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Ascent of The Brothers on 2014-08-06

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Samuel Hahn
Date:Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:The Brothers
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6842 ft / 2085 m

Ascent Trip Report

After our successful ascent of Olympus and dinner in Port Angeles, Sam and I made our way to the USFS campground near Mt Walker (a P2k that I had hiked with Edward Earl earlier this year). I went straight to sleep, and we were up around sunrise to finish the drive to The Brothers TH. We did it as a 2 day trip, though it would have been very feasible to do it in a single day. The Olympic Mountain Climbing Guide book recommended it as a 2 day ascent, so we followed that advice. The approach day was also a rest day of sorts following our 3 days on Olympus. The hike from the TH to base camp was one of the most beautiful trails that I have been on in Washington to date. During the approach hike, I became worried when the stream was completely dry above Lena Lake as we were counting on it as a water source for our camping. Luckily, about half way between Lena Lake and the campsite, it was flowing. We made camp in one of the well-used sites after exploring the area to find the least buggy spot. Overall, the bugs were not too bad. On the hike to camp and then while lounging in camp, we ran into a solo hiker and a pair of hikers who both told us that there was no snow up high and to leave our ice axes and crampons in camp. We heeded their advice and left the extra weight in camp the next day.

We woke up early the second day, before sunrise. There was another pair of people camped below us and we wanted to ensure that they would not be kicking rocks down on us all day as one of them looked pretty inexperienced. The trail is pretty easy to follow as it ascends the canyon, across an avalanche path, and up a gully. We found lunch rock as we entered the clouds. The route was pretty straightforward, though we ended up off route in the clouds. We began poking above the clouds in the last 100-200 feet below the summit. Reading the descriptions in the guide book from home after the climb, it appears that we ended up on the 5.0 variation of route #2. We free-soloed this assuming that we would find the correct route down from the summit. We were in luck. The main summit of The Brothers has a few possible high points and we tagged them all. The west one seems the highest, so we took pictures and ate lunch here. Another trip report I read once home alludes to the eastern bump being the highest. I guess that is why the easternmost bump had the plaque commemorating a deceased climber. It also explains why we found no register as we looked for it on the west bump, not the east one. Eh, whatever, we tagged all the bumps anyway. After the usual summit photos and lunch break, we headed down the correct route which is mostly loose scree. We got off route once on the descent, but quickly realized it and got back on route pretty easily. Once we were below lunch rock (and out of the clouds), it was pretty easy route finding.

We arrived back at camp, packed up, and hiked out. About halfway between camp and Lena Lake, there is a bridge over the stream with beautiful moss-filled waterfalls below. We made a quick stop here to soak our feet and relax. Following The Brothers, we opted to head back to Seattle to clean up and re-set for a 2 day Cascade adventure to finish our trip instead of the original plan to dayhike Mt Stone.

Pictures
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6262 ft / 1908 m
    Grade/Class:5.0
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:6262 ft / 1908 m
    Extra Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Route:South Couloir to 5.0 summit variation
    Trailhead:680 ft / 207 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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