Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP
by Paul Richins, Jr.
(new 11/13/00)

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The four lists below are excerpted from my guidebook, 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney. The four lists are Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP, The Snowboard Challenge, Single Day Gems, and My Favorites. The summit # in parenthesis refers to the number of the peak in the guidebook.

Ski Mountaineer's PeakSMP

A Ski Mountaineer's PeakSMP is a special classification used in this guide to identify the 20 finest ski summits in California. This designation is based on the total ski experience-the approach, the climb and the ski descent. Factors that were considered include the quality of the skiing, the length of the ski descent, aesthetics of the mountain and route, the peak's elevation and dominance in the region, and the inaccessibility (remoteness) of the summit. Many peaks in this category may require a high level of mountaineering skills including experience with ice axe and crampons, and a few may require the use of a rope. Peaks that have been designated as a Ski Mountaineer's Peak will be noted in the guide by the designation SMP. The Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP are listed from north to south:

1. Mount ShastaSMP (Summits #1, #2 and #3)
2. Lassen PeakSMP (Summit #5)
3. Matterhorn PeakSMP (Summit #18)
4. Mount LyellSMP (Summit #22)
5. Mount RitterSMP (Summit #23)
6. Red Slate MountainSMP (Summit #25)
7. Mount DadeSMP (Summit #26)
8. Mount TomSMP (Summit #28)
9. Mount HumpherysSMP (Summit #30)
10. Mount DarwinSMP (Summit #32)
11. Mount GoddardSMP (Summit #33)
12. North PalisadeSMP (Summit #34)
13. Mount SillSMP (Summit #36)
14. The ThumbSMP (Summit #37)
15. Birch MountainSMP (Summit #38)
16. University PeakSMP (Summit #41)
17. Mount WilliamsonSMP (Summit #42)
18. Mount WhitneySMP (Summit #43)
19. Mount BrewerSMP (Summit #46)
20. Mount KaweahSMP (Summit #48)

The Snowboard Challenge

The following summits have been selected as the best snowboard summits. Summits with short, direct access and continuous steep terrain were the major criteria used to select the summits for The Snowboard Challenge. Most of these peaks can be done in a single day. These summits are equally challenging and appropriate for the free-heel and fixed-heel (randonee) skier.

1. Mount ShastaSMP (Summits #2 and #3)
2. Lassen Peak (Summit # 6)
3. Mount Tallac (Summit #10)
4. Pyramid Peak (Summit #11)
5. Red Lake Peak (Summit #13)
6. Mount Walt (Summit #16)
7. Cleaver Peak (Summit #17)
8. Matterhorn PeakSMP (Summit #18)
9. Mount Dana (Summit #20)
10. Bloody Mountain (Summit #24)
11. Mount TomSMP (Summit #28)
12. Basin Mountain (Summit #29)
13. Mount HumphreysSMP (Summit #30)
14. North PalisadeSMP (Summit #34)
15. Birch MountainSMP (Summit #38)
16. University PeakSMP (Summit #41)
17. Mount WhitneySMP (Summit #43)

Single-Day Gems

These gems can be skied or snowboarded in a single day.

1. Mount ShastaSMP (Summit #3)
2. Shastina (Summit #4)
3. Lassen PeakSMP (Summit #5 and #6)
4. Mount Diller (Summit # 7)
5. Mount Rose (Summit #8)
6. Mount Tallac (Summit #10)
7. Pyramid Peak (Summit #11)
8. Ralston Peak (Summit #12)
9. Red Lake Peak (Summit #13)
10. Leavitt Peak (Summit #15)
11. Mount Walt (Summit #16)
12. Cleaver Peak (Summit #17)
13. Matterhorn PeakSMP (Summit #18)
14. Dunderberg Peak (Summit #19)
15. Mount Dana (Summit #20)
16. Koip Peak (Summit #21)
17. Bloody Mountain (Summit # 24)
18. Mount TomSMP (Summit #28)
19. Basin Mountain (Summit #29)
20. Mount Lamark (Summit #31)
21. Birch MountainSMP (Summit #38)
22. Mount Gould (Summit #40)
23. Sawtooth Peak or Empire Mountain (Summit #49)
24. Vandever Mountain or White Chief Bowl (Summit #51)

My Favorites

I have selected my fifteen favorite summit descents. They range in length from a half-day climb and descent of Lassen Peak to the multi-day mini-expedition to Mount KaweahSMP. You can't go wrong with any of these selections.

1. Mount ShastaSMP (Summits #1 and #3)
2. Lassen PeakSMP (Summits #5 and #6)
3. Mount Walt (Summit #16)
4. Mount RitterSMP (Summit #23)
5. Red Slate MountainSMP (Summit #25)
6. Mount DarwinSMP (Summit #32)
7. Mount GoddardSMP (Summit #33)
8. North PalisadeSMP (Summit #34)
9. Mount SillSMP (Summit #36)
10. The ThumbSMP (Summit #37)
11. University PeakSMP (Summit #41)
12. Mount WilliamsonSMP (Summit #42)
13. Mount WhitneySMP (Summit #43)
14.   Mount Pickering (Summit #45)
15. Mount KaweahSMP (Summit #48)

Backcountry_Resource_Center--Paul Richins, Jr.
http://pweb.jps.net/~prichins/backcountry_resource_center.htm

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