Forum Index > Trip Reports > Surprise Lake, Trap Pass - 2023-11-28
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mbravenboer
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mbravenboer
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 12:23 pm 
With the upcoming rain and snow, it seemed that this week was the last chance to get to otherwise hard to reach places. I decided to try to reach Thunder Mountain Lakes, but it was a bit tricky because I had to be back home at 3pm. I started at 3:30am, which turned out to not be sufficient. I got some nice views anyway! I made it to just below Slippery Slab Tower. Of course the conditions will drastically change this week, so I'm not sure it's super helpful, but anyway: Surprise Lake was easy with just microspikes. Up to Trap Pass there was a snowshoe track that seemed to be from a single person. Snowshoes were helpful/necessary there. After Trap Pass, the ridge was pretty solid snow, but then there is a little open boulder area where some form of flotation seemed necessary. Snow got pretty deep above 6000ft. I realized that Thunder Mountain Lakes was still quite far so decided to chill out for a while and then turn back. The trip down was very fast though, so I had some time to take the PCT to Glacier Lake which was a nice interruption of the switchbacks. Stats: ~14 miles, 4500ft gain. Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bravenboer/albums/72177720313067445/
Inversion east of Trap Pass
Inversion east of Trap Pass
Inversion view heading up to Thunder area from Trap Pass
Inversion view heading up to Thunder area from Trap Pass
K9 to the right, Fernow and Maude in the far distance
K9 to the right, Fernow and Maude in the far distance
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Columbia, Kyes, Sloan
Columbia, Kyes, Sloan
Index, Baring, Merchant, Gunnshy
Index, Baring, Merchant, Gunnshy
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
View north from base of Slippery Slab Tower.
View north from base of Slippery Slab Tower.
Chiwaukum Mountains rising above the inversion from Trap Pass
Chiwaukum Mountains rising above the inversion from Trap Pass
Slippery Slab Tower
Slippery Slab Tower
Mt Daniel
Mt Daniel
Glacier Lake, Daniel and Hinman in the background
Glacier Lake, Daniel and Hinman in the background
Glacier Lake
Glacier Lake
Surprise Lake with Spark Plug and Little Spark Plug
Surprise Lake with Spark Plug and Little Spark Plug
Index and Baring with the Bolt Creek Fire
Index and Baring with the Bolt Creek Fire
Surprise and Glacier Lakes
Surprise and Glacier Lakes
View north towards Glacier Peak
View north towards Glacier Peak
Rock Mountain and Jim Hill above the inversion
Rock Mountain and Jim Hill above the inversion
Rock Mountain
Rock Mountain
Jim Hill
Jim Hill
View towards Clark. Cowboy in the center-left.
View towards Clark. Cowboy in the center-left.
Spark Plug and Glacier Lake from the PCT traverse to Glacier Lake.
Spark Plug and Glacier Lake from the PCT traverse to Glacier Lake.
Surface Hoar
Surface Hoar

Pef, runup, pula58, ale_capone, ALW Hiker, ScottP, Gil, Matt, silence, Prosit, jsb, Comma, day_hike_mike, Kascadia, MistyMountainHop, John Mac, fourteen410, rubywrangler, Tom, Nancyann, olderthanIusedtobe, Bootpathguy, zimmertr, raising3hikers, reststep  SpookyKite89, RichP, geyer, Now I Fly, awilsondc, jaysway, JimK
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jaysway
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 2:39 pm 
Those look like incredible conditions! Thanks for sharing.

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Bootpathguy
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Bootpathguy
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 6:00 pm 
Cool! up.gif up.gif up.gif

Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
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zephyr
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zephyr
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 8:11 pm 
mbravenboer wrote:
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Wow! What a sight. ~z

SpookyKite89, NWtrax
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Nancyann
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Nancyann
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 8:48 pm 
One of my favorite dayhikes, only in much more favorable conditions! Gorgeous pictures, thanks for sharing!

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contour5
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contour5
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PostFri Dec 01, 2023 10:12 pm 
Nice!

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HitTheTrail
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HitTheTrail
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PostSat Dec 02, 2023 12:48 pm 
Some of the nicest day hike photos that have been posted for a while. up.gif So I guess the dark spot just to the right of Maude is 7FJ?
mbravenboer wrote:
K9 to the right, Fernow and Maude in the far distance
K9 to the right, Fernow and Maude in the far distance

mbravenboer
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BarbE
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BarbE
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PostSun Dec 03, 2023 6:11 pm 
Stunning images!

mbravenboer
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Matt
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Matt
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PostTue Dec 05, 2023 10:42 pm 
Great photos, especially with the cloud layer below you.

“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien

mbravenboer
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ale_capone
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PostFri Dec 29, 2023 4:57 pm 
mbravenboer wrote:
With the upcoming rain and snow, it seemed that this week was the last chance to get to otherwise hard to reach places. I decided to try to reach Thunder Mountain Lakes,
Thankyou! Really appreciate the photos. I always love seeing trip reports from surprise with snow! Could be November, could be 4th of July. I remember meeting you and your dog on the way up in simular conditions. Are you opposed to the winter route* to Thunder lakes?? It has avalanche concerns, but a high pressure green light go, its magical. it's more direct and fairly moderate as far as endurance. FAR more scenic and alpine feely then the switchbacks of trap pass. In fact,, the whole trip from the summer log crossing on is x2 better. Easy enough for a dog. Easy add on of nimbus. I can send you the details including the hazards if you like? Maybe a few other on/off trails that might be up your alley right about now. *unofficial winter route. I made this up with my dog over several ski trips. We've since done it dozens of times with even more people. Roughly 14-15 miles round trip.

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mbravenboer
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mbravenboer
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PostThu Jan 04, 2024 2:57 pm 
ale_capone wrote:
I always love seeing trip reports from surprise with snow! Could be November, could be 4th of July. I remember meeting you and your dog on the way up in simular conditions.
Yes, I remember it too! Ironically, still haven't actually made it to Surprise mountain itself wink.gif . I've done other fun trips in the area though. Sadly I do not have a dog anymore. My companion died a few years ago and I haven't recovered yet. I'd love some tips for sure! I wasn't familiar with the winter route, although I can imagine some options from the maps. It was very bare at the time, so I didn't pursue any routes with boulders etc. It seems this area is getting some attention for winter. I saw a winter report on Facebook PNW Peak Baggers too. (Sorry missed your comment earlier)

rubywrangler
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