was especially steep. But thanks to snow coverage. We were able to stay on the ridge crest the rest of the way. Once again, channeling my inner Madea: “Hellur Hallelujer, praise da Lort!”

The breathtaking views took my mind off the annoying rolling ridge. I’d glance over to my right shoulder for signs of Mount Terror in the final mile and a half. It’s part of the southern Picket Range. According to Google Earth, the impressive peak would emerge from behind the ridgeline above Triumph Pass at some point.

We got through a few more moderate drop-offs and then reached the summit block. I wanted to scope out a better route on the south side. But then I decided to go straight up on the southeast slopes. After getting through another drop-off, we were finally standing on the broad summit.

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Salvation Peak Summit Plus Views

Despite being slightly shorter, the views on Salvation Peak were comparable to both Oakes Peak and Damnation Peak. Though, from here, I got to see more peaks in the southern Picket Range. But then I missed out on everything behind Thornton Peak. So as long as the weather is ideal, all of the high points in this area can offer fantastic views.

Views of high points in the area included Mount Triumph, Mount Despair, Mount Blum, and Bacon Peak. To the east were the Snowfield group, Paul Bunyans Stump, Colonial Peak, Big Devils Peak, and the Inspiration group. Mount Baker was in full display as it stood above the head of Bacon Creek drainage. Three Fingers and Whitehorse Mountain was visible to the south.

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Outro

We first reversed our route through the annoying up and down the ridgeline. Then from the saddle, the rest was downhill. The steepest section in the forest was hard on the knees. So it was much more comfortable to sidestep downhill. I switched back to microspikes past the snowline to prevent sliding down on slick duff.

Back in the lower forest, we left the ridge before reaching the down trees and headed toward Jumbo Creek. This move ended up saving us a lot of time. We found the old roadbed by the creek crossing, and then enjoyed a short walk back before sundown.

Thanks for another glorious day
Thanks for another glorious day

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Shannon Leader

    Looks like you had another enjoyable outing, John. I am imaging the sportiness of the “rolling” ridge, it’s true that you just never know on some of those until you get out on them and good snow pack can make all the difference. I like the new logo, too!

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