Fallen Peak (Sheep Meadow)

Summit Elevation (m): 2420
Trip Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Elevation Gain (m): 1350
Round Trip Time (hr): 8
Total Trip Distance (km): 20
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 : you fall, you sprain your thumb
Difficulty Notes: Obviously more difficult with snow but shouldn’t feel more than moderate on the scrambling scale. Note: Combined with Fallen Peak for statistics indicated.
Technical Rating: SC5
GPS Track: Gaia
MapGoogle Maps

Already on the ascent to the south ridge of Kink Peak, my eyes were turning towards the surprisingly impressive form of Fallen Peak (Sheep Meadow Mountain). Phil, predictably, agreed with me to make it our second objective of the day.

Phil makes his way back along the ledge with our second peak visible at center.

After a great ascent of Kink Peak, we found ourselves looking up at the ~250 vertical meter ascent, trying to pick the best line. We decided to stick right on the ridge as long as possible since it was almost snow-free. This plan worked even better than expected. From the col to the summit took us only 45 minutes, including a short, steep, moderate step or two just under the false summit.

Interesting Facts on “Fallen Peak”

On Bivouac this mountain is named “Fallen Peak” after the nearby Fallentimber Creek. I don’t know where exactly Gillean got the name she calls it from, but she references two peaks of “Sheep Meadow Mountain” in her guidebook. This peak is the highest of the two.

As expected, the views from Fallen Peak made the minimal extra effort (and time) totally worth it. The way we looked at it – we weren’t coming all the way back here just for this relatively minor summit. The first Sheep Meadow Peak (Fallen SE2) is accessible from Waiparous Creek and could be done as part of that approach.

Nice summit views north and west to Kink, Waiparous, Davidson, Astral and Castle Rock (R to L).
This is looking south at two more summits of Sheep Meadow Mountain.

After only enjoying the views for a few minutes, Phil and I headed back down. We were hoping to catch up with Wietse and Raf who were now marching their way back to the parking lot. As we descended to the col, we were tempted to shortcut down a snowy bowl on the east side of the col to join up with our approach track from earlier in the day. Something made me pause. I had noted slab buildup earlier on this slope and also on the south ridge of Kink Peak and didn’t love it.

Route Map for Kink and Fallen Peak

I knew there wasn’t enough snow for a big slide, but you never know. I know from my experience high up on Mount Forbes that even a small snow slough can do damage. As I was walking on top of the col my suspicions were confirmed. A loud “whumph” was followed by the predictable breakup of snow and slowly building slide of slabs down into the eastern bowl! It was a small slide, but certainly enough to knock a person around. 

The rest of the walk back to the truck was uneventful. We managed to catch up with Wietse and Raf after a few kms and chatted our way back making the time pass fairly quick. Overall I highly recommend this outing for an off-season objective. Considering it only takes about an hour to bag Fallen Peak after doing Kink, I also highly recommend you combine the two and complete an easy twofer. Beware that there are lots of hunters in the area in the fall. We heard gunshots and were even stopped by a conservation officer on our drive back along 940.

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