Home > Trip Reports > May 1, 2009, Golden Horn and Tower Mountain

May 1, 2009, Golden Horn and Tower Mountain

Posted by Oyvind_Henningsen on 5/2/09 2:05am
Khahn, Tim, and I were able to tag onto Dave and Adam's trip idea and after a snowpark bivy we were off at around 5:30 am up the Swamp Creek drainage.  The drainage is pretty easy going until you have to take a left under Tower Mountain in the drainage coming down from Snowy Lakes.  Here trees are pretty tight and the drainage steepens up for a few hundred feet.  Once out the trees at Snowy Lakes the views start to expand and the majesty of the North Cascades are slowly revealed to us as we ascend.  We traverse most of the way over to Golden Horn, but need to crampon the last part as the sun has not done its work yet and it is steep and the snow is hard.  Dave makes excellent work of booting up the gully, we belay to the N side of the summit block and Tim climbs to the top and clips a sling so we can top rope the rest of us.  The ski down to Snowy Lakes is on great super duper corn.  Fast and just ripe. 
Dave and Adam take off to ski a line on Mt Hardy, Khahn stays to make some laps while Tim and I traverse over to Tower Mountain and its prominent gully.  We had hopes of skiing this, but neither of us feel for the exposure so we leave the skis below the cliff band and booth up.  We are both getting tired and the sun is just BAKING and it is frickin' hot wearing us down.  We pass our 3pm turn around time, but push on as we are quite close.  The summit has a cairn of MASSIVE proportions and half way burried in snow.  The views are again enormous.  We make our way down the gully carefully, making sure we have solid foot and hand holds.  My thighs (back and front) , hands, calfs, and toes start to cramp up, dehydrated I guess.  Looking back it is kind of funny, but boy did it hurt at the time.  Tim takes over kicking steps down and we make it back to the skis for some more effortless turns back to Snowy Lakes where we hook up with Khahn again.  We drop into the West Fork Methow River drainage for a few turns and make our way up to the SE shoulder of Mt Hardy.  From here were are able to scope a gully that from above we can determine with 75% certainty 'goes' down to Swamp creek.  We were lucky and it did go 100%, but will be melted out very soon.  We are back at the car before dark, but not by much.   A very rewarding day with million dollar views and company.

Looks like a great tour in new environs- way to go all of you!!
Sorry I couldn't be in two places simultaneously (garibaldi park and hwy 20)...

Great stuff -- I love reading TRs for places I have to look up on the map.

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2009-05-02 09:05:24