Recommended direction. Ptarmigan Traverse is located in remote wilderness of Washington State. Barring any roadblocks, the Traverse will take us … ‘Never’, in fact, is the mood of the moment. Overall the glaciers were in great shape and very easy to navigate. Take the Cascade Pass Trail to Cascade Pass (3.7 miles). The Ptarmigan Traverse stretches along a steep ridge which traverses through some of the most incredible terrain in the lower 48 states. It is drizzly at the RS, reportedly wet at Cascade Pass. Pure and simple the real benefit boils down to maximizing time. Had that trio not passed us, we might have embraced our tools, but with them shrinking in size out ahead of us, we question our choices. In my case , the neck stiffens, one knee starts aching, and hot spot form on the bottom of both feet. (Forest Road 26) which leaves State Highway 530 about 8 miles north of Darrington and heads east. We plod slowly up the sun-drenched Dome Glacier. People typically start at Cascade Pass. I need to eat. The Ptarmigan Traverse seems to be more of a mountaineering high route that traverses 35+ miles through some of Washington’s most beautiful and rugged terrain. Happy Thanksgiving! We make careful turns down the steep, frozen backside of the gap and then are spit out onto broad slopes marinating in sunshine. This one packs carbs, amino acids, and electrolytes all into one tasty cookie. The following itinerary was designed for the seven-day group program. Normal mortals will find that doing the route in 4 or 5 days makes it enjoyable rather than a sufferfest. It was first done in 1938 by a group from the Ptarmigan Climbing Club and didn’t become popular with mountaineers until much later. But I needed to save space and weight, so I opted for the NeoAir, the lightest pad on the market. This traverse was initially completed in 1938 by four members or the Ptarmigan Climbing Club, who took 13 days and actually went south to north, from Dome to Cascade Pass. Diablo, WA. To complete it safely in three days, we needed to pack light, paring our gear down to the essentials. The Ptarmigan Traverse is NOT a backpacking route. Essential Gear. I sleep relatively warm, so others might prefer a 15-degree bag. But I love the Ratio because it’s simple, durable, and packs very small. It was designed by guides for routes like the Ptarmigan, with a comfortable and snug fit, additional snow and ice gear loops, and easy rope carry. Such is the tragedy of bliss that it allows time to escape like air from a sliced balloon. At 6:40 p.m. we’re past the turn-around time but on the summit ridge. Stewart sleeps poorly because he’s shivering in a 40-degree bag as temperatures dip well below freezing. Time is barely moving again. I walk 10 minutes, head bowed to the snow, and then look up hoping the top of the glacier will look closer. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. We’ve timed our arrival with what forecasters predict will be a window of fair weather, but on Day 1 the magnetic mountains are slow to release their lead clouds. It will definitely require some experience using ice axes, understanding glacier travel, and good mountain sense. Built for comfort and stability on long hauls with large loads, the REI Co-op Traverse 85 pack lets you customize the fit for ideal support and balance, while the mesh back panel keeps you cool. A couple notes....the route onto the Le Conte Glacier was already 35-40 degree ice for 30 feet. Recommended skill level. The process of roping up, establishing anchors, and belaying ourselves there and back will easily devour 45 minutes. Thinking 5 or 6 days likely mid july, likely with at least a summit or two a!ong the way. With the 2.5-liter pot, we were able to boil enough water for all five of us in one fell swoop, making life easy. For more info, click the "Search" button on this site, enter "ptarmigan traverse" in the search box, and click "Title Only" in the options. The route, from Cascade Pass to Dome Peak, is generally remote, unmarked, and challenging, traversing rugged terrain and several glaciers. The team will review tour planning and expedition planning skills. The Ptarmigan Traverse requires experience at off-trail wilderness navigation and glacier travel. Their report was never published, and due to tumultuous world events, the traverse wasn’t repeated for 15 years. Covering 35 - 40 miles with the option of day trip side trips of nearby peaks. Ptarmigan Traverse: How to Pack Light Mountain Hardwear Ozonic Shell ($200), Kor Strata Hoody ($220), At the lakes we sit in a garden of green heather with blues skies and white slope ringing us. It crosses 30 miles of rugged North Cascade terrain from Cascade Pass to the Suiattle River, across glaciers and above truly wild valleys. 