I often bring a warmer sleeping pad — typically the Therm-a-Rest SV. Recommended trip legs. ‘Never’, in fact, is the mood of the moment. For experienced mountaineers, this trip has a lot […] 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. I sleep relatively warm, so others might prefer a 15-degree bag. 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. 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. 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. 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. Tom and I have shoulders that are on fire from pack straps that have tenderized soft muscles. We leave our camp near Cub Lake the next morning at the casual hour of 8:00 a.m. But Bachelor Creek, being located in the fecund wetness of Snohomish County rather the sterile dryness of Chelan County, quickly becomes a green nightmare. How much slower will we be? 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. 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. NordicTrack wants to give you $7,500 toward your Adventure Resolution. 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. 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. Thinking 5 or 6 days likely mid july, likely with at least a summit or two a!ong the way. Stewart’s feet burn with each step from blisters on his soles. Their report was never published, and due to tumultuous world events, the traverse wasn’t repeated for 15 years. 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. Now the dirt road accessing the trail is gated closed nine miles away. Will we be walking our skis more than riding them? Later above Red Ledge, one of several scrambling cruxes along the route, we reach a ridge with a good camp. If you have to go back, go the way you came. The route, from Cascade Pass to Dome Peak, is generally remote, unmarked, and challenging, traversing rugged terrain and several glaciers. Ptarmigan Traverse 34.7 mi 55.8 km • 11,003' Up 3353.7 m Up • 13,119' Down 3998.56 m Down. 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. Day 5: Trailhead to cars (road walk). 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. 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. Moving from Cache Col to Kool-Aid Lake we slide through a world shrouded in Visqueen. Bolder, more capable mountaineers could scramble to the top and back in five minutes, but we feathered-clucking climbers decide we should rope the pitch. This kit could get you to the other side of the world and back, easily. 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. Day 2: Kool-Aid to White Rocks Lake. I had wondered, as a matter of novelty, whether it made sense to ski the traverse this late in the summer. Finally we play it conservative and camp. 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. "I have tried doing the Ptarmigan in its entirety 6 times and succeeded on 3 attempts. 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 need a fresh body. Much of this is cross-country travel and mileage in such cases is difficult to track accurately. 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. You are high in the cirque at the head of the Middle Fork of the Cascade River. The classic and rugged 35+ mile, high alpine traverse from Cascade Pass to the Suiattle River. Time, apparently pegged to the speed by which we cover distance, also flies. For more info, click the "Search" button on this site, enter "ptarmigan traverse" in the search box, and click "Title Only" in the options. To honor our community and giv, Not a bad spot to eat some lunch this weekend! They will develop a tour plan and devise a series of ascents that will be completed during the program. 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. 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. When the road is open to the end, a Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. The Ptarmigan Traverse is a classic alpine style climbing expedition. 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. 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. Peaks to Tempt You. 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. Perfect weather evaporates the night’s worries–all is well with the world. Stewart sleeps poorly because he’s shivering in a 40-degree bag as temperatures dip well below freezing. Oh unholy Nirvana! Hoping to make a go at the Ptarmigan next summer And was interested in folks thoughts on gear? Such is the tragedy of bliss that it allows time to escape like air from a sliced balloon. Thinking 5 or 6 days likely mid july, likely with at least a summit or two a!ong the way. You'll get thirteen previous reports and discussiosn about the traverse, including Guiran's report with helpful pictures. Day 3: White Rocks to Itswoot Ridge or Cub Lake area. Ptarmigan Ski Traverse The oldest and most famous high alpine traverse in the North Cascades and you get to make turns! Enter before February 7th for your chance to win. My climbing objective for this trip is to make the summit of Dome Peak, still 1500 vertical feet above us. 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. Peacefu…, WA. Pure and simple the real benefit boils down to maximizing time. 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. Forum Index > Trip Reports > Ptarmigan Traverse ~ Old Guard ~ Sentinel ~ Spire Point ~ July 3-6, 2020 Happy Birthday marcoramius , Just_Some_Hiker ! 3,660’).Over half the distance of this road is gravel but it is well maintained. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. 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. Take the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) to Marblemount and follow the Cascade River Road, 22 miles east until it dead-ends at the trailhead for the Cascade Pass Trail (el. Upon the glacier we follow a zigzagged stairway upward. After a long game of gear Tetris, here’s what I packed. People typically start at Cascade Pass. Skis are the way to travel today. If your days seem to fly by too fast, you’re probably not suffering enough. However, with the nine miles of road added to the route, we estimate the total mileage to be about 45 miles. Overall the glaciers were in great shape and very easy to navigate. The Raven Ultra is BD’s lightest ice axe, great for long, hard days in the mountains. 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. I am guessing that will be a lot more by October. They never published it. Nothing looks different. Now the heat and soft snows of afternoon suck energy and ravage our psyches. The doubts weigh as much as the gear pinching our shoulders and time shifts into low gear. As all PNW climbers do, Rich and I have always talked about skiing or climbing on the classic Washington mountaineering route, the Ptarmigan Traverse. 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2020 ptarmigan traverse gear list