UNNAMED (TOWER FOUR) 2760m 9055′
Starting from a point northeast of Mount Thor, a ridge of towers runs NNW. Tower Four is the largest and the most aesthetically pleasing of the approximately nine towers on this ridge.
1. South Face. Follow a gully system (steep dirt) to approach. The first pitch is delicate face climbing and stemming, with a hanging belay. After the easier second lead, there is a huge ledge splitting the face. Climb a Class 4 gully to the left. Scramble up slabs and chimneys, and gain the exposed ridge that rises from the top of the south face. It is a long day’s climb from the basin below Mount Thor. (III,5.6,A1,s).
KJ, AVS, August 22, 1986.
UNNAMED 2730m 8957′
This is one of the unnamed towers on the ridge which trends NNW, one kilometre NE of Mount Thor.
1. South Ridge. Climb to the col in the northeast ridge of Thor and ascend the south ridge. (II,4,s).
Petroske party (James Sr., James Jr., John and William), August 1980.
Some Campsites in the southern Gold Range
Avalanche Lake – north of the Gates Peaks (167-144). Small lake just south of Avalanche Lake – good campsite for Gates Peaks (165-134). West side of watershed. A pass exists southwest of the lake to the east side of the Gates Ridge. There has been a primitive trail from Pingston Lake to a pass north of the lake.
High lake under Gates Peaks, below glacier – open going from Loony Leon Lake. (170-115) On west side of divide, just south of Gates Pk. between two large lakes. (162-083). KMC climbing camp, 2006
Loony Leon Lake – head of north fork of Thor Creek, near Gates Peaks
The Rock Garden – head of the south fork, Thor Creek, (and Niflheim Cirque) trail (189-079)
Niflheim Cirque – north of Stegosaurus Ridge, very good; mosquitos
South side of Stegosaurus Ridge, very high, southeast of Mount Niflheim (205-045) in an old goat wallow, reached by helicopter (marginal). See Un. 2670m
Mooncastle Lake – south of Frigg Tower, beautiful. See before Mt. Odin, also Mt. Odin, Frigg Tower, Hugin, Munin
Small lake east of Mount Burnham – (265-988)
Lakes west of Mounts Burnham and Grady – between the two Shark’s Teeth ridges (KMC climbing camp)
Ten Cent Lakes – Odin Creek headwall. High camp (north) for KMC climbing camp, 1973. (173-036)
Top of Odin Creek headwall – KMC climbing camp (by helicopter), approx. 6400 feet. (KK 1973; also Thor-Odin geology, gneisses)
High above the north side of Odin Creek, the edge of the cliff is bare of soil and vegetation for more than a kilometre, and the scenery is magnificent. It is a hiking route, and also gives access to Mount Thor, Route 1.
In 1985, Leon Blumer and the author descended the Escarpment after climbing Mount Thor. We approached approximately where the trail was later cut and were not the first to be there. The trail was cut by Leon Blumer and friends in 1993, but now is certainly overgrown.
TH – upper left of a big clearcut 1.6–2.0 km north of Odin Creek and 12.5 km south of the Pingston Creek bridge. Orange tape markers (and later blazes) start a bit left of centre.
Route: The trail goes left, first below cliffs and then at the top of the clearcut on an old skid road, into the trees and then willows. Higher, a traverse up and left on a rock band free of trees has fine views and reaches the edge of the escarpment at about 1830m (6000 feet). The unmarked pathway on the escarpment begins a little above this point. At two or three places, the escarpment is cut by small joints or faults. Bushwhack in and out of these and regain the edge.
If a two-day backpacking trip is desired, camp near tree line below the east glacier. It is probably best to cross the meadows well below the glacier to avoid a short overhanging step in the southeast ridge. While climbable, the step would be very trying with a pack. Pass over the col in the northeast ridge (a little glacier travel) and descend into the cirque north of Stegosaurus Ridge (Niflheim Cirque) going down next to a waterfall, or one half km north of the fall, to the flat meadows at 1740 meters.
Take the trail out of the cirque, on the east side of the stream, and descend to the trail on the N side of South Thor Creek, and to the road on the S side of Thor Creek (Killeen Road).
It is best to carry a rope, an ice ax, a few long slings (for trees) and a little protection in case parts of the descent into the Niflheim Cirque become a bit technical, especially with heavy packs, and for the glacier.