Sunday, October 8, 2017

Traverse - Rainbow Mt - Florence Pk - Pk 12,116 - Tulare Pk

Winter is coming quickly, and I wanted to get in a few more peaks before the snow falls. I thought about going to the Tollhouse Faceoff event, but decided not to go. I'm really not great with crowds. For me climbing is about going out with 1-2 people and sharing an adventure, I'm not a huge fan of the festival style climbing. 

I went into Mineral king for the day to try and traverse the entire cirque around Franklin lakes, which includes 4 mountains. 

Lower Franklin Lake. Florence Peak in behind.
 After a quick hike up the ~8 miles near Franklin pass, I headed off the trail for a 1 mile detour to climb up Rainbow Mountain (12,043'). It was quick easy class 2 scramble to the summit. I didn't linger very long, and backtracked to the main trail.

Rainbow Mountain from as seen from Franklin Lakes
I then headed up to the trail, cresting Franklin pass. I headed over towards the Southwest ridge of Florence Peak (12,432'). The ridge is an easy class 2 scramble from the surprisingly flat plateau around Franklin Pass.

Looking down the SW ridge of Florence
Summit of Florence!
I flipped through the summit register, and saw some familiar names

Florence summit register
I was feeling great, so I traversed the summit crest of Florence and down climbed the NE ridge. The descent down the ridge was very interesting, fairly sustain class 3 climbing, much better than the ascent on the other side.

Summit crest of Florence
Final section of NE ridge
Next up was the unnamed peak at 12,116', which I affectionate dub "kitty litter peak". The beautiful granite on Florence peak turned into some sort of garbage, tedious volcanic rock. I didn't find any sumit register. I took a right and headed down the ridge  towards the last peak of the day, Tulare Peak (11,654').

Looking back at Florence and Peak 12,116 from Tulare Peak.
I signed the empty summit register on Tulare peak (I guess its not climbed not very often)

First entry in the register!
I then booked it back to the car, descending the far slope of Tulare Peak and joining the Farewell gap trail. A great outing!

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