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Ascent of Granite Mountain on 2018-05-28

Climber: Patty Cokus

Others in Party:Sean Albert -- Trip Report or GPS Track
(The Dog) Ava
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, May 28, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Granite Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7144 ft / 2177 m

Ascent Trip Report

Memorial weekend almost was a no go due to Sean having a stomach bug...but Sunday morning he decided to chance it and we packed up to go. Let’s just say Roslyn was insanely busy (great for the businesses!) so it was really hard to turn left after a quick stop at Maggie’s Pantry but then the road up to the TH was even busier! Creek crossing was super high and watching the monster trucks ahead of us wasn’t giving us confidence our old outback was high enough. Luckily a guy signaled to us to stay left to avoid a hole so it wasn’t as deep. The water still felt like it was lapping near our windows...

After that experience we were happy to still find parking up at the meadows. Sean talked with a guy who with a friend? Camped at Deception Pass and said, yes be prepared for challenging early spring trail conditions. Lots of boot sucking mud, running and standing water plus snow and quite a few creek crossings (all quite manageable) on the trail so it was a bit slow going. Met a couple and a group of three guys who had camped up at Tuck lake and were all heading out. Said didn’t find trail to lakes and went straight up snow. We did find trail sections, some of which was melted out for a ways and cleared off brush and branches along the way. also saw some TP flagging I’m guessing from the couple we talked to that had camped up there.

Upon arriving at Tuck lake we heard voices and realized a few people were out on the island in the lake which while still frozen was definitely starting to melt around the edges with some more open sections. Hmmm, pretty sure I wouldn’t have gone out there but maybe they were more familiar with it. We identified the snow gully we would go up to get to Robin lakes and decided due to our late start, the fact that it would only be harder to get water and we’d be camping on snow anyways to just camp at Tuck lake. In search of a spot we headed around to the right over to the outlet. The best way we found across was to get off the snow onto the multitude of floating logs (various sizes) and cross over to a very high step up back onto snow. Sean set his ice axe which helped in pulling up. I think Ava had no problems crossing on the somewhat collapsed snow bridge..

Once on that side we scouted and very luckily found a nice melted out dry spot tucked under some trees that our BD tent fit in. While setting up camp we heard the people coming back to shore with what sounded like some discussion...guessing the way back was a bit more melted out than when they had walked out there. They must have camped lower perhaps down at Hyas Lake as we didn’t see them again. We could easily filter water from the lake edge melting out and had a nice view of Cathedral and the massive Mt Daniel. We talked a lot about possible ski routes while eating and drinking tea.

Woke about 5:30am and not feeling rushed ate and got ready to head to Robin lakes and Granite Mnt. Decided to take low route next to lake which was fine except two melting out cracks we had to cross. Easy step acrosses but wondered about the return. Took our time up the gully with paying attention to spring conditions...avoid the holes and sagging mush snow, listen for water, etc etc. found some cairns along the way on the rock parts melted out. Robin lakes were similar to Tuck with being frozen with edges of spectacular blue melt rings. A beautiful area for sure, however with no larch trees I wonder about the comparison with the Enchantments... took a straightforward line up the ridge in between the two lakes on moderate terrain. Thought about traversing left to the saddle but went right and up the down quite steep snow (nicely soft and easy to plunge step) with better runout than the traverse. Ava found some ptarmigans so we leashed her up. From here you see the summit and we noticed a goat on the subsummit to the right. The true summit is a large boulder balancing with some others with a bit of exposure but it’s pretty spacious with lots of sandy nooks for taking a break. We smacked and enjoyed the view with lower clouds wafting in and out of the blue sky sunny day. Chilly though when stopped. We decided on just Granite Mnt this trip as we figured we’d be back another time, likely in less snowy conditions.

Headed back the way we came and had no trouble returning over the cracks in the lake even though one did seem more melted out and a wider step across. Packed up and headed out. GPS track was very handy in finding the spot where the snow met the melted out trail. We didn’t see anyone until passing Hyas Lake again. The parking lot was nearly empty and things felt more normal instead of the crazy party atmosphere of Sunday driving in. Driving out around 3pm on Monday the creek crossing in the car felt even more scary. This time we rolled up the window on the drivers side and it felt like the car shuffled around more which may just have been the rocks we were on moving but any way we were glad to be back on this side. Late lunch at The Brick (GF buns!) and ice cream at Maggie’s before sitting in traffic heading home. A weekend salvaged and a rare solitary experience up at Tuck/Robin lakes.



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