Ascent of Mount Triumph on 2014-07-08

Climber: Marlin Thorman

Others in Party:Ryan Bode
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Triumph
    Elevation:7240 ft / 2206 m

Ascent Trip Report

With a week off I was in search for partners for the North Cascades. Ryan contacted me about climbing Mount Triumph, and I was stoked. Monday I drove over from Spokane and we met up at the trailhead to sort gear. We really wanted to climb it car to car in one day but most guidebooks and TRs talked of 2 or even 3 days. In the end we decided to take a stove, supper, and down jacket so we could spend the night if we had to.

We left the Thornton Lake trailhead at 4:50am just as it got light enough to move without a headlamp. The trail went by quickly and was snow free almost all the way up to the ridge top overlooking the lakes. Made the decent to the lake and found a way across the outlet. The cross country along the lake was easy on snow and we stopped for some water at the middle lake. The gully was also snow covered making for a quick and easy ascent compared to wet heather and scree. Reached the col about 9:30am and got our first good look at Mount Triumph and our route. Hiked across the bowl and scrambled up the rock to the notch.

We racked up and decided to simul-climb as much as possible. I led out and we simuled all the way to the top of the 2nd step before the knife edge ridge in one block. By then I had run out of slings (we had 14) so I belayed Ryan up. The climbing was mostly 4th class with some low 5th class moves. The view of the Pickets was amazing, and the exposure was nice too. Ryan led out across the knife edge ridge and we simuled until the base of the crux offwidth. We switched again and I led out up the offwidth. It wasn’t too loose, took pro easily and was actually pretty enjoyable. Above it I put used a tibloc on the rope to protect the 2nd and we simul-climbed all the way up to the summit. On the final class 4 heather slopes there was quite a bit of loose rock. Even with being very careful I somehow dislodged a big one that core shot our rope and Ryan took a small piece to the hip. Thankfully he was uninjured but it just reminded us to be extra careful. We made the summit just after 1pm in about 2 hours of climbing from the notch. We took a few minutes to take in the spectacular view and sign the summit registry. Then we started the descent.

We only had 1 60m rope (now with a knot in it isolating the core shot) so we decided to do as few rappels as possible. We soloed all the way down to the rap anchor above the offwidth crux. From there we did 3 rappels and then Ryan led as we simul-climbed back across the knife edge section. We did 1 more rappel down the next step and then solo downclimbed for awhile. Finally near the notch we did 1 more rappel to bring us back to our packs. It took us 15 minutes longer to descend than to climb the route.

We took a long break to rest, hydrate, and eat. There was still quite a bit of snow on the north side of the notch and I was able to refill my water bottle with snow melt. We left about 4:30pm and did another rappel to get to the top of a ramp. The ramp deposited us back on the snow slopes and then it was just a matter of reversing our tracks. The gully was just soft enough to get a good plunge step. Even the dreaded 500 foot uphill hike out of Thornton lakes went by quickly. Soon we were heading back down dry trail pounding out the steps back to the car. Just as the light was starting to fade we made it back at 8:50pm, 16 hours after we had left that morning.

We found all the rap stations in good condition. According to the summit registry there aren’t very many people who climb Triumph. That is unfortunate because it is worth the effort. The climbing is technically easy but the exposure is good, and the views looking north into the Southern Pickets are outstanding. We took one 60m rope (8.4) and doubled it in half for simul-climbing. Took 14 slings, 1 set of nuts, and 7 cams (BD #.3 - #2 plus 1 smaller C3). Had to switch leads every time because we ran out of slings.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4840 ft / 1475 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16 mi / 25.7 km
    Route:Northeast Ridge
    Trailhead:Thornton Lake Trailhead  2400 ft / 731 m
    Grade/Class:Grade III, 5.7
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marlin Thorman
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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.

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