Climbed Tupshin, Devore and Flora last week as a 5 day trip. We had hoped to do it in 4 days but that didnít work out so we stayed one more day. It was oppressively hot over there as it was probably 85 deg on the summit of flora last Monday. Combining the heat with the flies and mosquitoes along with lots of steep bushwhacking made for quite an adventure.
We lucked out by getting a boat ride across the lake so we didnít have to walk the 3.5 miles on the river trail to get to the devore creek trail.
It was another 4.75 miles to Bird Creek Camp and 3000í of gain. However, we decided to continue up to 5400í to camp for the night. We managed to find a way up that avoided the slide alder but it was still a miserable hike up through the brush. Took us awhile to find a place to camp but we found what seemed like the only flat spot around and right next to water.
The next day we headed up to Tupshin, the most technical of the 3 peaks we were going to climb. Itís a steep route up the mountainside to get to the base of the route, about 2200í of el gain. We needed crampons and ice axe to get onto the rock as the lingering snow was hard and steep. Once on the rock we were able to follow Klenkeís Summit Post route info quite easily. https://www.summitpost.org/east-face-right-side/165490 There are a few class 5 moves going up so we pulled out the rope for two pitches and scrambled the rest. I think we did 4 rappels coming down as it was much easier to rappel the class 3 sections than to downclimb them.
Once down we decided to try to head over to devore using a high traverse route. However, we were too high and got gendarmed out and needed to backtrack. At that point we decided it was best just to head back to camp and climb devore the following day. In hindsight, that was a good decision as I think we would have been coming down from Devore in the dark which none of us wanted to do.
We found a nice way from the upper basin at 5800í down to our camp at 5400í that avoided all the slide alder and dense brush. We followed this route again the following day when going back up to climb Devore. There is a really nice, wide gully that doesnít seem very obvious until you get close to it that allows access to the mid-height basin on devoreís north side.
This takes one up to a rocky basin that allows you to continue up the right side to the upper basin near the lakes. We didnít go to the lakes but continued to head up to the snow slopes where we donned crampons to get to the ridge.
Crampons off, hike the ridgeline to the next snowfield, crampons back on, drop off the other side, and continue on up to the class 4 step. Heather led up this step but didnít place any gear as the climbing is quite easy.
We then headed over to the very exposed class 3 corner. This really is ďvery exposedĒ but easy. It will give you the pucker factor. At this point you see the final gully to the summit which looks horrendous but is actually not at all. Once there we scrambled up easily to the summit. However, we did rappel it as itís pretty crappy rock.
A rappel down the class 4 step and we followed our route up back to camp where we packed up and headed down to Bird Creek Camp at 4200í
Two down, one to go. Flora is the least technical of the peaks as no gear is required. However, it was the one I had the most difficulty with. It was the longest hiking of the 3, the most bushwhacking, and the hottest day. We hiked up the devore creek trail 2.7 miles before crossing the creek and heading up steeply in the dense forest eventually breaking out of the trees into an enormous boulder field. Climbed up the boulder field to the upper left low point
where we saw we had a nasty downclimb through lots of loose class 3 rock. This was the most unnerving part of the entire trip. Downclimbing this crap where you have to test every hand and foot hold was not fun! But we made it, did a long traverse over to the ramp on the other side of the valley and headed up. The last section to the summit is rock hopping and I just about died in the heat. I made it though for the last of the 3.
The next day we hiked out and this time had to do the river trail which was very buggy. Caught the bus, which dropped us at the bakery where we spent the next 2.5 hours eating quiche and ice cream.
All in all a challenging trip and nice to have these done with. Puts me at 76 so Iím now in the last quarter century. Not sure if Iíll ever complete the top 100 as time seems to be running out but weíll see.
Thanks to Heather and Alli for all their help getting me up these peaks. Couldnít have done it without them.
Stats: 39 miles and 19,000 ft el gain.
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