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Fletcher
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Location: kirkland
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PostTue Oct 09, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Thornton Peak from above 1st Thornton Lake
Thornton Peak from above 1st Thornton Lake

As always, I was having a very difficult time deciding where to go this Tuesday. I got a message from forum member "gb" asking me if I wanted to join him for a trip up in the NCNP. Of course, I agreed.

We met up in Lynnwood at 5:20am, after a foggy drive up highway 20, we were hiking at 8. It was a bluebird day and already quite warm. We made quick time to the national park boundary.
NCNP
NCNP

Shortly after that we found ourselves at the pass overlooking lower Thornton Lake, Trappers Peak, and Thornton Peak.
Trappers Peak
Trappers Peak
the first lake
the first lake

We then made our way down to the lake and around the south side.
reflection
reflection
bear scat
bear scat

There is a bootpath that goes from the outlet of the lower lake to Middle Thornton Lake but it is brushy and often hard to follow. We did our best to stay on track and made our way to the middle lake.
en-route to middle lake
en-route to middle lake

Upon arrival at the middle lake you must traverse an annoying talus field to the obvious gully right in front of you. Then ascend said gully all the way to the top.
the gully and Thornton Peak
the gully and Thornton Peak
getting up above the lake
getting up above the lake

We eventually found a bootpath and kept following that upward.
gb leading the way

At the top of the gully you are awarded with an up-close view of Mt. Triumph, from here ascend to the left towards the top of Thornton.
Mt. Triumph
Mt. Triumph

There is a series of slabs and heathery benches that lead up to the summit ridge. The views of the North Cascades are ever-expanding.

gb heading up the slabs
gb heading up the slabs
the Pickets
the Pickets
Upper Thornton Lake, still half frozen
Upper Thornton Lake, still half frozen

Once on the summit ridge the scrambling gets more involved, the rock is for the most part, solid.
Thornton's summit ridge
Thornton's summit ridge
deep chasm high on Thornton
deep chasm high on Thornton
the final approach
the final approach
final scramble
final scramble

The final scramble to the summit offers a lot of exposure and a lot of fun. We made the summit 5.5 hrs after leaving the car. The wind was calm and it was warm on the top, it felt like summer.
exposure on the final bit
exposure on the final bit
Baker, Blum, Shuksan
Baker, Blum, Shuksan
Triumph
Triumph
the Pickets
the Pickets
Bacon
Bacon
Baker
Baker
Pinnacle to Eldorado??
Pinnacle to Eldorado??
Teebone Ridge
Teebone Ridge
Jack and Crater
Jack and Crater
Ruby Mtn
Ruby Mtn
Me on top with Triumph
Me on top with Triumph
Glacier and Snowking
Glacier and Snowking

The views from the top were outstanding. We were the 4th party this year to sign the register. After about 45 minutes on the top we reluctantly began our descent.
gb downclimbing
gb downclimbing
looking back at the scramble
looking back at the scramble
me and the Pickets
me and the Pickets

We made good time back to the gully, from there to the middle lake was slow going. That gully is a pain in the ass.
more bear poo
more bear poo
heading down
heading down
fall color
fall color

This is where the pictures stopped uploading for some reason, cant figure it out but I got all of the good ones up...

Anyways, once down at Middle Thornton, we made good time back to the lower lake. There, we filled up on water, had a snack, and hiked the rest of the way out. We made it to the cars at 6:50pm, just before dark.

This marks my 40th new summit of the year and my 3rd new summit in the NCNP in 8 days. It was a long day spent with great company. Thanks for the invite gb!
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13088 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
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PostWed Oct 10, 2012 9:52 am 
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You are en fuego!  up.gif  Nice get on a lesser known peak.
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gb
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Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 5141 | TRs

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PostWed Oct 10, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Fletcher,

You were great company on this trip which I thought a little to dangerous (injury possibilities) for a solo. I was impressed with your judgement, your obvious skills, and especially for your unbounding enthusiasm for the mountains. You rock, Fletcher.

PS, nice photos, too. Ah, fall!

Thank God for that GPS, eh?
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