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bremerton_john

[TR] Mount Fitzhenry - Standard Route via Lake Mills Paddle 1/23/2010

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Trip: Mount Fitzhenry - Standard Route via Lake Mills Paddle

 

Date: 1/23/2010

 

Trip Report:

Saturday - Sunday, January 23-24, 2010

 

Animal and I took advantage of the good weather Saturday to climb Mt. Fitzhenry. We decided to take the kayaks and paddle Lake Mills for the approach. This may be one of the last opportunities we get to paddle this lake before the dam starts coming down. The paddle down to the south end of the lake was nice. The map of the lake is deceiving though. So much sediment has filled in the south end of the lake you can't get to Cat Creek. We had to stop about halfway between Boulder and Cat Creek and set out on foot from there. We kept our water shoes on for crossing Cat Creek, then hung these from a tree on the south bank. From there it was a relatively easy forest ascent up the ridge between Fitzhenry and Cat Creek, basically following the route description. Lots of elk trails, no signs of human ones. Didn't hit snow until 4,000 feet. The ridge was fairly easy traveling with the occasional plunge-hole in the wind-drift, and rock step to negotiate. With the short day we ran out of daylight so bivied on a snow bench below the false summit. The bluebird weather did not hold for Sunday unfortunately. But we packed light and went over the false summit, down the saddle over piles off frozen, sharp scree, and up to the main summit, bypassing some cornices as the snow and wind picked up intensity. We didn't linger, touching the top and returning back to our bivy spot, packing up and heading back down to the lake for a nice return paddle to the boat launch, arriving at 3:30 in the afternoon.

 

John

 

Some photos.

 

Looking south down Lake Mills with Fitzhenry's false (5948ft) and main (ca. 6050 ft) summits visible ahead.

Lake_Mills_and_Fitzhenry.JPG

 

IMG_3060.JPG

 

Yes, this is really January.

South_end_Lake_Mills.JPG

 

But we had to get over 4,000 feet to find evidence of winter.

Up_through_the_snow.JPG

 

Rock_step_on_ridge.JPG

 

False summit at left, main summit at right.

Fitzhenry_-_False_Left_Main_Right.JPG

 

Lake Mills behind Animal

Kevin_and_Lake_Sunday_morning.JPG

 

Animal on false summit, main summit at right - Fairchild just visible in background.

Kevin_on_False_Summit_-_Fitz_main_right_-_Fairchild_back.JPG

 

Gear Notes:

Kayak

 

Approach Notes:

Kayaks are sure handy, and definitely better than taking the Boulder creek trail. But this option won't last long!

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On Saturday it was quite nice sickie Then on Sunday, the summit day it was very windy :shock:. When we got back down the :brew: tasted soo good!

 

Awesome trip John! Nice report!

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Hey Guys! Glad to see you made it out! Looks like an awesome trip. I like the kayak approach!

 

Mandy just had the baby Sunday morning so we are just hanging around this weekend with the newest climbing addition.

 

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Nice to see a TR from up in the Oly Pen. Now if I could just find a dam engineering job up there I'd come climb with ya'all :)

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Nice guys, that looks like fun. Saturday at Mt. Erie was nice in the sun too! When are we gonna get together and climb some more obscure Olympics rock?

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Nice guys, that looks like fun. Saturday at Mt. Erie was nice in the sun too! When are we gonna get together and climb some more obscure Olympics rock?

OMB - Were you on Erie Saturday with a lady friend?

I was out on Saturday as well. Saw a few people. Down near Madrone and Mounatineers wall and at the Powerline wall.

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OMB - Were you on Erie Saturday with a lady friend?

I was out on Saturday as well. Saw a few people. Down near Madrone and Mounatineers wall and at the Powerline wall.

 

Not unless you would call MountainMatt a lady. He'd be a big burly lady. Hehehe, I probably saw thr couple you are thinking of though. We were at Madrone for a while and then at the Orange Wall and slab. Maybe we walked by you on the way out a little after three?

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We walked out from the Madrone wall around 4:45.

We caught the couple off guard as the girl was hooting and hollering about something as they came around a corner on the trail and saw us three ugly old men and she apologized saying" Sorry I am stoked on life".

Cheers!

Edited by Pilchuck71

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Nice guys, that looks like fun. Saturday at Mt. Erie was nice in the sun too! When are we gonna get together and climb some more obscure Olympics rock?

 

We'll have to plan something Stewart - there's plenty of obscure Olympic rock out there.

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