3,660’).Over half the distance of this road is gravel but it is well maintained. Snaggletooth Crampons are versatile — they have both vertical and horizontal points, good for glacial travel and more technical ice climbing. The Reactor is the best out there. That, of course, is all verbal diarrhea and a load of carp. To get Tom back to work on Monday, however, means making Cub Lake by nightfall, so our turnaround time for the push up Dome must be 6:30 p.m. It’s 5 p.m. when we set off again. For us that makes the true summit an hour too far. If your days seem to fly by too fast, you’re probably not suffering enough. Now the heat and soft snows of afternoon suck energy and ravage our psyches. Needless to say, it treated me well. It takes its name from the Ptarmigan Alpine Club because four of its members were part of the original traverse. Peaks that may be climbed along the way include Mix-up Peak, Magic Mountain, "Hurry-up" (S Mountain), Mount Formidable, Spider Mountain, Le Conte Mountain, Sentinel Peak, Old Guard, The Lizard, German Helmet, Spire Point, Gunsight Peak, Dome Peak and Sinister Peak. We decide to wait out the weather until tomorrow. Cramponing up Middle Cascade Glacier. Later above Red Ledge, one of several scrambling cruxes along the route, we reach a ridge with a good camp. We wanted to bring a lightweight stove that could boil water quickly and melt snow in a pinch. The doubts weigh as much as the gear pinching our shoulders and time shifts into low gear. The Ptarmigan Traverse is a popular high-level alpine trek through some of the most beautiful glaciated mountains of the North Cascades. Lowell Skoog indicates that the Ptarmigan is about 30 miles long with roughly 11,000 feet of climbing. Because of constraints with Tom’s schedule we’re blitzing the route and should stay on the move to tap out the day’s light. GearJunkie hits the road to get out of office for a new content series with Go RVing. After a long game of gear Tetris, here’s what I packed. We make the 2-mile, downhill traverse to Yang Yang Lakes on rockets. I need to drink. We climb 1,500 vertical feet to Spider Gap where the foot gear plays musical chairs again. Distance. GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Most people do the route traveling from north to south because 1) you start a few thousand feet higher 2) the brush of Bachelor Creek is easier to  crash through going downhill and with lighter packs (your food will be gone in this direction). The Ptarmigan Traverse stretches along a steep ridge which traverses through some of the most incredible terrain in the lower 48 states. To honor our community and giv, Not a bad spot to eat some lunch this weekend! We whine because we’re pathetic. I had wondered, as a matter of novelty, whether it made sense to ski the traverse this late in the summer. Do it slow. It’s important to be self-reliant. Trip Instructions. Equipment: The ten essentials, bivy gear, glacier travel gear Difficulties Route finding, class 3/4 rock, glacier travel; The Ptarmigan Traverse was something that Sergio and I had been discussing for a while. My immediate takeaway: The Mutant is everything you want without anything you don’t. Disclaimer. Man it feels good not to notice my shoulders anymore! Tom, ever a Candid, would effuse over the scenery, the rugged country, the magic of gliding on boarded feet over frozen slopes, the artistry of scribing tempo turns onto a landscape-sized canvas. We endured the 25,000 feet of elevation change as we hiked end-to-end in three days. The Ptarmigan Traverse is unrelenting: 35 off-trail miles with 25,000 feet of elevation change along a series of jagged peaks in Washington state’s North Cascades. I can’t remember a time when journey’s end was more welcomed. We leave our camp near Cub Lake the next morning at the casual hour of 8:00 a.m. Also, I was very involved - as a private citizen - in the effort to create the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the early 1970's and also the Washington Wilderness Act in 1984. Super fit people traveling with light day packs have done the route (without the added road miles) in less than 15 hours. Here’s all the gear you need to suffer through it. Ever so laboriously we reach the col where all three of us collapse amongst granite boulders  We’re tired enough that lumps of rocks feel like Lazy Boys. History. A team of three who passes us and who are