Tower Mountain rises 8,444 into the heart of the North Cascades. The customary approach uses 10 miles of the PCT beginning from the Rainy Pass trail head. Another approach documented here by Tazz and team is a 4 mile bushwhack up Swamp Creek beginning shortly after the Easy Pass trail head. We sampled both to converge on Tower Mountain from two directions.
Twodogdad and 11thEssential came from the PCT while Mesahchie Mark, The Doctor (don't call him that) and I took the bushwhack. Others will chime in with specifics, but there appears to be about 1 hour and 800 feet of elevation to be saved by taking the shwack. The price to be paid for that is a lack of views along the way and possible wet boots while crossing minor bogs and streams. The going can be made easier by staying slightly higher on the South side of Swamp Creek and by following the intermittent game trails along the way. Both access routes converge at the spur trail from PCT running up to Snowy Lake.
From there, a scree field runs up to a small cave Tower's West face. Go South on a ledge from the cave to the foot of the largest central gulley. Carns mark easy routes up the gulley, but many variations are possible. Under the white wall, traverse right to access the summit's large boulder pile. No register was found. Brought rope and protection. Used none except for an unnecessary novelty rappel. Helmet advised.
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