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

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Climbers sometimes referred to Salvation Peak as “Hellfire Peak.” In reading the naming history, I, too, agree that Salvation played off the name Damnation well. The climbing route was similar to that of 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 upward or made greater switchbacks to provide relief for the calves. There’s not much to see in the forest.

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

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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!”

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Ridgeside Views

The breathtaking scenery 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 my right shoulder for signs of Mount Terror.

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

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Salvation Peak Summit Block

We went through a few more mild drop-offs. Then we reached the summit block soon afterward. Then I tried to scope out a more feasible way to go up from the south side.

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.

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Salvation Peak Summit Plus Views

The vista 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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Outro

We reversed our route. Then from the saddle, it was all downhill. It’s much more comfortable to sidestep downward through the steep parts. Later, below the snow line, I changed back to microspikes to avoid sliding down on the duff.

Back in the lower forest, we left the ridge above the tree mess. Then we went toward Jumbo Creek. That ended up saving 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!

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