Salvation Peak by Damnation Peak via North Cascades Highway / 救星峯

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Salvation Peak and Damnation Peak by Oakes Peak share a joining ridge, and climbers sometimes referred to it as “Hellfire Peak.” In reading the naming history, I, too, agree that Salvation played off the name Damnation well.

Salvation Peak summit ridge
Salvation Peak summit ridge

See more trip photos here.

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 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.

Bacon Creek Road
Bacon Creek Road

See more trip photos here.

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 pile of down trees had 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.

Route inspection
Route inspection

See more trip photos here.

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.

Damnation Peak from the saddle
Damnation Peak from the saddle

See more trip photos here.

Steep Terrain to Salvation Peak

The terrain was incredibly steep between 3000′ and 4000′. And sometimes, I either sidestepped upward or made greater switchbacks to provide relief for the calves. There’s not much to see in the forest.

The hills flattened from 4400′ up to the saddle where we first saw Damnation Peak. So far, it’s been mainly cloudy where we were. But the forecast stayed true as it flurried for a bit past 11 AM.

Oakes Peak from the ridge
Oakes Peak from the ridge

See more trip photos here.

Rolling Ridge Traverse

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

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

Salvation Peak summit up ahead
Salvation Peak summit up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Ridgeside Views

The breathtaking scenery took my mind off the rolling crest. It was only another mile and a half before we reached the top. So we continue to carve out our path toward the top of the ridge.

I’d sometimes glance over my right shoulder for the impressive Mount Terror, part of the southern Picket Range. According to Google Earth, it would appear from behind the ridgeline above Triumph Pass at some point.

Ridgeside view to the northwest
Ridgeside view to the northwest

See more trip photos here.

Salvation Peak Summit Ridge

We went through a few more mild drop-offs. Then before long, we had reached the summit block with the south side being a tad steep. So I scoped out a more feasible way for us to go forward.

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

Northern panoramic view
Northern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Salvation Peak Summit Views

The vista on Salvation Peak was similar to both Oakes Peak and Damnation Peak. But I could see more of the southern Picket Range here, but nothing past Thornton Peak. At any rate, today’s weather offered fantastic views.

Mount Triumph, Mount Despair, Mount Blum, and Bacon Peak made up the nearby view. Then to the east were the Snowfield group, Colonial Peak, and the Icecap group. Three Fingers and Whitehorse Mountain to the south were also visible.

Eastern panoramic view
Eastern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

We retraced our steps on the way back. From the saddle, it was downhill and more manageable to move sideways through the steep parts. Then microspikes came in handy to keep from sliding on the duff.

Back in the lower forest, we left the ridge above the tree pile. Then we went toward Jumbo Creek, and that saved us lots of time. Soon, we were on the old road by the creek. Then we enjoyed a short walk back to the car before sundown.

Thanks for another glorious day
Thanks for another glorious day

See more trip photos here.

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!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.