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Ascent of Thompson Point on 2012-12-13

Climber: Chad Straub

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, December 13, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Thompson Point
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5124 ft / 1561 m

Ascent Trip Report

Reaching summits in the Washington Cascades this time of year can be difficult without snowshoes, and since I still don't have a pair I have been taking advantage of NWhikers as well as the WTA site in order to plan my ascents in the tracks of recent snowshoe trips, with varying success. Yesterday I managed to bag Thompson Point thanks to trail-breaking by a few NWhikers on Sunday. Thanks puzzlr, Mugs, and RichP!!! I may not have made it without your help.

I have to second puzzlr's praise for the beautiful trail work by Charles Murray that transformed this dreary old logging road, it was a pleasure to hike! I started out from the gate at 8 am, where the excavator was parked, seemingly a few hundred feet from the trails completion. There are dozens of small creek crossings, many with delicately placed rock gardens and stepping stones. I was surprised to see the bridge over granite creek demolished, with a large log crossing in it's place. Snow cover made it difficult tell how far past the bridge the trail work went, but there seemed to be a fairy seamless transition between new trail and over-grown road.

Snow began to appear just past the bridge, and was steady within a mile. There appeared to be about 4 inches of fresh powder over the snowshoe tracks I was following, which at times were tough to see. The cloudy sky cleared up quickly and I was greeted with sunshine just after the Granite Lakes/Thompson Lake junction. The march to the top got steadily tougher after around 4000' feet as the powder depth rose and wind drift caused the trail to nearly vanish.


The cabin near the summit is an impressive piece of work, especially considering the beating it takes from wind rain and snow year after year. I have been looking at it from surrounding peaks for two years now, wanting to get up close, and I'm glad to have made it before something leads to it's removal. I hoped to continue on to Revolution Peak but between the time and the post-holing I encountered in the short distance from the cabin to the summit of Thompson Point, I regretfully decided to leave it for another day.


Pictures at http://jebtastic.blogspot.com/2012/12/reaching-summits-in-washington-cascades.html
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4335 ft / 1321 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4324 ft / 1317 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.8 mi / 25.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
High overcast, large front approaching from SW
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4335 ft / 1321 m
    Distance:7.9 mi / 12.7 km
    Route:Granite Creek Road-to-Trail Conversion
    Start Trailhead:Granite Creek Trailhead  789 ft / 240 m
    Time:4 Hours 46 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4324 ft / 1317 m
    Distance:7.9 mi / 12.7 km
    Route:Granite Creek Road-to-Trail Conversion
    End Trailhead:Granite Creek Trailhead  800 ft / 243 m
    Time:2 Hours 34 Minutes



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