Elevation: 8,180 ft
This peak is not in the book.
Peak 8180, sometimes refered to as Purgatory Peak, sits east of the Black Lake Road and north of Smith Mountain. This peak covers a lot of space and has four high points. Two of the high points are so close in elevation that it is impossible to determine which is higher without sophisticated equipment. The Black Lake Road traverses its western slopes, crossing passes on the peak’s northern and southwestern ridges.
I climbed the peak with John Platt via its long, winding southwestern ridge, which first took us over the point identified on the map as Echols Benchmark (BM) no. 2. From that point, the ridge cliffs out and forced us to descend the peak’s eastern slopes. We continued side hilling past the next high point and then followed the ridge the remaining distance to the high point identified on the Lists of John website as the true summit.
All in all, this climb involved 1.64 miles with 850 feet of elevation gain and 322 feet of loss.
As two of the summits appeared equal in height we returned via the second high point. This point is a bit more rugged and drops down quickly to the Black Creek Road. We decided to drop down to the road from the saddle between this point and Echols No. 2 BM. The descent was steep through lupine covered slopes and proved uneventful.
USGS Topo: Purgatory Saddle