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Upper Downton Creek - Northwest Fork # 2064

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Date: 2002.07.13
Vantage Point: From meadows just above the northwest fork of Downton Creek.

Caption: Access to upper Downton Creek (Northwest Fork). It looks possible to continue beyond the end of the lake, seen in the lower left in order to gain access to high (unnamed) peaks and ridges at the head of this valley.

PhotoDescr: From the Downton Creek FSR, Branch 2, there is good access to scenic alpine meadows, from where this photo was taken. From beyond here, there are plenty of high open ridges and rugged peaks for scrambling on. With careful planning, a number of various ridge traverses could be done in this area.
  Much of the rock I encountered here is quite loose (shale), better suited to scrambling on, than climbing. I climbed up beyond these meadows to an 8000 foot col at GR 493044, where I took shelter from a rain shower. By constructing a rock shelter on the lee side of the weather system (butting up to a slightly overhanging rock bluff), I was able to stay dry. I then continued on to the summit of an 8700 foot peak just to the west of here (at GR 490042). In the afternoon, I made my way along a ridge line to the northeast to another 8700 foot peak at GR 521054. It actually looked more like a large dome, than a peak. The weather began to close in again and this time was nailed with a much heavier rain shower. And I didn't have the luxury of the shelter that I had implemented earlier on in the day. The rain persisted heavily for over an hour and I got DRENCHED. So this became my turnaround point for the day.

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