Super climbing day with Benson Miller and successful summit of Revolution Peak, my 16th Home Court 100 summit. Stats: 15+ miles, 5000 feet of gain, 12.5 Hours C2C.
Spoiler alert – this is one of the most underrated peaks and trail. It’s one of my favorite summits. From the low, gentle curving trail that snakes through the forest, passing by old-growth stumps – sentinels reminding us of the forest’s former glory, to large glacier erratics, and vistas and lookouts with benches carved from old-growth trees to the winding path that ebbs and flows with Granite Creek, where the cascading thunder of the flowing water waxes and wanes as you climb, this trail is definitely one to add to your like.
It is a make your own adventure, from a short trip to Granite Lakes, to a ridge climb and drop to Thompson Lake and traverse to Mount Defiance, a trip to Thompson Point, the former site of a cool cabin and gateway to the Zorro Ridge and Gifford Lakes, or to the summits of Revolution Peak and Russian Butte, this trail has it all. Today’s Conditions: Snow free until you cross the bridge spanning Granite Creek, Snow at 2000 feet – use microspikes and there are many small, but slippery creek crossings. I delayed putting on any traction until the junction to Granite Lakes and suffered a slip fest. At 3100 feet at the junction to Granite Lakes transition to snow shows. The snow on the route gets deeper, and folks w/o snowshoes turned back. Keep them on up to Thompson Point. If you plan to summit Revolution Peak, switch to 12 point crampons about 1/4 up the ridge. Route gets tricky and steep. Halfway through the ridge, at the saddle, do not follow tracks up a prominent rock/knob – it’s steep and there is no good way down the other side. Instead, go left (North) and traverse a couple of hundred feet across the steep snow slope. The snow will hold your boots and axe.
Once across, maintain the ridge – it opens up with less exposure and becomes a straightforward ridge climb to the summit. We were the only people to summit today, and probably the only people in a couple of weeks. We broke trail from the knob/middle of the saddle to the top. Although the parking lot is gated, unlike MBP, it’s not locked. We arrived back at the at just after 8PM, the last car, but no issues with the gate. And there is a decent privy as well. Do yourself a favor, leave MBP for the masses, and venture deeper into the Middle Fork area – there is so much to see, hike, and climb. I took about 100 photos, all in the AllTrails recording below, and mapped them to the trail so you can see our route and actual photos of the conditions, terrain, etc. Hopefully, this will help you plan and enjoy a great outing.