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b00
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b00
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 1:16 am 
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golden horn + tower mt 10/11/06-10/13/06
what a great way to end the season - a larch filled trip, in open country, with views that stretch forever.  We even got a chance to join in on tower mt’s celebration: millions of years of loose rock :>)

a moderate start time brought us to the rainy pass trailhead from which we headed up to cutthroat pass on the easy trail
moon over the crest trail
moon over the crest trail
silver star viewed from cutthroat pass
silver star viewed from cutthroat pass
snagtooth is from left to center
snagtooth is from left to center
liberty bell from cutthroat pass
liberty bell from cutthroat pass

and continued on up to granite pass where we had our first views of tower and golden horn.
tower and golden horn
tower and golden horn

our easy pace with brought to where we set up our camp at about 3:30pm, about 5 hours after we started.
tower
tower

we decided we had enough time to visit golden horn if we did not dally.
We headed to upper snowy lakes
golden horn
golden horn

and then up onto the talus that skirted some trees as we headed up to golden horn’s se ridge.  a rising traverse from the lakes is doable, but gaining and following the ridge is easier and quicker.  We mostly stayed on the ridge
tower mt viewed from golden horn’s se ridge
tower mt viewed from golden horn’s se ridge
golden horn viewd from the ridge
golden horn viewd from the ridge

until we reached this view of golden horn:
from here we traversed left to the west side and followed this:
easy but loose class 2/3 gully to below the summit block.
We wondered which was the true summit block. It proved to be the left one.
climbed up the notch in the center and traversed right to the summit
climbed up the notch in the center and traversed right to the summit

My buddy led up the easy low class 5 which he buddy protected with a .75,  #1 camalot and 2 tied double runners at the summit for a rap anchor on a 50m rope (30m would have been more than enough as the top is only 15’ above the easy terrain). He belayed me up, we snapped some quick pics and rapped down.
tower mt views from the summit of golden horn
tower mt views from the summit of golden horn

we hustled back to camp, making it without the use of our headlamps, a little after 7:00pm. a beautiful camp spot and star filled night.
In the morning, we turned our attention to tower. The route on this mt proved to be quite tricky.  My buddy said the route descriptions were like following a “recipe in a cookbook written in chinese and missing a number of ingredients.”  Our numerous route descriptions conflicted with each other and were mostly silent about how to get into the obvious gully.  Looking at the mt from camp, it was not obvious how we would get into this gully.  I assumed once we got closer, since none of the guidebooks mentioned it, getting into the gully would be easy and obvious.
It was not.  Summitpost said to traverse over to the sw ridge,  but the guidebooks said to take the gully.  We went to the head of the basin and traversed a little right of the gully and headed 100’ or so up a very steep and loose class 3 / 4 gully right of the main gully and then did a rising traverse into the main gully.  We followed this main gully up and it was nasty – it was steep, very loose, very exposed and basically unprotectable, since a rope would have knocked tons of rock loose.  The gully was very uncomfortable and my buddy belayed me on one of the sections of solid rock that had small, but good footholds, but no hands, and was very exposed. At about 8000’ we saw a notch on our right on the ridge with a cairn in it.
we went over to this notch and it appeared to be where the summitpost ridge route met the main gully and low and behold, we found some cairns leading up.  Although below this I am not sure which route is better, if you go over by this notch(you do not need to go through the notch) you should be able to find the cairns that help you weave your way up, climber’s right, of the main gully as you do a sort of serpentine rising rightward traverse to reach the ridge 50-100’ below the summit, which then soon becomes easy class 2 / 3 terrain to the summit.  We both breathed a huge sigh of relief when we topped out. It took us about 4 hours from camp and we stood beside the giant 8’ summit cairn.
Since we had plenty of time, we lounged, took a good long nap, shot pics, ate and enjoyed the great comfortable summit.
Now, we needed to very carefully find our way back to camp in one piece.  After going up, this did not appear easy.  we started back the way we came and stopped at the high notch (at about 8000’ as we mentioned earlier).  Since the route up was so dangerous, we thought we would take a look at that summitpost route.  this route did not look easy or obvious so we decided we would head back the way we came up.  A few of the spots my buddy belayed me and one spot just below the notch we found a way to rappel without killing ourselves with loose rock.
We continued down to about 25m above the basin and found a good little pine tree for a rap anchor.
Once in the basin, we were both able to breathe again.  Helmets are a must for this route and there is so much loose rock, that any party more than two or possibly three (everyone must be very experienced in travelling loose terrain) would be dangerous.  When we were not travelling side by side, we had to hide from rockfall and we still saw a number of cases of delayed rockfall.
We headed back to camp.
in the morning we took a beautiful stroll through along the larch filled trail back to the car.
tower and golden horn
tower and golden horn

equipment: helmets, 50m rope, .75 & # 1 camalots
references: cascade alpine guide, summit routes, goldman’s book, summitpost, northwestpeakbaggers.com,wta
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22331 | TRs | Pics
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed Oct 18, 2006 1:50 am 
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Why didnt you post any pictures? hockeygrin.gif

Great job. up.gif

--------------
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."

—Wayne's John Bernard Books in The Shootist
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 4808 | TRs | Pics
Location: kennewick, wa
ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!
PostWed Oct 18, 2006 6:59 am 
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Great job on posting ALL of your pics.....nice TR up.gif  biggrin.gif

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"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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Tazz
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Tazz
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 7:03 am 
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great beta shots B00! Thanks
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 7:13 am 
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up.gif  up.gif
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Randy
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 10:07 am 
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Thanks for the detail b00!
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Sabahsboy
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 7:24 pm 
Golden Horn et al
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Photo #35.  What is that mountain?  I recall seeing it and never figured out what it was...with all those spires and towers.  What does it look like from the north side facing south?  Does anyone know?

This TR is a great adventure.  Thank you for both report and wonderful photos.  Now, you have a winter's chore ahead: label the photos!  I found Mt. Goode's great slab face and was confused by Logan and think I know Black.  The North Cascades viewed from the NE and north delivers many dramatic summits, ice and ridges.

Sure wish I had gone the PCT to Golden Horn; I visited Cutthroat Pass many times for larch viewing and "messing around" on the rocks and frenzy of picture taking.

Now you show me what I missed and more: what I would never have attempted!  Thank you for the TR and I can't wait for more of your future adventures.
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Sabahsboy
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PostWed Oct 18, 2006 7:24 pm 
Golden Horn et al
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Boo and all!  Photo #35.  What is that mountain?  I recall seeing it and never figured out what it was...with all those spires and towers.  What does it look like from the north side facing south?  Does anyone know?

This TR is a great adventure.  Thank you for both report and wonderful photos.  Now, you have a winter's chore ahead: label the photos!  I found Mt. Goode's great slab face and was confused by Logan and think I know Black.  The North Cascades viewed from the NE and north delivers many dramatic summits, ice and ridges.

Sure wish I had gone the PCT to Golden Horn; I visited Cutthroat Pass many times for larch viewing and "messing around" on the rocks and frenzy of picture taking.

Now you show me what I missed and more: what I would never have attempted!  Thank you for the TR and I can't wait for more of your future adventures.
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b00
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b00
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PostThu Oct 19, 2006 10:15 am 
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Sabahsboy wrote:
Boo and all!  Photo #35.  What is that mountain?.

i believe they are the needles.

you spoke of identifying mt logan, could you help me identify it?
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > golden horn + tower mt 10/11/06-10/13/06
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