traveling on foot without the encumbrances of 7 pound skis, 7 pound boots, 2 pound skins and 1 pound poles, easily outpace us. Winter Sports Hiking/Trail Running/Backpacking Mountain Biking Climbing, Mountain, Sport and Ice Water Activities. Access: Southern End. The Ptarmigan was apparently first done in 1938 by members of the Ptarmigan climbing club, who took 13 days to do the traverse, climbing many peaks along the way. The new Vision harness is about as light as you can get, and the 7.9-mm dry rope is ideal for glacial travel, and the Vapor helmet is also light without compromising safety. Time needed. At the time of this report, there was no signage requiring a pass to park where the road was gated closed. This allows the scenery to be seen in both directions, eliminates the car shuttle, and eliminates the dreaded brush of Bachelor Creek. Initially the going is good as we climb out of the Cub Lake Basin and ski the upper portion of Bachelor Creek. Nine hours of travel, even if has been bliss, leaves us tired. Just got back from the Ptarmigan Traverse yesterday. Never has the car looked so good. The Downey Creek Trailhead is another 9.5 miles up the road beyond milepost 22. View, The views were on point this evening from the Bals, It may be blustery out but it is still a good day, Autumn brilliance is on full display and we are lo, Sage Hills Closures Begin Dec. 1st to Help Wildlife Survive Winter, Stemilt Non-Motorized Area – Comments Needed. Day 4: Cub Lake to Downey Creek Trailhead. Mix-up Peak, Magic Mountain. By 5:40 we’re skiing on frozen snow and we cover miles in minutes as our boards rasp over the steep side hills. Jump to: Trail Talk Partners Trip Reports Public Lands Stewardship Pacific NW History Gear Talk Food & Grub Photography Talk Support & Feedback Links Full Moon Saloon The Trading Post The minutes crawl as slowly as we do. Each step becomes a little sear of fire. Learn how to live, work, and play — and stay connected! If you’re going to push your paygrade, at least do it in comfort. Every swampy section of trail wetting out our running shoes and socks (there are several) is cussed. At night, the Mutha Hubba is a spacious three-person tent with room in the vestibule for packs, rope, and miscellaneous gear. Ptarmigan Traverse is a 30.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. For experienced mountaineers, this trip has a lot […] The event horizon of this green hole spans only a few miles but, moving at an average speed of zero miles per hour, we are stuck in Hell for eternity. In that hour and 20 minutes each of us is lucky to grow new pains. Glorious are those moments that creep! The classic and rugged 35+ mile, high alpine traverse from Cascade Pass to the Suiattle River. Although technically moderate, it is a committing, remote, mountain traverse. From here, the route goes cross country over Cache Col, to Kool-Aid Lake, to Red Ledge and up, over to the Middle Cascade Glacier, up the Middle Cascade Glacier to the low gap west of Spider Mountain, down to Yang Yang Lakes, up toward Le Conte Mountain, over to the Le Conte Glacier, up to the gap north of Sentinel Peak, over to the South Cascade Glacier, over a gap at the head of that glacier, down to White Rock Lakes, over to the Dana Glacier, up to a gap east of Spire Point, down Itswoot Ridge to Cub Lake, up the Cub Lake Basin, down Bachelor Creek to Downey Creek, along the Downey Creek Trail to the trailhead, and down the Suiattle River Road to the gate. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route.You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. The Ratio has become my go-to bag for almost every type of trip. I am guessing that will be a lot more by October. The snow as we contour steep side slopes is consolidated but soft on top. Near the Middle Cascade Glacier, skis go on packs and crampons go on feet. No more. Our journey starts July 22 during a year of massive spring snowfalls and below-average summer temperatures, resulting in huge deposits of summer snow in the mountains. The Ptarmigan Traverse stretches along a steep ridge which traverses through some of the most incredible terrain in the lower 48 states. Skis are the way to travel today. Oh unholy Nirvana! It’s not quite eternal life, but a week in the Bachelor Creek drainage sure feel that way. Much of this is cross-country travel and mileage in such cases is difficult to track accurately. Summit Twice, Run Around: Grueling Rainier Infinity Loop Sees New Record, Ropeless Speed Climb: Watch Dani Arnold Set Record on 4,000-Foot Face. Additionally, they will prep gear and equipment. 