Ascent of Tolmie Peak on 2012-11-27

Climber: Chad Straub

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Tolmie Peak
    Elevation:5920 ft / 1804 m

Ascent Trip Report

I Left the gate at 8:45 and started up the dry road. Snow showed up around 4000' feet and got as deep as 2-3 feet at the summit. Several others, including a few with snowshoes have made this trip since the bulk of the snow fell, a tightly packed trail to follow with little-to-no postholing. The overcast ceiling was well above Rainier and it was surprisingly warm compared to my recent trip to the Teanaway Valley. I used the Grindstone Trail to bypass the switchbacks in the road and before long I was looking at Mowich Lake.

Some elevation was lost on the way up to Eunice Lake, which is completely frozen over. I was a little tempted to walk a short distance out, but being alone that would have been silly and dangerous. Even with the snow softening up a bit the short climb to the lookout tower and the true summit beyond it took less effort than I expected.

The tower has been shuttered for the season and the door sealed with a few nails but the back side luckily provided some decent shielding from the intense wind that seemed to begin as soon as I approached the top. Views were astoundingly clear in all directions. This was my first look at Mt St Helens since childhood. I dug around in the snow on the true summit for a register but had no luck, so after a few rituals I hurried back to the shelter of the lookout tower.

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Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2480 ft / 755 m
    Extra Gain:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:11.8 mi / 19.1 km
    Trailhead:3680 ft / 1121 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Overcast
High cloud ceiling, clear views from Baker to Adams, Stuart to St.Helens
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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