Oval Peak Ski Mountaineering

Oval Peak (8,795ft)

David approaching the summit

Eric and David

February 11/12, 2017

We left the Twisp River Sno Park at 6am Saturday morning and skinned up about 9 miles to the west buttermilk trailhead. After following the trail for about 3 miles we cut up into the woods on the right. It was very steep and slow going on the skis, but an hour after dark we reached a flat area around 6500ft and set up camp.

The next morning we left camp around 5:45am, ascended an even steeper slope, then reached a big plateau east of the peak. We ascended the east ridge of oval peak, and were forced to ditch our skis just above treeline. There were too many boulders sticking out for it to be skiable. We continued climbing, avoiding huge cornices on the right side of the ridge, and summitted at 9:30am.

The ski back to camp was amazing, but descending from camp to the trail was difficult in the dense trees. We eventually reached the road, which was compacted by snowmobiles, and arrived at the car at 5:30pm, ready for the long drive back to Seattle.

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