Elizabeth Peak


Elizabeth Peak is unknown territory.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Over the years, I have been visiting the highpoints around Banner Creek Summit. This peak, shown as 9300+ on the map, had eluded me. I'm calling it Elizabeth Peak because it sits right above Elizabeth Lake. I have no idea who Elizabeth was.

So expecting less-than-stellar conditions in this low-snow year, I sent out an invite for a tour and Cody, Chris, and Ralph accepted.

This view is from a climb of Spring Mountain. with SuperDave.

Elizabeth Peak

Here's another look, this time from the Copper Traverse.

Elizabeth Peak

We grouped at Banks for the drive to Banner Creek Summit and were on our feet at about 8:30. It was cold and we were touring through trees, so no pictures.

When we finally got to something photo-worthy, it was still cold. But here's our first good look at the summit.

Note the position of the sun- it was already after noon. Skiing up the valley had taken more time than anticipated because the snow was not yet deep enough to bury the copious downfall. Due to our circuitous route, we managed to turn a mile into two. Several times.

Elizabeth Peak

The last picture was taken from the right-hand end of the ridge here.

Now that we were on the ridgetop, we avoided downfall but had to deal with tons of sastrugi. This was turning into a ton of work.


And then the last 200' of the climb was nasty, too, with a light blast of sugar over ice, with rocks sticking out here and there. At this point, I chose to boot.



If I appear tired, you do not need to adjust your monitor.


I postholed around a bit trying to make sure I didn't punch through a cornice, but still stood on the highpoint.

And I was taking in the views.

Looking north with Ralph, Chris, and Cody. Ralph and Chris had stayed on their skis. Boys
Cody had booted up behind me, but brought his skis (I left mine below). Cody
Lots of views. This is looking down the North Fork, with Spring Mountain across the drainage and my mitten across the lens. It was cold up here. Spring Mountain
Here's Stanley Lake. Stanley Lake

It was cold and windy, plus we were past our turn-around time. So it was a quick visit to the top.

Then it was back through the sastrugi mess. Chris and I had our skins on, so were able to follow our up-and-down uptrack. Ralph and Cody did a dropping traverse. We stayed in visual contact, then all of the sudden were separated. After some hesitation, Chris and I ripped skins and found the boys' tracks down below this awesome meadow.

View north

This is a zoom north to the Copper Traverse ridge hiding FD Bowl.

When we found the boys' tracks, we hopped in and zoomed back to the saddle, where they were relaxing and grabbing a bite. As we gabbed away, we heard what sounded like a voice. Strange. I hooted, and got a response that lead to a 5-minute conversation with an intrepid young lady who was solo and spending the night up there. She thanked us for setting the track.

FD Bowl

From the saddle, we looked for some more turns. Cody found us a sweet powder shot.

Again, not a lot of photos, but here's Ralph as the sun sets on the ridge above. Still cold.

When we finally got back to the rig (and it seemed like it was forever) the sun was gone and it was about 4°. It was a tired group of boys who piled in and headed home.

Cody's (much, much better) video



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