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Trip Report    

Tower Mountain & Golden Horn

Sue & Mark walked in Friday morning 9/19. Friday was intermittently cloudy. Saturday & Sunday were bright & clear with no bugs and a light breeze. Unfortunately, the Larch hadn't yet started to turn.

The rest of us car-camped at the Rainy Pass TH (4,900 ft) on Friday night and we headed out Saturday morning at 6:15am. The PCT was a pleasure to hike on and the intersection to Snow Lakes was clearly marked. We arrived at Upper Snow Lake at 10:15am (approx. 12 miles to 6,700 ft).

After setting up camp, rehydrating and taking on calories, we split the climb party into two teams each taking on either Golden Horn or Tower Mtn. We did this to reduce party size ascending the potentially loose gully up Tower Mtn.

Party one ascending Golden Horn ascended to the summit block via the left-hand gully and summited via the half-pitch crack on climbers' left of the summit block. This section and a straight-forward 10m rappel from an already installed rap station makes Golden Horn an Alpine Climb versus a Scramble.

Party two made their way successfully up the gully (mostly solid in the gully proper, but loose on either side and especially on climbers right where it made sense to traverse to make it around a steeper section within the gully proper). Scrambling to the summit entails a couple of exposed class four moves, but needs no protection.

Saturday afternoon, the two climb teams rejoined at camp and had a relaxing evening making use of a fire ring and sharing stories from previous climbs during the 2014 climb season.

Sunday morning, we got underway at 6:30am with the two climb teams switching objectives and both parties successfully summiting. Party two ascended to the Golden Horn summit block via the gully to climbers right and used the mantel route on climbers right to achieve the summit. There's a great foot placement at the base of the mantel not readily seen until your standing directly in front of the obstacle which makes the move much less daunting.

The two teams re-grouped at camp by 10:30am, packed up, and walked back out returning to the TH by 2:30pm. Beautiful country, a great climb team, and lovely weather made for another exceptional outing in the Alpine.