Peak 7150

On Peak 7150’s Southern West Ridge

9 miles total, 5300′ elevation gain. Peak 7150 was a straightforward dayhike I’d been carrying around in my back pocket for years. I’d actually solicited this trip idea many weekends over the years but they never gained traction and no attempts ever materialized. The weekend of May 15th displayed the right characteristics to deploy this trip. “Right characteristics” meaning a single day of decent weather bounded by undesirable weather on the days bookending it. Not much is required of this hike other than good physical fitness and a desire to do it. There are two west ridges to Peak 7150 with Onemile Creek sandwitched in between. I like how we went up the southern more interesting one and came down the northern mellowly sloped one.

The weekend starts with a Friday carcamp at Gunnysack Creek. Where Ben Holmgren, Logan Borger, and myself met up with Zack Siemsen. Zack siemsen correctly noted some mountain biking trails to the north in the Fort Greely area during his drive down and since he brought a bike, he decided to do that instead. Ben, Logan, and I would wake up the next day, and drive one mile north to a gated pipeline access that would easily get us on Onemile Creek. We walked up Onemile Creek until further upstream travel appeared to become canyon-like, and so we got up on the southern bluff to gain the southern west ridge. I had no advance knowledge of trails for this peak and we had came mentally prepared for a solid schwack, but, as is sometimes the case, we weren’t the first people to want to get back here and we happened upon a flagged hiking/hunting trail.

The above is a collection of photos amidst the ridge. The scrambling was mellow compared with most of Alaska and as far as routefinding goes, we only bypassed one section on a snowslope above Onemile Creek.

The final leg to the summit was simple. We didn’t sink into the snow very much either. My GPS clocked it at 7146′. The views from the top were really good and the mid-May scenery made the vibe something different than my prior delta trips. A unique experience. A satisfied craving.

I think back to Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” I have journeyed many, MANY peaks, and each is a special moment that feels so right. The Lord doesn’t make for us to go to places and to do things that are bad. His plan for us is for our good. Jeremiah 29:11 “”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”” So maybe we have strayed from or maybe we’ve never really tried following God’s desired trajectory for our lives -but one thing I’m grateful for is that God is always ready to meet me where I am, with whatever I have going on at the time, to use my past experiences for betterment, and to set me on a revitalized route for goodness. God is purposeful. Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” And what a relief that is! Anything outside of His destined purpose for my life would be something subpar.

Logan’s shoes were wet and feet at risk of getting cold. Weather was changing too, so the appeal of lingering deteriorated. There was some hail on the way down. Three sheep were briefly spotted below us before escaping into fog. Hail became a drizzle as we descended to warmer elevations. On the northern bluff above Onemile Creek we happily encountered a trail similar to that on the southern bluff. It brought us back down to Onemile Creek just as we’d left it and we returned to the car.

We regrouped with Zack. None of us were particularly interested in racing home to the Fairbanks flatlands, so we delayed the inevitable by car-camping on the Delta River. Driftwood was on tap, food in no shortage, and hot cocoa + peppermint schnapps was found residing in the back of my truck for occasions just like this.

Peak 7150 is a good, simple day-hike that I’d recommend for anyone looking to do a hike in the deltas during a short weather window.

Peak 7150’s first reported climb was in 1955 by a 12-man party of Iowa Mountaineers (S. Ebert, H. Gsellman, B. Holmes, J. Holmes, D. Irwin, P. Lane, W. Leeman, H. Schlapschi, H. Schlapschi, T. Tolnas, W. Vegors, and A. Westphal). Nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised if its climbed once a year by some restless soul spending a night at the Black Rapids Lodge and having a spare sunny day to kill. And Fairbanks climbers (unlike the Anchorage mountaineering crowds) are generally of the quiet type, which makes information on our mountains hard to come by. Many silent lips pass in, up, down, and out of the Deltas unnoticed and undocumented.

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