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Pickets page missing information

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Pickets page missing information

Postby Wastral » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:57 am

To the web hosts for the Pickets page! FYI and others who may wish to update said excellent page redo.

Pickets Page for North Cascades National Park is missing 2 fairly major routes on it.

http://www.summitpost.org/picket-range/171088

1) Is the main route between Luna Pass and E. Fury. What is shown is the lower traverse route. The route that I have always taken is the ridge crest. Great views both directions and 1 move of class 4/5 and it completely bypasses the glacier as one takes snowfields on the right. Well one could do this with the lower route as well, but the ridge route is so well used that there is a boot beaten path through the heather. The start of the ridge run is a bit spooky though as one has to ascend a loose gully right out of Luna Col.

2) E. Fury descent route that does NOT go over Outrigger peak. Its class 2 and a very tiny bit of class 3 descending to the direct west. Its a main descent route as described in Fred Becky's book as well. Is it better than going over outrigger peak? It sure is faster when I compare how long it took my brother and I to get from E. Fury to Picket pass. Did compare to what others describe the loose Outrigger peak and very steep snow and they seem to state an all day excursion or half day excursion from E. Fury to Picket pass when descending to the west and then traversing takes a couple of hours.

3) I don't believe the exact elevation was given for the exit point for descending the barrier when dropping into terror creek. It is 3000 Feet. DO NOT drop over at a higher elevation than this! You will run into cliffs forcing you BACK up or repelling through vertical brush. NOT FUN, made that mistake once, never again. :D
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Re: Pickets page missing information

Postby mvs » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:28 am

For 3) I'd just like to say that it's great to have this exact elevation number. I'd say it's at least as important to pay attention to other signs in the area. I remember being very paranoid when making the decision to drop off the barrier, and using trail sign once we got to the desired location. In our case there was some flagging (2004, jeez I'm old), but I see Steph reported the existence of a balloon (!) years later. Let me just say it's worth an hour prowling around up there paying attention to signs like this before dropping off. As you point out, and as anyone going in there should be well aware, the mossy cliffs and brush below can ruin your day. As it was, by making sure we had actual *trail* to descend (however faint) we saved ourselves a lot of grief!

Your deproach from Fury East is interesting and should be highlighted. I just didn't know about it. Our party was deterred by formidable cliffs to the west, so we took a "default" option to just stay near the ridge and go over Outrigger. It did take a long time because of steep snow on Fury. Outrigger itself was an easy walk, and the descending ridge to Picket Pass was a highlight of our traverse trip I wouldn't mind repeating. As I understand your route, you go west as if planning to climb the West Peak, but then in the saddle between the two peaks you head south beneath cliffs (the ones that deterred our party) and then gently reascend to Picket Pass?

Thanks for contributing Wastral, it sounds like you've had great adventures in such a wonderful range! I look forward to seeing any pictures from the descent in 2) above if you have some to share!
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Re: Pickets page missing information

Postby Wastral » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:54 am

A bit more descriptive would be:

From Summit of E. Fury. Gaze to W. Fury and start walking at a slight descent on the west obviously as the East is a cliff. W. Fury has a long cliff/ridge/Mongdolan ridge is what Wayne Wallace called it I believe, =) There are a few easily climbed bumps if one wanted to go to W. Fury from E. Fury. Quite worth while if you asked me. Slightly higher too! Anyways back to the descent...

Anyways, yes, act like you are going to W. Fury. There is a descent/gully here that one can simply walk down and then traverse under E. Fury and Outrigger peak no rope required class 2 the whole way to picket pass. That and the Goodell creek valley actually is far more picturesque down lower than from the top of E. Fury. I asked my brother and we both agreed it is class 2 not 3, though it could be considered 3 I suppose if you slipped in one or 2 spots. There is one thing to remember, there is a VERY deep groove with vertical sidewalls on the backside of Outrigger peak. The ONLY place to cross is high or low. We went medium height as this wasn't as bad in terms of scree, cliffed at said gully which one never even sees until one is litterly standing on top of it. It is noted in Becky's 3rd book, went up and crossed. Sorry don't remember the exact elevation we crossed but if I had to guess I would say about 5600 or 5800. If it is snow filled no one would even know it was there. Its a real odd ball. About 20 feet across and anywhere from 20 feet to 40 feet deep. Both sides are nearly dead vertical.

Ah, pictures. How do I post them on here... Actually haven't looked at those pics besides the one on the screen saver we always have running in years.
Summitpost NEWB :o
Then again laid up in a bed :twisted: and as you can tell its 2am nearly 3, so I guess I should figure it out.

PS. One thing when we rappelled down the cliffs descending the barrier, we found amazing moss about 4-6" deep(sank in over the tops of our boots!) that I have ONLY seen on the coast islands North of Vancouver BC. IE its never been logged and VERY WELL protected. :mrgreen: So, there are some VERY interesting reasons to get off route! It also makes the most amazing bed if you ever get the chance. Can sleep on it about 2 nights before crushing it. Ruffle it up and its good as new as if you had never even been there.
PPS. I gotta go back and get the East face of Swiss one of these days and the North face of E. McMillan. Been on my "To-DO" list for 3 years now.

mvs wrote:For 3) I'd just like to say that it's great to have this exact elevation number. I'd say it's at least as important to pay attention to other signs in the area. I remember being very paranoid when making the decision to drop off the barrier, and using trail sign once we got to the desired location. In our case there was some flagging (2004, jeez I'm old), but I see Steph reported the existence of a balloon (!) years later. Let me just say it's worth an hour prowling around up there paying attention to signs like this before dropping off. As you point out, and as anyone going in there should be well aware, the mossy cliffs and brush below can ruin your day. As it was, by making sure we had actual *trail* to descend (however faint) we saved ourselves a lot of grief!

Your deproach from Fury East is interesting and should be highlighted. I just didn't know about it. Our party was deterred by formidable cliffs to the west, so we took a "default" option to just stay near the ridge and go over Outrigger. It did take a long time because of steep snow on Fury. Outrigger itself was an easy walk, and the descending ridge to Picket Pass was a highlight of our traverse trip I wouldn't mind repeating. As I understand your route, you go west as if planning to climb the West Peak, but then in the saddle between the two peaks you head south beneath cliffs (the ones that deterred our party) and then gently reascend to Picket Pass?

Thanks for contributing Wastral, it sounds like you've had great adventures in such a wonderful range! I look forward to seeing any pictures from the descent in 2) above if you have some to share!
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Location: Washington, United States
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