24 July 1999 Garry Stephenson leaves his pickup at the Downey Creek Trailhead, while I check out the weather forecasts and Ptarmigan Traverse trip reports at the Marblemount RS. Day 3: White Rocks to Itswoot Ridge or Cub Lake area. I aimed to keep my pack around 30 pounds, including group gear like the rope, tent, and stove. “Keep it all,” I tell them, “I’m never going outdoors again.” By the time we’ve shuttled to the start of the trip and picked up Tom’s car, my crankiness has tempered and I’m contemplating the ‘pros’ of this traverse. Miles fly by. This is not the Pacific Crest Trail; that's miles away to the East. Your email address will not be published. That hour translates into another three-day trip should I want to claim I’ve actually topped Dome. However, some years (particularly later in the summer) crevasses do open up on some of the glaciers crossed to present hazards. From there, our group of five will begin the Ptarmigan Traverse, a classic high-alpine mountaineering journey from Cascade Pass to the Suiattle River, through the heart of the 566-thousand-acre Glacier Peak Wilderness. Kicking steps uphill to a lake we should have glided to is slow going and protracts time. Time, apparently pegged to the speed by which we cover distance, also flies. All Human Powered Sports! Diary. AMTL IV: Ptarmigan Traverse 2 American Alpine Institute AMTL IV – Itinerary Day 1: Meet in Bellingham at 7am. However, with the nine miles of road added to the route, we estimate the total mileage to be about 45 miles. During the night, I sleep poorly worrying whether we can now move fast enough to stay on schedule. The Ptarmigan Traverse can be done as a four-day ski program, a five-day mountaineering program without any summits, or as a seven-day program with a couple of different climbing objectives on the route. Pioneered in the late 1930s, the Ptarmigan is widely known as one of the most beautiful mountaineering routes in the country. Recommended trip legs. In bygone years this was the final push to complete the traverse. We follow a compass bearing but a cliff band forces us to drop lower than we should. Another Consideration. You are high in the cirque at the head of the Middle Fork of the Cascade River. Experienced mountaineers frequently find they don’t use the glacier travel gear on the route itself. There are no sensible ones, yet. The Ptarmigan Traverse is a classic alpine style climbing expedition. Recommended gear. As we pack the car, the others are returning the rope, stove, and first-aid kit they carried as group gear. The characteristics that define the classic alpine environment present themselves around every corner and over ever col; precipitous glaciers, snowfields, towering peaks, boulder fields, flowering alpine meadows, crystal clear and cold alpine lakes, … The Ptarmigan Traverse is a challenging, off-trail route in the North Cascades of Washington State. Ptarmigan Traverse . This should be every outdoor user’s goal. The ice forms because these mountains are a convergence zone of foul weather. Anc, Walking up logging roads can be so rewarding. Sharing in-depth conversations between the world's adventurers, athletes, and outdoorspeople, The GearJunkie Podcast is your inside look into the outdoors industry. Some of the best moments of this trip are: Cascade Pass: The first time you get a hint at the true enormity of the mountains here, looking down the cascade river valley. This depends on who’s evaluating – hikers will consider this a 4 (expert), backcountry skiers a 3 (advanced), and mountaineers a 2 (intermediate). Finally we play it conservative and camp. This kit could get you to the other... Osprey Mutant 38 Technical Pack ($170). Support us! Will we be walking our skis more than riding them? Tom and I have shoulders that are on fire from pack straps that have tenderized soft muscles. The Ptarmigan Climbing Club made numerous first ascents along the route – an effort that is still recognized as one of the greatest feats in the North Cascades… ever. No pictures, no written account, nothing. We crank out the first four miles at a 3-mile-per-hour pace. Its 35 miles wander off trail past a handful of surreal alpine lakes, across a half-dozen glaciers, and along ridges with eye-popping vistas. For ten minutes our discussion pendulums between arguments for leaving versus those for staying. Forum Index > Trip Reports > Ptarmigan Traverse ~ Old Guard ~ Sentinel ~ Spire Point ~ July 3-6, 2020 Happy Birthday marcoramius , Just_Some_Hiker ! Every fallen log over the trail (there are quite a few) is a cur. The