Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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The Fortress

After coming down from Gusty Peak, we took no break and soon started the trudge up The Fortress. The scree was easy to ascend, and there was a snow slope that offered better footing as well (thank Neil for kicking the steps). It didn't took us long to make to the Fortress/ Chester col. Compared to the other two summits, The Fortress is much more popular. It makes sense as it's the easiest ascent in this area.

From the col, we simply followed the paths up the slope. Once at the base of summit block, we chose to directly ascend the block, which proved to be extremely difficult and exceeding our comfortable level. We were forced to awkwardly backtrack after being blocked by an overhanging and wet step... After circumventing the block on climber's left side, we each found another difficult chimney to gain the summit.

We decided to use Chester Lake valley to exist because we all had other plans the next day. Doing Headwall Lakes valley is for sure more scenic but it adds more distance. Scree running down the black scree band was fun and fast and we quickly made back to the valley floor, and then leisurely walked down to Chester Lake. The trail wasn't easy to follow, but basically we just followed the valley floor out. I took several panoramas at Chester Lake and the meadows. Neil managed to somehow lose his camera, and thankfully I was able to spot it on the trail...

Overall, this a very enjoyable and satisfactory 3-peak-day, and a big thank to Neil for accompanying. We covered 2400m elevation, and round trip time: 11.5 hours.

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Photos taken by Steven