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

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

Bacon Creek Road

Without a sound backup plan, I kept my fingers crossed for a short road walk. To my surprise, Bacon Creek Road was free of snow and drivable. We only had to go over some rock debris.

Later I parked before the landslide in fear of damaging the underside. But high-clearance vehicles would be okay to continue. Then we walked under a mile up to the road junction.

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The West Ridge

After crossing Jumbo Creek, we continued on the old roadbed. Then we crossed Road 1060-040 a couple of times in the forest. Soon, the large down trees forced us off the path.

The plan was to go straight up the west ridge. So we would be the pass between Salvation Peak and Oakes Peak. But we went too far north of the creek and wasted time swimming in the down logs.

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The 4800′ Saddle

After going through the tree pile, we moved up more directly in the semi-open forest. Higher up on the ridge, we found another section with small down trees. But they were easy to bypass.

Just as I wondered when we would see snow in the forest, the first patch appeared at 3600′. Then we weaved through snow patches for the next 400′. Later I put on snowshoes for the rest of the climb.

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Steep Terrain to Salvation Peak

The terrain was incredibly steep between 3000′ and 4000′. And sometimes, I either sidestepped or made greater switchbacks to provide some calf relief. There’s much to see in the forest.

The hills slowly flattened from 4400′ up to the saddle. From there, we had our first sighting of Damnation Peak. The weather forecast stayed true, and it flurried for a bit past 11 AM.

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Rolling Ridge Traverse

The contour lines on the map didn’t always do the broken ridgelines justice. So to call this a rolling ridge was a mild exaggeration. But we ended up going through a handful of drop-offs en route.

The one drop-off in the south basin was steeper. But the sufficient snow allowed us to stay on the ridge crest the rest of the way. Once again, channeling my inner Madea: “Hellur Hallelujer, praise da Lort!”

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Ridgeside Views

The breathtaking views took my mind off the annoying rolling ridge. But it was only another mile and a half before the top. I’d sometimes glance over to my right shoulder for signs of Mount Terror.

The impressive peak is part of the southern Picket Range. So, according to Google Earth, at some point, it would emerge from behind the ridgeline above Triumph Pass.

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Salvation Peak Summit Block

We went through a few more moderate drop-offs. Then went reached the summit block afterward. I wanted to scope out a better route to go up from the south side.

But I decided to go straight up on the southeast slopes instead. So after going through one more drop-off, we stood on the broad summit at last.

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Salvation Peak Summit Plus Views

The scenery on Salvation Peak was comparable to both Oakes Peak and Damnation Peak. But I saw more of the southern Picket Range here. Though, I couldn’t see anything behind Thornton Peak. Today’s weather offered fantastic views, nonetheless.

Mount Triumph, Mount Despair, Mount Blum, and Bacon Peak comprised the nearby scenery. To the east were the Snowfield group, Colonial Peak, and the Inspiration group. Three Fingers and Whitehorse Mountain to the south were also visible.

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We returned using our route. Then from the saddle, the rest of the way was downhill. It was much more comfortable to sidestep through the steep sections. I switched back to microspikes below the snow line. So I wouldn’t slide down on the duff.

Later in the lower forest, we left the ridge above the down trees and went toward Jumbo Creek. That ended up saving us lots of time. Soon, we went back onto the old roadbed by the creek crossing. Then we enjoyed a short walk back to the car before sundown.

Thanks for another glorious day
Thanks for another glorious day

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This Post Has 4 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!

  2. Laurel G.

    Thanks for sharing the report & photos John! We went up there yesterday. Gorgeous area – the views are really incredible in all directions. With the short day we turned back at 2:30 (about 500 feet from the summit) but plan to come back another time and hit Damnation too. I lost one micro spike on the way down through that jumble of trees & bushes. I think it’s going to be swallowed up by that forest! 😉

    1. onehikeaweek

      You’re welcome! Beautiful, indeed. I also lost a microspike recently. They are not cheap, either!

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