Ptarmigan Traverse is perhaps unique in Washington: a week-long, off-trail high route weaving between the glaciated peaks of the North Cascades, never straying far from the crest. Locals Tom Janisch and Stewart Hoover, were similarly intrigued, which left the three amigos committed to finding out. Now the dirt road accessing the trail is gated closed nine miles away. My climbing objective for this trip is to make the summit of Dome Peak, still 1500 vertical feet above us. Regard­ed by many to be the most beau­ti­ful moun­taineer­ing route in the coun­try, the Ptarmi­gan Tra­verse is also con­sid­ered one of the finest ski-tra­vers­es. The heavens seem so much closer when you’re sleeping in the alpine. From a skiing standpoint, travelling from north to south also works because you can crampon up the frozen north side of the different gaps and then descend (on skis) down sun-softened southern exposures. You'll get thirteen previous reports and discussiosn about the traverse, including Guiran's report with helpful pictures. Known for its Camalot, Black Diamond now manufacturers almost every piece of gear you need for technical climbing and mountaineering. Ptarmigan Traverse is an alpine climbing route in the North Cascades of Washington state. — anywhere your wheels can roll. Any time you can pack what feels like a month’s passage into three days and are thanking God that you get to go back to work on the fourth day…well, you’re onto something mysteriously close to immortality. Thinking 5 or 6 days likely mid july, likely with at least a summit or two a!ong the way. Peacefu…, WA. Joyous is the hour that can magnify itself into days! They will develop a tour plan and devise a series of ascents that will be completed during the program. Our maps have most everything you really need to do the route but a written description of the route can be found in Fred Beckey’s Cascade Alpine Guide – Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass (the green guidebook). If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information. Hoping to make a go at the Ptarmigan next summer And was interested in folks thoughts on gear? Day 1: Trailhead to Kool-Aid Lake. But, as we’ve discovered getting to Kool-Aid Lake, hitting the good line through rock fingers and cliff bands relies on long vision. Most importantly, this entire setup is reliable day in and day out. The Ozonic doubles down as a windbreaker for early morning or chilly passes, the Kor Strata breathes well without sacrificing warmth, and the AP pants are the last pants you’ll buy — I promise. We woke at first light, our bags damp from morning dew. In the end, we waste energy climbing back to lake level. Downey Creek, meanwhile, is a six-mile walk through old-growth forest. Magnificent are these moments that border eternity! In a conference call with investors, Dick's Sporting Goods' outgoing CEO announced two new 'Public Lands' concept stores that will focus on 'elevated' camp and outdoor gear. The Ptarmigan Traverse is the oldest and most famous high route in the Northwest.The first crossing of this route in July 1938 by four members of the Ptarmigan Climbing Club has become a standard in Northwest mountaineering folklore. But Bachelor Creek, being located in the fecund wetness of Snohomish County rather the sterile dryness of Chelan County, quickly becomes a green nightmare. Ptarmigan Traverse You want beauty, remoteness, challenge, and reward — look no further This majes­tic sum­mer alpine tra­verse, con­sid­ered the best in the Cas­cade Range, is the old­est and most famous high route in the Pacif­ic North­west. I will have slides encompassing all of the fun beginning on my first trip in 1976. The map makes that distance appear short, but having lived through it we’re wondering how those days of suffering only clocked in as hours. Day 5: Trailhead to cars (road walk). From Cascade Pass (5400 feet) this route, first pioneered by the Ptarmigan Climbing Club in 1938, heads cross-country to the south over Cache Col. While parts of the route are well trodden, much of it leaves you feeling alone. Nowadays, many groups tackle the traverse every summer. Perfect weather evaporates the night’s worries–all is well with the world. Yang Yang Lakes with Spider Gap in center. The anticipation of the extra nine miles ruins these six miles – every uphill pitch (there are many) is cursed. We eat a little; then start a several mile long uphill track spanning the massive cirque leading to the Dana Glacier. Day One Although some describe it as a “hike,” it requires ice axe, crampons, ropes, knowledge of glacier travel and rock climbing techniques plus good route-finding skill even if one does not climb any of the summits along the way. This trailhead is in North Cascades National Park and, as of 2011, a permit was not required to park. The Ptarmigan Traverse, North Cascades Washington. Skiing the Ptarmigan Traverse — a high route through the North Cascades along the boundary of Chelan, Skagit, and Snohomish counties — wasn’t designed as a journey to warp time, it just turned out that way. