I know it's hard to find beta on the Townsend that's off Hwy 2 (near Merchant and Gunn), because 95% of trip reports are from that OTHER Mt. Townsend on the Olympic Peninula.
Anyway, if you get to Eagle Lk. there is, as some other reports have alluded to, a reasonable bootpath to get you started that avoids some unpleasant brush bashing. From the outlet, follow the path along the lakeshore counterclockwise, until you can easily see a talus field near the bottom of the southwest slopes below Mt. Townsend (this will be on the northeast corner of the lake). There will be a good bootpath to the foot of the talus, cairns up through the talus, and then another bootpath above the talus. The vegetation is a bit dense this time of year, but the path is easily followed. Once you reach the open ledges above the vegetation, the bootpath disappears, but you no longer need it. The ledges are traversed upward and eastward, and it's not hard to find a reasonable route to the ridge crest above. From there it's a delightful ridge walk to the summit.
However, from the summit, it appears that there is probably a better and shorter route than coming in via Barclay Lk. to Eagle Lk. Namely, to approach via Eagle Cr., and then head upward more or less due south of the summit. The slopes looked more open and gentler than those above Eagle Lk, but it would take boots on the ground to know for sure.
Low water in Barclay Lk.
Merchant from Paradise Meadows
Townsend from Paradise Meadows
Merchant behind Eagle Lk.
Ledges ascending Townsend
Merchant et al.
Final stretch to summit
Summit ridge with Merchant behind
This is the GPS route from Stone Lk. to the summit. You can see two little side trips near the lakeshore that were NOT the way to go!
I did that long ago when I chickened out on Merchant. I had to talk a bear off the ridge , and a big buck in velvet, too. Nice trip, huh?
Post those mushrooms on the "mushroom gloating" page -- someone there might know what they are -- never seen the like -- the only mushromms that make you hallucinate before you eat them. Beautiful. Is that their nromal color, or are they overwhelmed by another fungus or something?
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