Ascent of Mount Bretherton on 2013-08-31

Climber: Jason Curtis

Others in Party:Jaime McCandless -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Andrew Fabian
Date:Saturday, August 31, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Bretherton
    Elevation:5960 ft / 1816 m

Ascent Trip Report

We made it!
Other trip reports seem vague or unsuccessful when it comes to finding the route up to Bretherton. There seem to be two main route options. One is to go to the end of the Milk Lake valley and up the headwall or around it to the left, then up the scree to the peak from the southeast. The other route, the one we took, could be referred to as the 'false-summit ramp' route. The trickiest part was finding the right ramp to go up in the first place. We were able to find it because we spotted it from the trail up from Lena Lake. As you go up the valley towards Milk Lake, keep to the right side of the valley floor until you're under the big bulgy false summit. If you go over a little ridge and see Milk Lake, you've gone too far. A lot of people seem to go too far, and try to ascend a section that apparently used to be passable until it all fell out in 2005 (thus old topo maps will not show this blown-out area). Before Milk Lake, however, we found our way up some scree and a mossy gully, and from there let the topography guide us to the top of the ridge, whereupon we traversed to the summit. Though we dropped down to bushwhack on the right side of the ridge for one section, you can keep pretty much to the top of the ridge except for one spot near the summit where you drop down to the right to go behind a large flake. As you traverse the scree in this section, enjoy the exposure and the view of the snowfield 500ish feet below. There were occasional cairns on the route.
The entertaining summit register had 10 signatures from 2013 before ours. Seattle, Baker, Shuksan and Rainier were among the sights to be taken in from the top.

The GPS track, courtesy of Andrew, is for our entire day from the Lena Lake trailhead, to our campsite which we quickly set up at Upper Lena, before heading to Bretherton and then around the lake on the way back to the campsite with a pause to jump in the lake on the way.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Stone Ponds (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Bretherton2013-08-31 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jason Curtis
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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