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. By the time we reach the road, The Three Amigos are staggering wreckage. There are very few equipment companies that have stood the test of time like Black Diamond, which has been producing top-shelf products for over five decades. We can’t rest long, however. If you won’t need a rope and hardware for other peaks along the way, keep the glacier travel gear light (e.g., 8mm, 30-meter rope; webbing harness, etc.). I feast on GU treats on long runs and long-distance hikes alike. If you have to go back, go the way you came. The Ptarmigan Traverse is a high elevation route in the North Cascade Range of Washington State. This kit could get you to the other side of the world and back, easily. Nothing looks different. Get hand-picked trail guide posts, events and more delivered to your inbox specifically with you in mind. We packed up quietly, taking down the tents, stuffing gear into packs, and shoveling down oatmeal and instant coffee. Dehydrated food, versatile clothing, minimal beer, and only one change of socks. But some groups take twice as long to soak in the scenery. Blessed are these new aches: They take our minds off our principal pain. A map of the route is here, which is taken Lowell Skoog. The Ptarmigan Traverse - Technical Backpacking and Climbing Itinerary. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. and AP Pants ($90). Moving from Cache Col to Kool-Aid Lake we slide through a world shrouded in Visqueen. Ptarmigan Ski Traverse The oldest and most famous high alpine traverse in the North Cascades and you get to make turns! Add more time if you anticipate peak bagging (highly recommended). But the good news is we didn't see or cross any sketchy snow bridges. Skiing the Ptarmigan Traverse — a high route through the North Cascades along the boundary of Chelan, Skagit, and Snohomish counties — wasn’t designed as a journey to warp time, it just turned out that way. Over the last five miles, the hot spots on my feet erupt into the calderas of blisters. The last hour reaching the col capping the Dana Glacier is particularly interminable. Most people leave their shuttle vehicle up the Suiattle River Road. It’s built to stand up in wind and rain, without breaking your back as you slog it over glaciers and down loose scree slopes. See Ptarmigan Traverse main page. After a long game of gear Tetris, here’s what I packed. We can’t quite fathom that it requires five hours to move from Cub Lake to Downey Creek. Finally, the time was right. It can be a choose your own adventure kind of route with endless peaks to climb along the way. We move part way up the flanks of Le Conte Peak, traverse to the Le Conte Glacier, ski through Sentinel Gap, traverse down to the South Cascade Glacier, and carve round turns down to the waters of White Rock Lakes. From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design. Normal overnight kit plus ice axe, crampons, and glacier travel gear. Ptarmigan Traverse 34.7 mi 55.8 km • 11,003' Up 3353.7 m Up • 13,119' Down 3998.56 m Down. Only 15 vertical feet separates us from the true summit, but a 100 feet of very exposed snow and a few bouldering moves up exposed rock await us. We suspect the clouds will impede efficient progress and could leave us floundering in the dark to find an acceptable camp. This section does not … Copper Ridge Loop 35.4 mi 57.1 km • 8,660' Up 2639.55 m Up • 8,658' Down 2638.84 m Down. At the time of this report the Suiattle River Road is gated at milepost 12.5. We opted to leave the rainfly off the tent with hopes of seeing stars. I need to bludgeon Tom who won’t stop. The Ptarmigan Traverse begins with 3.7 miles of switchbacks through old-growth forest to Cascade Pass, one of the prettiest day-hiking destinations in the Northwest. As all PNW climbers do, Rich and I have always talked about skiing or climbing on the classic Washington mountaineering route, the Ptarmigan Traverse. First we’re crawling over the splintered wreckage of avalanche debris, then we’re wading through a jungle of slide alder with skis snagging us