Peak(s):  "Valhalla, Mt"  -  13,180 feet
"Snow Pk"  -  13,024 feet
"Palomino Point"  -  13,060 feet
Date Posted:  11/06/2012
Date Climbed:   11/03/2012
Author:  bergsteigen
 Valhalla, I am coming!  

Snow Peak, Mt Valhalla, Palomino Pt

Mileage: 12.7
Elevation Gain: 6,511'
Time: 11.5 hrs
Partner: Solo
Beta: Kevin Baker & benners TR (on summit of Snow)

I had wanted to get up Snow Peak last weekend, but the Elvira snowstorm foiled my plans. So I put it off a week, and hoped that enough melting would happen. I watched the Vail webcams and noticed a marked improvement. So this weekend I decided to go see what I would find. I honestly thought I would turn around at the saddle with Snow, if there was too much snow to continue. Little did I know that Valhalla would be mostly bare and get put into the mix as well.

The snow starts fairly early on the trail once in the trees, but isn't anything to worry about right now. There are tracks all the way up to the lake, and now 2 sets beyond that. The North ridge to Snow has a bit of snow which makes certain moves a bit spicy, if you stick to the ridge proper. I was able to avoid some of the more exposed class 3 moves by taking the snow, as the snow is as of yet unconsolidated. Worst problem to encounter is snow in between large boulders on the summit ridge.

On the summit of Snow, as I looked over to Valhalla, I knew I could get there. I just had to decide how. I didn't want to automatically punt and drop down and around to the west. So I did a bit of interweb research on the summit (just like benners did on Valhalla in reverse ), re-reading both benners and Kevin Baker's TR's on the traverse. But alas, as I got up to the high point on the ridge (Pt 12,835), I took one look at the towers and all that snow, and said No! So down and around I went, up a grassy gully, around a tower to the east, and on to the summit. From there even Palomino Point was looking dry, so on I went. Made for a long day, but that's why you carry a headlamp, right?

Since I had Immigrant Song in my head all day long, enjoy the photos (which are not necessarily in order). As always, per the Gore Pledge, please pm or visit my website for more specific info on the route and conditions.



We come from the land of the ice and Snow

From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands

To fight the horde and singing and crying,

Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar

Our only goal will be the western shore



We come from the land of the ice and Snow

From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

How soft your fields, so green

Can whisper tales of Gore,

Of how we calmed the tides of war

We are your overlords

On we sweep with, with threshing oar

Our only goal will be the western shore

So now you better stop

And rebuild all your ruins

For peace and trust can win the day

Despite of all your losing

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh,

ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh,

ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

Ahh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh,

ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh,

ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

You know it was coming..... Viking Kittens!!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

 Comments or Questions
11/06/2012 19:01



Like Mindy said...
11/06/2012 19:11
Wow... Solo... Wow... And FANTASTIC pictures!


Nice Report ...
11/06/2012 19:44
and photos but your use of Led Zepellin's Immigrant Song lyrics is exceptional.


11/06/2012 20:15
I can't believe how well that song fits this trip. Page and Plant would be proud. Nice Work.


Great song/Great traverse.
11/06/2012 20:33
Love the style. That traverse was a lot of fun, but I found Palomino to be the highlight. BTW, Image #20 looks like you may have been on ”Sleet Peak” too.


11/06/2012 21:27
Great images. Valhalla was my favorite Gore summit this summer. Eagles Nest next summer, hopefully.

Dave B

Agree with all above statements,
11/06/2012 23:26
Great pictures.


11/07/2012 00:49
Sounds like a great day! I can imagine why you decided against the towers en route to Valhalla in the snow--we didn't like the looks of the traverse when it was dry in September. I still need to go back for Valhalla...


11/07/2012 01:25
for the vicarious ride with your great photos!


Image 31
11/07/2012 15:46
says it all. I've always had Jethro Tull's ”Cold Wind to Valhalla” stuck in my head when around Deluge, but I can see how that chorus from Immigrant Song would be hard to shake.

Thats a great loop and becoming a bit of a novelty for Gore seekers this year. Like Floyd said, Palomino Point was certainly a treat. Nice solo effort.


Wow, Thanks!
11/07/2012 17:41
Mindy & Jay521 - The solo part wasn't all that bad. It's like meditation to be in an area so beautiful and challenging.

gdthomas & jeremy27 - The song does fit well. Though I didn't plan on ”stopping” the traverse until I saw it.

Floyd - If ”Sleet Peak” is that 12,835' point at the start of the traverse, then yes, I stood apon it. Great views!

B(3) - Well, you can still go up Valhalla for a few more days, till the next storm

lordhelmut - Immigrant song is one of my Top 5 songs, so I was glad to find a trip worthy of it! I typically don't get songs in my head, but that one was on repeat all day. Palomino Pt was a treat. It was like a class 4 puzzle to be solved. Glad there wasn't much snow!


11/07/2012 18:00
That's the one. It's a neat little tower when coming up from Snow, but has a stiff 5th class slab on the north side. It's what caused us to bail to the west on our traverse this summer. Cool place.


11/08/2012 08:32
how majestic those peaks look! way to capture them so.

Kevin Baker

Very nice!
11/08/2012 19:15
Sweet eye candy, Otina! I especially like the one you got from Valhalla of the Grand Traverse. That's one heck of a view. How far did you drop heading over to Valhalla? I think I dropped at least 800 feet to get by the lower cliffs. You'll have to go back and do the s.w. ridge of Snow. That's a cool little ridge run.


Only 500'
11/08/2012 23:32
Judging by my topo/elevation profile, only about 500'. I contoured just under the cliffs and then back up. A nice game trail to follow for parts.

I'm sure I'll be back one of these days. The SW ridge looked pretty snowy in some tricky places. So maybe a summer trip to introduce a new person to the Gores!

That Valhalla...
11/09/2012 00:17
...looks like a real stairway to heaven. You're quite the rover, I've never been out that way; nobody's fault but mine.

Great report and pics as usual, Otina.


Amazing Photos
11/13/2012 03:32
Solo is something needed once in awhile!
Looks like an awesome place
Bergsteigen You are a Fdiamond


Loved it!
11/17/2012 02:20
Nice report - spectacular photos and now I will probably have that song stuck in my head this weekend. Who are our overlords? Were those weasels?


Nice photos
11/17/2012 16:35
Real nice photos there!


11/20/2012 21:38
I think it's a mink, though I'm not entirely sure. Either way it was awesome to see the little critter. I basically followed it from near the summit of Valhalla to the saddle with Palomino!


11/21/2012 15:50
Great shots!


11/21/2012 15:52
Great shots! I think its an ermine aka a stoat.


04/02/2015 19:45
Nice photos and text. Way to go.

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