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Ascent of Tower Mountain on 2014-09-21

Climber: Patty Cokus

Date:Sunday, September 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tower Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8444 ft / 2573 m

Ascent Trip Report

(Continuation from Golden Horn report)

Sunday - Team A headed to Golden Horn and Team B headed to Tower around 6:50am.

Team B: Tower - Followed trail down from upper snowy lake to lower snowy lake and then headed uphill aiming for the big cave on the left side of Tower. Reached the cave after an hour. Traversed to the right until at the base of the big gulley, going slightly right and then up a left leaning ramp. Not going into details now but basically the route up the gulley involves numerous zig-zags in the gulley off to climbers right on ramps to avoid very steep slab stuff or really crappy rock fall parts. Best for a smaller party (hence splitting up our group of 7). Made it to the summit a bit longer than 2 hours. The giant Tower Cairn really is cool and impressive. Did not find a summit register. I (Patty) was nervous for the route down of course with my exposure fear as you can't help it but look down when going down! However there generally are very good holds for hands and feet or at least one for all of it. We actually felt that rock fall was not that bad, a lot of it was fairly clean and the parts that weren't we stayed bunched up and were very careful and did single file in the very worst spots. Nothing too different than any other bulger peak... Back to camp a bit before noon.

Team A: Golden Horn - Apparently Bill lead the mantle route and there was a hidden step up once you were right there that made it more like chest height. All followed this route and while it wasn't graceful for anyone all made it up successfully. They did not try the crack route. This group was back to camp first and had maybe an hour nap before Team B made it back to camp.

I (Patty) again took a moment to dip into the lake (must take advantage of how warm it was for late September) and everyone ate lunch and packed up. Headed out about 1pm and most back to the cars around 4pm.

What an amazing trail the PCT is...so smooth and absolutely no downed trees and something like never more than 6% steepness. The miles flew by and we saw LOTS of PCT through hikers on their way to finishing up in Canada. So many beards on the guys and leg hair on the girls :) Pretty cool...

Celebrated in the parking lot with chips and beers (or a cider) as usual and the guys were sportsing it up with listening to the last minutes of the Seahawks game. They were winning then it was tied. We all headed out and when driving the Seahawks managed to score first in after time so they won. Guys were excited.
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