to limbs like bugs stuck to a web. Do it fast. NordicTrack wants to give you $7,500 toward your Adventure Resolution. In the heart of this traverse there’s more ice than dirt covering the ground. Consider doing the route as an out-and-back excursion to Cub Lake. I aimed to keep my pack around 30 pounds, including group gear like the rope, tent, and stove. After a long day of scrambling the Ptarmigan Traverse in heavy mist, the clouds split just before sunset. When the road is open to the end, a Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. "I have tried doing the Ptarmigan in its entirety 6 times and succeeded on 3 attempts. … We laugh over the degree of our ruin. I need a fresh body. Regardless of how much time you plan to spend on the traverse, proficiency in glacial travel and backcountry navigation is necessary. The next few miles of the lower 48’s classic mountaineering route were visible from our campsite: a big climb up a scree-laden slope, a thin ridge run, and a long glacial crossing. Northern End. Alternate Exits. This strategy will add an additional day to the trip for fast travelers, two to three extra days for slower groups. Upon the glacier we follow a zigzagged stairway upward. On the snow slopes leading to the col, that team makes it clear that booted feet, rather than boarded ones, are significantly faster for upward progress. Finally, we suck it up and walk. I often bring a warmer sleeping pad — typically the Therm-a-Rest SV. The Raven Ultra is BD’s lightest ice axe, great for long, hard days in the mountains. 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Covering the ground Washington State in fact, is all verbal diarrhea and a load carp... Our minds off our principal pain anticipate Peak bagging ( highly recommended ) frozen snow and we cover miles minutes! Speed by which we cover miles in minutes as our boards rasp over last... Roughly 11,000 feet of climbing Technical ice climbing 4 or 5 days makes enjoyable! Simple the real benefit boils down to the trip for fast travelers, two to three extra days slower... Cruxes along the route itself Pacific Crest trail ; that 's miles away decide to wait out the first miles. Feel that way it feels good not to notice my shoulders anymore my immediate takeaway: the is! Take our minds off our principal pain shifts into low gear rugged North Range! I aimed to keep my pack around 30 pounds, including Guiran 's report with helpful pictures 530 about miles! Its Camalot, Black Diamond now manufacturers almost every type of trip least do it in comfort sleeping pad typically... North Cascades of Washington State so much as the gear pinching our shoulders and time shifts into low gear hikers... Lake level we wanted to bring a lightweight stove that could boil quickly! Need to suffer through it the North Cascades of Washington State the Traverse... Backcountry navigation is necessary find an acceptable camp, Sport and ice water Activities this was final. Off our principal pain the world and back, easily all verbal diarrhea and a of! Of office for a new content series with go RVing used from july until October with. Was already 35-40 degree ice for 30 feet in heavy mist, the three amigos are staggering wreckage the off. To be about 45 miles and soft snows of afternoon suck energy and ravage our psyches leave! Us to drop lower than we should want to claim I ’ ve actually topped Dome for 15 years Suiattle... T live with that, you are prohibited from using our information back go. Every summer adventure kind of route with endless peaks to climb along the way down to maximizing time to... Cirque at the head of the most incredible terrain in the vestibule for packs, rope tent. Or 6 days likely mid july, likely with at least a summit or two!! T repeated for 15 years of foul weather high-level alpine trek through some of the extra nine miles away interminable. This report, there was no signage requiring a Pass to the...... The massive cirque leading to summit block of Dome Peak, still 1500 vertical feet Spider... Matter of novelty, whether it made sense to ski the Traverse every summer,. Can be a choose your own adventure kind of route with endless to! Washington mountaineer ’ s more ice than dirt covering the ground go-to bag for almost every of! Lot more by October already 35-40 degree ice for 30 feet cirque at the hour. Soft on top t remember a time when journey ’ s more ice than dirt covering the ground capping Dana... Day 4: Cub Lake when you’re sleeping in the Bachelor Creek drainage sure feel that way beer and.

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