Thorp Mountain (5,854 ft) and Red Mountain (5,880ft)
Eric and Birkan
November 20, 2016
Birkan and I parked at the trailhead for Little Joe Lake Sunday morning and started our hike shortly after dawn. Surprisingly, there was another car at the trailhead. We encountered snow within the first mile, and were hiking on snow basically the rest of the day. At Little Joe Lake we turned right to climb up Red Mountain. The trail was tough to follow in the snow, but we eventually reached the pass just south of the peak. Here we left the trail, following the ridge north. We passed an old lookout tower, then scrambled up some slippery, snowy rocks to the summit.
The cold wind and lack of view encouraged us to turn back quickly. Back at the lake we headed west, and soon encountered the other hiker. He must have been doing our loop in reverse. Luckily we could follow his tracks now and now worry about finding the trail. We followed his tracks all the way to Thorpe Mountain, only occasionally losing the trail and having to bushwhack.
There was a nice view down to Kachess Lake from the small lookout tower on the summit. After eating a snack we hiked back down to the trailhead, reaching the car just as the sunset and just as a light rain started falling.