My friend Brett,My dog Booter Crunk and I arrived at Green Mtn res just before noon and parked at the Suprise TH. We begun our hike up 3miles to Suprise lake.The trails are marked difficult on the map, I agree. After a few hours of walking through the woods we arrived at Suprise Lake. Took a short break ate some food and then headed on toward Upper Cataract lake. Suprise Lake was our midpoint on the way to Upper Cataract Lake. Another 3miles later found an awesome snow bridge which seemed to dangerous to cross. But we were simply stopped in our tracks at this amazing feature. The Gore range must have so many hidden secrets like this. We arrived at this high altitude lake above 10,000 ft and noticed the distinct stripes on the peak to our west. Relaxing and enjoying the moment we soaked up the sun while the sound of the water calmed our nerves.Watching the fish in the lake hit the surface made us wish we had a rod. While the mosquitos ate us alive we realized they were not the only ones who were hungry. In the moments we rested and looked at this peak we realized the ridge directly west of us would be the easiest and most direct route to the top. We set up camp and then cooked some food for dinner enjoying the light of the setting sun upon the mountain tops. After a brief rain storm the clouds cleared for a starlit sky and a peacfull night of sleep. The climb looked intense from the camps aspect and rested on the first night at Upper Cataract lake.
Cataract to the Top Stripe
We awoke early and started heading to the ridge through the woods. The woods were thick and there was alot of boulders to be climbed as we made our ascent to the top. We found a clearing where Mirror lake was visible in the valley below. The trees started to part and get smaller as we reached treeline on our approach to the top of the ridge. Passing talus and snow fields on a short steep climb which got more mellow at the top. The land changed to tundra providing an open free feeling of exploring as we were on our way to the top. Noticing a few markers along the ridge reasuring us we were not the first to approach this peak. There was alot of quartz and micah everywhere not to mention multiple types of little wildflowers. We were in awe with the beauty of the mountains around us and the crags up above us into where we were headed. It looked so gnarly I had doubts that we would make it to the top. As we climbed grass turned to rock and flat turned to steep. Breathing in thinner air with every foot of elevation that was gained. Finding more markers along the ridge. No longer was hiking an option as we started a difficult scramble up this rocky ridge. Spectacular views to the north of us as we approached the top. There was a sadle about two thirds of the way up the ridge we hung out and snacked at before our final ascent. Looking back down where camp could be we moved on. Once we reached the top we were at 13,000 ft, got a few more pictures and noticed the weather begining to develope to our west and moving toward us. This made us realize we timed everything perfectly and began our descent. As we scrambled down the rocky ridge looking foward to another night at camp I realized that we had an amazing experience in the Gore range. After reading this story I hope you do to.