Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Surprise Mt. 7/12/05

Today's goal was for a summit attempt of Mac Peak. I arrived near the end of the Tonga Ridge Road with a heavy mist and a very sleepy head. I put on rain pants and was off for the the descent to Deception Creek. This approach saves alot of time compared to other approaches. It is the only trail that I know of that starts with a descent. Once I dropped the intial 200ft the trail became quite open so I didn't get nearly as wet as expected. I made great time to the junction with the Crest Trail, I went 100 yards towards Deception Lakes and left the trail. I consulted my map.... where is it? In my sleepiness I had left it in the truck. I decided to at least scout a bit. I easily climbed 200 feet with out much resistance actually following a faint trail for most of the way. The trail faded out and without a map I didn't feel it prudent I continue. On my way down I picked up an even more defined trail which intersected with another trail. I decided to follow this trail which dropped me down to South end of the middle Deception Lake. I decided that with plenty of time I would coninue on the Old Crest Trail to Surprise Gap and on to Surprise Mt's summit. The trail to the Gap is in great shape and would be much faster than the rerouted trail to Glacier Lake. A climber's trail easily takes you to Surprise Mt's 6330 ft summit. The weather improved as the day went on and left me with some good views of Cathedral Rock and the aptly named Terrace Mt.. The views to the North were non existent with heavy cloud cover stacked up by the summit. There is also a climber's trail that leads to Thunder Mt. but I didn't explore it. The bugs were out in force and were ruthless, be prepared for some unpleasantness. I flew out and made it back to the last 400ft climb to the truck. I chugged my way up the last bit and made it to the truck 6.5 hours after starting. 14 miles 4000ft of climb.

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