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Snow Peak (9,132') Rick Baugher

View S to Snow Peak el 9132' from the south ridge of Bonneville Peak by Rick Baugher

Snow Peak

Snow Peak el 9132' is the third highest peak in Bannock County Idaho and also the third highest peak in the Portneuf Range. In the 1884 USGS publication "Altitudes in the United States", the geographer Henry Gannett lists 'Snow Mountain' with an elevation of 9269'. At that time it was the 15th highest measured peak in Idaho Territory.
On 4/20/98, after the Pebble Creek Ski Area had closed for the season, I hiked up Green Canyon, then skied south over range highpoint Bonneville Peak el 9271', and onward to Snow Peak. While the mountain offered me fresh tracks, part of the fun was to be able to visit a traditional Idaho backcountry ski area that is steeped in tradition. To learn more on this subject, I recommend a fine book called "Winter Tales and Trails" by Ron Watters, who is affiliated with the Idaho State University Outdoor Program in Pocatello.
View S to Snow Peak el 9132' from the south ridge of Bonneville Peak. My own personal tradition in the Pebble Creek backcountry goes back to February 1981. With a pair of Bonna 215cm wooden skinny skis and floppy Norrona boots, I had recently learned how to 'cross country downhill' and was looking forward to putting my newly minted telemark turn to the test. With a group of 6 guys we rode the Pebble chair, then switchbacked up to Green Canyon Saddle. Looking down the steep untracked backside everyone stood silent, then nominated me to go first. And Wow! That inaugural telemark in fresh crystalline powder was enough fun to last a lifetime. After collectively thrashing our way to the bottom, the guys thought it would be great fun to race the 10km out to Whiskey Mike's on old Highway 30. Yours truly must have had the right wax because I made it first. This raucous group of dudes spent the night carousing at Lava Hot Springs. I think someone bought me drinks for winning the race, but really, I can't remember much.

Summit view south on 4/20/98. Photo by Rick Baugher.

Snow Peak carries its name well. These trees, called snow ghosts, are still caked in white. Summit view south on 4/20/98.

Snow Peak is part of my "Peaks of I-15 Series", a fantasy, or maybe fool's errand, to see how many mountains I can climb along the route of Interstate 15. In this respect, I have completed Idaho, done lots of SW Montana, and a fair chunk of Utah. But.... I-15 is a huge road stretching from Los Angeles to the Canadian border. There must be a thousand peaks that overlook this road. So I dream. More realistic would be to climb the 25 or so peaks of Bannock County.

Rick Baugher
submitted Feb 26, 2009

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