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Ascent of Monument Peak on 2018-08-03

Climber: Jake Robinson

Date:Friday, August 3, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Monument Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8592 ft / 2618 m

Ascent Trip Report

Trace and I had some unfinished business on Lake and Monument, and Damon still needed Lake, so we all went back in via the Monument Creek Trail to get them done. The first four miles is in much better shape than when I was there in June - thanks to whoever cleared out all the annoying brush! Eureka Creek was a trivial ford this late in the season, mid-calf depth.

Many others have said this but it's worth repeating - water is VERY thin on this trip. In fact there were only three places on this entire 30+ mile trip where we found water - Eureka Creek, Lake of the Woods, and the basin between Lake and Monument (great water source here, likely exists all year). Eureka Creek to Lake of the Woods is 7 miles, 5000 feet of gain, and almost all south facing (i.e. HOT) with no water whatsoever. We drank as much as we could at Eureka Creek and carried 3 liters, and this was only barely enough. Plan accordingly.

Shortly after leaving Eureka Creek, the trail gets hard to follow in places with deadfall, rockslides, and game trails everywhere. Save yourself the headache and use Sean Albert's GPS track for navigation. By our count, there are approximately 500 blowdowns between Eureka Creek and Pistol Pass.

After camping at Lake of the Woods Trace and I set off for Monument, again using Sean Albert's excellent track to traverse around the south side of Lake into the basin between Lake and Monument. The terrain on this traverse is pretty awful, the most tedious travel of the trip. After gathering water at a great source, we accessed Monument's south ridge using Sean's upper route (~6800') then hiked the looong ridge to the summit. The ridge is sometimes tedious, sometimes easy, but never that bad. Mostly just long.

After Monument, we climbed the west side of Lake and dropped the east ridge back to Lake of the Woods, 7.5 hours camp-to-camp, then hiked out to the car.
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