Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

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Willythedog
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Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Willythedog » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:52 pm

Planning a trip for later this year. Want to do a point to point from Sonora Pass trailhead to Leavitt Meadows trailhead. (Gonna catch a ride back to Sonora Pass from friends that are gonna now be doing a quick BP trip out of Leavitt Meadows.)

Gonna take the PCT and hit Leavitt Peak, Big Sam, maybe Grizzly peak then over to the sister lakes.

Here’s the question- can I traverse from Forsyth peak over to Tower peak? I could have sworn I’ve read somewhere it was doable. I’m not a super advanced Mountain goat but I’m good with soloing class 3ish.
(If it’s doable I’d rather XC it over the ridgeline rather than backtracking and take the trail to tower lake for the “usual” climb up Tower peak.)

Then down to tower lake and head north from there.








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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:09 am

Do you specifically want to stay on the ridge, or are you simply getting between Dorothy Lake and Tower Lake? The pass northwest of Tower Lake is quite easy cl-2 and x-c travel past Helen and Ruth Lakes to Dorothy Lake is trick route finding but easy.

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Willythedog » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:39 am

I was trying to bag both Forsyth and Tower peaks.

Would like to go up Forsyth from Helen lake inlet and then traverse over to Tower peak and down to Tower lake.

Worst case is I can just do some backtracking but what can I say, I don’t like to backtrack haha.

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:00 am

Tower Peak is a really fun climb. Just enough nice clean 3rd class to make it exciting. Not sure if you would have time, but the valley southwest of Hawksbeak Peak is really beautiful. Hawksbeak is an impressive peak. Has an easy south ridge and great view from top.

You probably would not have to backtrack much if, from Forsyth, you drop to the 10,300 foot level above Helen, and traverse to the pass west-northwest of Tower Lake. There is a permanant snowfield you would have to cross. I have camped at Tower Lake; it also is pretty.

Have you checked Secor's guide for any information? Or looked at Google Earth?

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Willythedog » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:25 am

ah, the pass you're talking about is definitely a good idea.

Been meaning to hit Hawksbeak and Ehrnbeck peaks too but might have to leave that for another trip this go around.

I do have secors book, will take a look at it tonight. This trip wont be for a while so plenty of time to figure things out.

Appreciate your help WD

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by SNOOOOW » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:13 pm

That looks like a fun trip. I need to spend more time out in that area there. When you say sister lakes is that Dorothy, Ruth, Helen etc...? How many days are you looking at for this point to point? 4 nights/5 days? Keep us posted on your results please
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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Willythedog » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:17 pm

Yeah I’m referring to Dorothy, Helen, etc as the sister lakes

So the plan is to start Sonora pass and head south on PCT with XC sides to Leavitt Peak, big Sam, grizzly peak, to the sister lakes first day. Climb Forsyth and make my way over to tower and down to tower lake 2nd day. On my 3rd day gonna head north to Fremont lake area to meet up friends and head out Sunday.

So 3 nights, about 45 miles. I start out at 9k+ so not too much elevation gain the long first day but I’d imagine it’ll still be pretty rough but what can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment.

This trip won’t be till Sept so won’t be for a while but got few other trips planned so I’ll definitely post some reports.

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:09 pm

There IS a lot of elevation gain the first day. At least for me 4000 feet elevation gain is a bit. Sonora Pass is on the map that has 100-foot contour intervals-more gain than it looks like from a casual view. I did a similar trip last year. The trail from Sonora Pass to the PCT-Big Sam junction is really rocky. It was pretty tough on my feet. Other than the two big climbs, first out of Sonora Pass and second up Big Sam, there are also a lot of smaller ups and downs. The route also can get very windy. Just my opinion that your first day may be optomistic.

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Re: Forsyth - Tower traverse possible?

Post by SNOOOOW » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:01 am

Ya from what I can tell on caltopo it's 19 miles to the sister lakes no matter which trail route you take if you start at Sonora Pass and minimum 3200' gain not to mention your ascents of Grizzly and Leavitt, which I know are easy, but with a pack and all...you're a beast if you conquer all that in 1 day. Enjoy!
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