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 Peak(s):  Henry Mtn  -  13,254 feet
Square top - 12,985 feet
Unnamed 12842 - 12,842 feet
Unnamed12684 - 12,684 feet
 Post Date:  06/23/2013
 Date Climbed:   06/20/2013
 Posted By:  mennoguy

 A Walk Amongst the Fossils   

Henry Mountain 13234
Square Top Mountain 12985 (unranked)
Unnamed 12842
Unnamed 12684

18 miles
5900 feet

I had been wanting to climb these peaks for some time, I decided to bag these lesser climbed summits from the north. The beta for these peaks was limited to none. On the topo it looked like the ridge would go, so Ben G and I tried it.

We started hiking at 6:15 from the Lottis Creek TH. The north ridge of 12684 wastes no time in gaining elevation. A series of game trails and open forest made travel quick up the steep ridge. Just below treeline we saw a helicopter. Once above treeline it was a gentle grassy ridge to the summit where we arrived at 8:40.

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Typical bush whacking terrain

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Helicopter

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Out of the trees

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Only 4 miles to Henry


The ridge to 12842 is just over two miles long. It was easy grass down to the saddle. We traversed the minor ridge bumps on the west side. There were two class 3 steps on ridge. At 10:00 we summited.

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Terrain off of 12684

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First crux

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Summit block of 12842


The traverse to Henry looked spicy. The descent went quickly on talus and grass. Ascending the ridge went from class 2 to 2+, and finally to solid class 3. The quality of the rock was superb and the best route was near the ridge crest. The great scrambling ended abruptly, we took a short break before ascending the final 400 feet to Henry. We summited at 12:30.

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View of entire ridge

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Class 3 ridge

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Close up of ridge

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Me on class 3 ridge (photo Ben)

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Easy snow

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Looking down at the ridge

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Gentle terrain near Henry

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Epic pika

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Fossil ridge


Square top was close and we made the summit at 1:15. At this point we decided against continuing the traverse towards 12446. This allowed us to follow the ridge crest down to gunsight pass and to fossil hunt. We spent about an hour on the ridge studying the 600 million year old fossils, admiring the early versions of multicellular life. We've come a long ways from our humble origins in the sea. The rest of the ridge was a time consuming class 3 scramble. I was glad I read about gunsight pass to know what it looked like.

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Gunsight pass

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Trail down from gunsight

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Gunsight pass

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Henry mountain

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Waterfall on descent


The 8 mile hike out was long but pretty, we saw some very large beaver ponds and lodges. We arrived back at the car at 6:30, a stop at pizza works was in order.



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