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Trip Report    

Florence Peak (winter)

Beautiful day to be out with a group of The Mountaineers for a conditioner. Met at the Carbon River gate at 7 AM and were on the trail at 7:25 AM. David, having made the trip before suggested doing Sweet Peak first as the best route so I deferred to his experience and prior knowledge of the peaks. The entire route was free of snow and both maintained trails and boot paths were dry and easy to follow.

We left the trail at 3,700' at 8:55 AM to make our way towards Sweet Peak after donning helmets and ice axes for the cross country travel. Our route was about 150 yards north of the route I had loaded onto my GPS. This made it quite a bit steeper than it needed to be but the climbing was not difficult. We reached the 4,200' level just at the 2 hour mark where I informed the team that their official minimal Conditioner requirements had been met and from there on out it was all Peakbagging fun! At 9:45 AM we joined the main trail on the ridge at 4,375'. We reached the summit at 9:50 AM. The summit register is very wet but is Rite in the Rain so it is serviceable.

With plenty of time in the day and great conditions we took a nice long rest on the summit before making our way towards Florence Peak. We hit the trail again at 10:20 AM. The route from Sweet Peak to Florence is a well worn boot path. We reached the lake at 10:50 AM and after stopping for a brief photo opportunity, made our way up to the ridgeline. The Florence Peak main trail and ridgeline was reached at 11:30 AM just above 5,200' and the false summit at 11:45 AM. With such good conditions we had no hesitation to continue on to the true summit.

Most of the team dropped their trekking poles and/or ice axes at the base of the summit block, I also chose to leave my pack and just take a summit bag. The scramble to the top was easy climbing. We stayed on the northern side of the summit block where there are good gullies to ascend through with solid footings. We topped out on Florence at 12:00 PM. The summit register is in great condition having been replaced in 2012 by our very own David Schultz. Thank you!

Again we took a leisurely 30 minute break on the summit. The sky was overcast but the clouds were very high and we had unobstructed views of The Mountain, the surrounding peaks, Mt. St. Helens and the Puget Sound.

We started our descent at 12:30 PM and just before joining the main trail we encountered the only other people we saw all day which just happened to be a pair of climbers from The Olympia Mountaineers. The trail along the ridge is wide and clear. We joined the Paul Peak trail at 1:30 PM and were reached the trailhead at 3:15 PM.