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Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby Norman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:54 am

Great story told here about the Luna Creek Drainage:

http://www.summitpost.org/mt-challenger ... ure/470389

Read on to find the photos of the brush. funny if you're not the person going through it...
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby Tom_Sjolseth » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:28 pm

Having been to all of the places people have discussed in this thread, along with Pioneer Ridge (twice) - #1, #2 - my vote is for Pioneer Ridge, hands down. The comparison of its approach to that of White Rock Lakes is laughable.. you can reach White Rock Lakes in a long day via mostly trail, then a bit of easy cross-country. There is no easy way in to Pioneer Ridge, and none of the approach options are mostly on trail. ALL approaches to Pioneer Ridge require bushwhacking except for possibly Easy Ridge (depending on how you define bushwhacking), but getting there via Easy Ridge involves a difficult bypass of Mt. Crowder and a lot of time (2-3 days).

Gabriel Peak and Elija Ridge are both very reasonable day trips with very little brush.

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Last edited by Tom_Sjolseth on Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby JohnDittli » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:59 am

Murph1 wrote:Although I have not been there I suspect Elijha Ridge and Gabriel Peak across from Ragged Ridge may be one h... of a bushwack. Has anyone on the net been there using Panther Creek Trail as the approach? I know several climbers on the net have been on Ragged Ridge opposite Elijha and would know if there is any "easy" access to Elijha Ridge.
Another difficult place to get to I have not tried, but heard about, is Lost River Gorge off of the Monument Trail in the Pasayten.


Actually yes, I've been on both, as a day trip as I recall (I would have to look back at my journal as it was in the late '80's and my memory is not as good as it once was). I do remember how I got there though and it wasn't Panther Creek!
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby JohnDittli » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:17 am

[quote="Tom_Sjolseth"] There is no easy way in to Pioneer Ridge, and none of the approach options are mostly on trail. ALL approaches to Pioneer Ridge require bushwhacking except for possibly Easy Ridge (depending on how you define bushwhacking), but getting there via Easy Ridge involves a difficult bypass of Mt. Crowder and a lot of time (2-3 days). [end quote]

Well, I've got to say my first trip to Pioneer Ridge was on a ski traverse from Mt Watson to Whatcom Pass (Mystery Ridge) in the late '80's, no brush!! LOL. The Crowder bypass was also skiable. Also went in via Easy Ridge which in the '80's was definitely not bush whacking but maybe that has changed?

Lastly, congrats on finding the "secret passage" to Elija and Gabriel. As I was climbing the N (E)???(again my memory!!) face of Gabriel a goat was knocking rocks down on me!
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby Tom_Sjolseth » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:05 pm

John, I was just talking to Jason Hummel about your ski traverse through there in the 80's. Impressive. I'd like to hear more about your adventure, did you write about it anywhere?

Steph Abegg and I did a very similar trip as yours (sans skis), but our trip had us coming in from Bacon Creek instead of Mt. Watson. I remarked several times how snow conditions would have to be pretty darn good to get in there in the winter. I imagine the brush was very manageable at that time of year!

RE: Easy Ridge and Brush.. I've never come in from Chilliwack River up to Easy Ridge. I have gone from Perfect Pass to Easy Peak, then over to Mineral Mountain and out to Hannegan (which required extensive bushwhacking). I would guess there would be a little bit of schwacking from the Chilliwack River crossing up to Easy Ridge?
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby mountainsandsound » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:29 pm

If I had a bushwacking nightmare it would go something like this trifecta:

Poked and jabbed and pushed by alder, stabbed by devils club, and stung by nettles. Then a failed summit attempt.
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Re: Most Difficult Place to Get To In the North Cascades!

Postby JohnDittli » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:17 pm

Pioneer Ridge 1.jpg
Pioneer Ridge 1.jpg (151.29 KiB) Viewed 755 times
The late Scott Croll gaining Pioneer Ridge in May '89

You guys are looking at this all wrong. If "hardest" = "least pleasant", then the hardest place to get to in the North Cascades isn't any where in the alpine. With enough time and knowledge, you can get almost anywhere in the NOCA alpine relatively brush free (including the N. Pickets). I'm going to speculate (having never been there) that it is actually about 3000 feet below Pioneer Ridge in the bowels of Bald Eagle Creek, or ~2500' in any other trailless drainage. And will look more like this then the above.
Scan-120119-0110.jpg
Scan-120119-0110.jpg (246.8 KiB) Viewed 755 times
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