Bare Peak's middle and west summits.

Michael Hoyt

Bare Peak's middle and west summits.

Another ridge with much of its real estate above 9,000 feet, located between the Nelson Creek Drainage to the north and the Soda Springs Creek Drainage to the south, the Bare Peak ridge and its highpoints are accessed only by those willing to expend an above-average amount of energy.

Most recent topographical maps assign the name Bare Peak to the middle (and lowest, 9,289’) of the three highest points on the ridge, while older maps assign the name to the entire ridge. Many local climbers prefer the old way and refer to the entire ridge as Bare Peak and differentiate between the highpoints by calling them East, Middle, and West.

To climb this mountain, begin at the Nelson Creek Trailhead and follow the trail to the north side of Nelson Lake. Pass the lake and hike northwest through the cirque along a wide ridge to the northeast ridge-crest of Bare Peak’s east summit. Follow the ridge (Class 2+) southwest to the highest point (9,459’) on the ridge.

Reaching the middle summit requires Class 2+ climbing, but the summit blocks of the west summit are Class 4.

—Michael Hoyt


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