Forum Index > Trip Reports > Russian Butte, Revolution, Thompson 07-12-08
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huron
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huron
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 12:26 pm 
For those who are not familiar with it, Russian Butte can be seen as the rugged looking set of crags to the left of Mailbox Peak as you drive East through North Bend on I-90. It was easy to decide to climb Russian Butte, but much harder to find a way to access it in a single day. A route following the Pratt River trail and ascending from the East would be the shortest, but Mesachie convinced Omega and I that the route up the Granite Lakes forest road documented in a single paragraph by Beckey had the advantage of crossing Revolution Peak and a few other points of interest. Taking the road route also provided some additional time margin for the trip since we could walk the road back after dark.
View Larger Map cool.gif This map is interactive! Click, drag, zoom... How to do this on your post Start time was 6:30am at the trailhead which was a hundred yards West of the Middle Fork bridge. Hikers left to right: Omega, Mesahchie Mark, Magnum.
Before (too tired for an after)
Before (too tired for an after)
Upper Granite Lakes road
Upper Granite Lakes road
With ripe berries, copious scat and claw prints welcoming us into ursa territory, we set forth on a narrow and seldom travelled trail. Omega had previously scouted the route and knew that the trail would lead to the Granite Lakes forest road, saving us a good deal of distance from the normal start just East of the Mailbox parking area. The Granite Lakes road follows Granite creek until it reaches a cabin near Thompson Peak (point 5124) with views of Thompson Lake, Granite Lakes, the North slopes of Defiance, Dirty Harry's Peak and the East slope of Mailbox. We could also get a rarely seen view of our destinations.
Russian Butte & Gifford Lakes from Southwest
Russian Butte & Gifford Lakes from Southwest
Revolution Peak from Southwest
Revolution Peak from Southwest
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???? ??????
From Thompson, we followed a sharp ridge line with a short, but exposed downclimb to the summit of Revolution Peak. Views here were broad including the Pratt valley and Preacher Mountain.
Mind the gap
Mind the gap
North from Revolution (5454)
North from Revolution (5454)
After a short break, we had some fun with a glissade down from the summit and followed a long traverse at 4500 feet to the base of Russian Butte's center, and highest fin. We were debating if it was class 3 or not, but after hours of bushwhacking, wearing packs and muddy, wet boots, the somewhat exposed climb made us think twice about each and every step. Omega seemed to be picking the best lines, so Mesachie and I followed and soon we were at the summit.
Russian Butte East wall
Russian Butte East wall
Climbing East wall of center butte
Climbing East wall of center butte
Fin South of summit
Fin South of summit
There, we found a glass mason jar with some loose papers acting as a register. After adding our names, we left a gift in the spirit of Russian hospitality for the next to visit and took an alternate steep heather route along the Northeast rather than down climb the rock just as Gabriel had in a previous report.
Russian Butte 5,123'
Russian Butte 5,123'
South from Russian Butte Summit
South from Russian Butte Summit
Middle Fork West from Russian Butte Summit
Middle Fork West from Russian Butte Summit
The return trip was identical except for a detour around the outside of Revolution peak. We arrived at the road just as the Seattle skyline was covered in an orange glow and proceeded down the road in fading light with a brilliant half moon. Mesachie had stashed a few liquid things in a creek on the way up, so we took a break to toast to success. Back to the car by midnight or so. A long day! Stats from Omega's GPS: 17.5 hours, 17.8 miles, 6,944 feet elevation gain!
Definace & West Defiance from Northwest
Definace & West Defiance from Northwest

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Busta-Hip
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Busta-Hip
will there be bugs?
PostMon Jul 14, 2008 12:54 pm 
Nicely done boys. wink.gif

A dream is an answer to a question you havenít figured out how to ask - Fox Mulder
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Mesahchie Mark
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Mesahchie Mark
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 1:54 pm 
Thanks for putting together the TR, Mr Magnum! This was one of the longest day trips I've ever been on, right up there with Sloan and Mesahchie Peak. Omega's sekrit trail start had me thinking about the Steven King story "Mrs Todd's Shortcut". Wrong way!
Right Way
I had never been up to Granite Lakes before, so it was interesting to see Mailbox, Dirty Harry's, West Defiance and Defiance from a north perspective. Throw Rainier into the mix, and it was almost forgiveable that we were on a logging road! Rainier peaks out behind W Defiance and the Other Butte
From on the ridge, it was a privelege to spy the Gifford Lakes and Thompson Lake. The latter looked like it could be an awesome camping destination, provided you had a Curtis raft. Thompson - check out the islands!
Giffords
More to come...

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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Randy
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 4:18 pm 
Awesome dudes. I've wanted to do Russian Butte for years. Thanks for the beta!

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Yet
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 4:29 pm 
Magnum wrote:
Mesahchie had stashed a few liquid things in a creek on the way up, so we took a break to toast to success.
You mean like water, gatorade, or V8? Whatever it takes to quench the thirst! wink.gif Busta-Hip, nice to see your post. When will I see you again at a TNAB?

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meandmyaussies
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 8:58 pm 
Wow - epic trip, guys! How was the ridge between Revolution and RB? That first section looks a little sketchy. Did you just go up the center section of the butte? The south fin looks pretty hairy. Congrats on getting it done!

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huron
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huron
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 9:31 pm 
From Thompson to Revolution, we crossed the ridge line which was narrow and steep to either side. It had just a few up and down climbs on rock with one larger climb in the center (shown in photo) that had some exposure on each side. From Revolution, we left the summit to the Northeast down a steep snow slope, then traversed below the ridge at 4500 feet to the base of RB.

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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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PostMon Jul 14, 2008 9:48 pm 
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Anything stated by me in no way reflects the attitudes or opinions of my wife
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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 12:34 am 
18 hours!?!? I don't know of anything I can do for 18 hours. You guys rockband.gif up.gif

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runningbird
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runningbird
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 7:48 am 
Hoooo Rah! SO WAY cool - You guys ROCK!!!!!

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wamtngal
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 8:11 am 
Excellent guys!

Opinions expressed here are my own.
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cmurph
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cmurph
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 8:39 am 
Nicely done guys...you are so badass! up.gif

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yukon222
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 8:48 am 
18hrs? Whoa. Guess the proposed TNAB trip to Russian Butte from a month or two ago won't be happening. clown.gif 7,000' of gain with that many miles is definitely a marathon day. Excellent. hockeygrin.gif Was the rock climbing mostly Class 3 or a few Class 4 moves in there? How much of the road walking could be ridden on mountain bicycle?

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Yet
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 11:20 am 
cmurph wrote:
you are so badass! up.gif
Hee! Colleen, that's what I told Mark, especially in the "gangsta" photo. embarassedlaugh.gif

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Mesahchie Mark
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Mesahchie Mark
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PostTue Jul 15, 2008 11:51 am 
yukon222 wrote:
Was the rock climbing mostly Class 3 or a few Class 4 moves in there? How much of the road walking could be ridden on mountain bicycle?
The scramble definitely felt like a good mix of 3/4, especially early on, 'cause Magnum and I were taking a different route than Omega. After that it mellowed considerably. The whole thing may have seemed harder than it should - I was completely gassed by this point! I think one could pedal to Granite Lakes no problem. After that, you could use a bike to coast down sections of the road, but you'd have to dismount often for various obstacles and errorsion issues.

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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