Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Daniel Survey, Nov 5, 2023
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Eric Gilbertson
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Joined: 04 Jul 2018
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Eric Gilbertson
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PostWed Nov 22, 2023 10:44 am 
Mt Daniel Survey Nov 5, 2023 16 miles, 6500ft gain Summary of Results: Main Summit 7972.5 ft +/- 0.2 ft, Middle Summit 7952.1 ft +/- 0.1 ft Snow cover was still low enough in some areas I figured I could sneak in one final survey for the year. It looked like the alpine lakes area had a dry window Sunday and minimal snow cover. A few people had asked me about surveying Mt Daniel and it sounded like a fun objective. The summit of Mt Daniel is not directly surveyed on the quad, but the main and middle summits are within the same contours. For some reason I couldnít get any Lidar data to load for the area, even though it theoretically exists.
On the main summit with middle in the background
On the main summit with middle in the background
The route
The route
Hiking up looking back at Peggy Pond and Cathedral Rock
Hiking up looking back at Peggy Pond and Cathedral Rock
Mt Daniel is the highpoint of King County, so I figured it would be nice to know its elevation to the nearest inch, even more accurate than a Lidar survey. Iíd previously climbed Daniel in November 2016, but there were a few more peaks nearby that I had skipped then but I could tag on this time. I left town Sunday morning at 5am and was hiking from the end of FS 4330 by 7:30am. I made good time up the trail, just getting one final snow squall before precipitation ended for the day as expected. Up at Peggyís Pond small patches of snow started appearing on the ground, and it became an inch or two deep higher up. I followed the southeast ridge, which involved a few slippery scrambling sections covered in ice and snow. That would have been perfect for micro spikes, but unfortunately Iíd just brought crampons.
On the main summit looking at Pea Soup Lake and middle summit
On the main summit looking at Pea Soup Lake and middle summit
I put the crampons on to traverse below the east peak of Daniel, then made the final scramble up the main peak by 12:30pm. The top had just a dusting of snow, and I was able to set up my mini tripod and antenna on the summit. I started logging data, then took a bunch of pictures and walked around the base for an hour to stay warm. Pea Soup lake down below looked really colorful with the dusting of snow in the foreground. Clouds rolled in and out but I got great views south to Rainier and north to Glacier Peak. I was able to take sight level measurements during breaks in the clouds looking towards the Middle peak.
The unit on the main summit
The unit on the main summit
On the middle summit
On the middle summit
On the middle summit
On the middle summit
After an hour I packed up and hiked over to the middle summit. I measured with my 5x sight level that a spire a little farther east of the talus summit was the exact same elevation within the error bounds of the device (10 arc minutes). So I decided to just measure the easy 3rd class summit since the spire looked 5th class and sketchy covered in rime. I took an hour measurement, and had to run around a bit to stay warm. Luckily Iíd brought my big puffy down jacket. I also took sight level measurements back to the Main summit. By 3pm I was finished with all my measurements and headed down. I made sure to tag the three bonus point peaks on the way down, Daniel East, Peak 7662, and Peak 7020. I made it back to the car just before dark, and just 10 minutes before it started raining hard, so very good timing sneaking the survey in the weather window.
Hiking back down
Hiking back down
Hiking down loking at Venus Lake
Hiking down loking at Venus Lake
Looking down at Circle Lake
Looking down at Circle Lake
After 24 hours I processed the results and found the Main summit is 7972.5 ft +/- 0.2 ft and Middle summit is 7952.1 ft +/- 0.1 ft. Main is the farther west of the two with the summit register (Iím using naming convention from peakbagger.com). So Main is highpoint, 20.4ft taller than Middle. My sight level measurements were consistent with these results. Interestingly, this now puts Mt Daniel as higher than Mt Olympus by a few feet.

mossbackmax, Anne Elk, achildinthesehills, ALW Hiker, NWtrax, Comma, rubywrangler, Snowdog, kw, ChinookPass, LukeHelgeson, John Mac, awilsondc, Now I Fly, jstern, RichP, yukon222, jaysway  Josh Journey, Gimpilator
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flatsqwerl
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flatsqwerl
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PostWed Nov 22, 2023 11:10 am 
wow...so little snow up there!

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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Nov 23, 2023 8:19 am 
Very cool thanks for sharing.

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kw
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kw
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PostSat Nov 25, 2023 9:42 pm 
Great shots of all of the lakes!

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timberghost
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timberghost
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PostTue Nov 28, 2023 5:59 am 
I imagine you didnt see another person

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achildinthesehills
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achildinthesehills
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 12:05 pm 
That spire by the middle summit was of great consternation to me when I was up there. I at least emotionally convinced myself that the walk-up option was not any lower. (Weirdly, my climbing partners didn't seem to care...) Glad to have some data now that just stacking a couple rocks and standing on them would definitively make it so. cool.gif

"But [you] can't slow down now / As the earth has presented / A new crest to reach / Without barely a rest / From the last one"
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Jan 14, 2024 1:16 pm 
Eric Gilbertson wrote:
Hiking down looking at Venus Lake
Hiking down looking at Venus Lake
This is a gorgeous, beautifully composed photo - calendar worthy. I love the highlights on the clouds, and the line of clouds tracing the ridge above the lower lake. I hope you'll submit it next year. Bravo!

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Eric Gilbertson
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