Monday, May 14, 2007

Hard Knox 5.14.07

Hard Knox or South Thorp Mt. as it is sometimes referred to is #45 on the HC/100 list and as such needed to be climbed. I was blessed with near perfect weather unbroken sun but not too warm. I was pleased that the major overhaul of my boots had been completed and they looked great. I had a feeling they might need to be rebroken because of the extensive repairs so I chose this because the majority of the climb was on logging roads. The Thorp Mt group can be accessed in a variety of ways I chose to use the East Lake Kachess Road( Kachess Dam Road) for the days adventure. I was pleased to be able to drive up to around 3000ft where the road abrubtly ends in an impassable tangle of fallen logs. I doubt that this will be fixed anytime soon. As I suspected my boots gave me trouble from the onset. I think it took me nearly 10 minutes to get them relaced and on to my feet. I was off. The bare road that quickly changes to consolidtated snow. I followed the logging roads until a junction at 4700ft where I left the road climbing in a more direct route to my summit. I rejoined a upper road for a short while before again leaving for the hard snow in the shade of the trees. I now switched to snowshoes which I felt gave me some more stable footing. I followed the basin that a creek flows through until 5200ft where I crossed to the North side and began climbing steeply Northward. I had reached by turnaround time but I was only 600ft from the summit so I pressed on. I broke out the ice axe because it was steep enough to give me pause and paired with the variable snow conditions I thought it prudent. The pitch lessens near the summit and I was confused on which of points was highest. The Peak Baggers's Asylum identifies the Eastern point (5841) as the highest. I didn't have a good line of sight to determine for sure which was the highest. My topo program definitely shows the West as the highest point. I was content that my summit was highest. I wish I had more time to find out for sure. I snapped some pictures and then I was off. I had some time to make up so I did my best to shave some time on the way out. I ended up making it home in time for the rest of the evenings plans.

Approx 9miles 2800ft of climb 4:30 car to car

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