Glorious Cascade Summer Welcomes Climbers to Mount Triumph
It’s early August in the Cascades and high barometric pressure has been providing an excellent weather window for rock routes on the higher peaks. Nate, Sara and I had a great trip on Mount Triumph, a Cascade classic in a remote setting with amazing views of the Pickets to the north and the North Cascades to the south. The first day we approached via the very scenic Thorton Lakes trail. Once at the lakes we said goodbye to the well-traveled trail and set off on the climber’s trail, weaving our way through scree and steep heather to the col where we would spend the next two nights.
Triumph from camp. NE ridge is the right sky line. Dave Ahrens photo
The next day we headed for the summit, making our way across the glacier and gaining the notch after an exciting moat crossing. We shared the ridge with one other party and made good time up the exposed ridge as it steepened to the final headwall and crux pitch. The final pitches went well and had the best rock of the climb. After a bit of steep heather we found ourselves on the summit!
Working up the ridge with the southern Pickets in the background. Dave Ahrens photo
Summit! Dave Ahrens photo
After numerous rappers we found ourselves back on the glacier and headed back to camp as the full moon began to rise. After 14 hours on the move we were thrilled to be back at the col. The following day we got up and headed out, reaching the car 5 1⁄2 hours later. The decent seemed to go on forever, but all that was forgotten once we reached the car and only splendid memories of a great climb remained.
~MM Guide Dave Ahrens