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Ptarmigan Traverse Around Mt. Carru - Mt Lago in Pasayten

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Ptarmigan Traverse Around Mt. Carru - Mt Lago in Pasayten

Postby Murph1 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:56 am

Anyone completed the circuit this year. Interested in any photos of the North Faces of Carru, Lago and Osceola. Has anyone out there tried approaching the North Faces of these three peaks by way of the "old" Lease Lake Trail. I understand it was last brushed out about fifteen years ago. Like the Lease Lake Trail I have heard the Pt Defiance Trail is gone. Wondering if the big fire on the Pasayten and Tatoosh Butte has created problems on the Tatoosh Butte Trail. Appreciate any up to date info on the area. :)
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Postby dskoon » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:27 am

Have you checked CascadeClimbers yet? I thought I saw a TR about the Ptarmagin traverse(not sure that's exactly what you're looking for), in there just recently. You may ask your question there.
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Postby Snidely Whiplash » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:36 am

The Ptarmigan Traverse has its northern terminus at Cascade Pass in the southern unit of the North Cascades National Park and its southern terminus near Dome Peak in Glacier Peak Wilderness, traversing by such peaks as Mixup, Formidable, LeConte, and others.

The peaks you mention are quite a bit farther east in the Paysatan Wilderness, and have nothing to do with the proper Ptarmigan Traverse.
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Name Use Confusing!

Postby Murph1 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:05 am

dskoon:
Thanks for the new source. Will check it out!
tazz:
I am very familiar with the Ptarmigan Traverse in the North Cascades that you alluded to in your Post. Back in the 1950's when the traverse from Cascade Pass south and out the Suiattle and Downey Creek was first completed I and my long time climbing companion scouted out segments of the route. I have bushwacked a lot of valleys in the North Cascades. Too old for that stuff any more.
The circular route around Carru, Lago, and Osceolo was first done sometime in the 1960's and took on its current name in around 1992 because Ptarmigan Pk. on the east side of the route is the high point on the ridge on the east side of the route.
There are several accounts on Summit Post about the route in the period from 1992- 2005 including many pictures of the eastern part of the circuit, but none of the western segment north of Osceola Pk to Pt Defiance.
Although most serious climbers avoid the Carru Group because of poor rock
there are some excellent rock climbs in this section of the Pasayten like the Northeast Buttress on Big Craggy Peak. Intrusions of granite on Lake Mountain and other peaks also offer new routes worth a climbers time. Its hard to pry serious rock climbers to the area when Liberty Bell, Kangaroo Ridge, and Hozomeen Pks. are only miles away.
I am waiting for the day when some climbers in the Northwest solve the climbing problems on Carru's North Face, and Osceola Peak's Northeast Face. The threats of rockfall on Rainier's Willis Wall have not stopped top climbers in the Northwest.
Thanks for the input!
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Postby dskoon » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:06 am

Ah, ok, clarification for the OP and myself. I didn't know nor bother to look up the Peaks' he mentioned, and whether they were near/in the "real" Ptarmagin traverse. Thanks.
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Re: Ptarmigan Traverse Around Mt. Carru - Mt Lago in Pasayte

Postby Murph1 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:30 am

tazz & dskoon:
I checked the other two sites but didn't find any materials on the area of the Pasayten I am interested in. :( It appears that it still sees little visitation from backpackers, xc skiiers, or climbers. I suspect a few hunters may enter the area from the Hidden Lakes in October. Because of the long approachs from Slate Peak, Robinson Creek or from the backbreaking Monument Trail over Pistol Pass this area still takes time and a lot of energy to visit.
From the lack of responses I assume no one on the net has visited the Carru-Lago-Osceola area this season.
Looks like I will have to find out on my own next summer after I finish my canoeing trip down the Marias & Upper Missouri Rivers in Montana.
Take Care!
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Re: Ptarmigan Traverse Around Mt. Carru - Mt Lago in Pasayte

Postby Murph1 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:19 am

tazz;
I obviously am not very proficient at following up leads on a computer. I am still on dial up. While my wife, daughters, and granddaughters are on their speedy hi speed internet laptops and I Phones I get by with my less than 1 GB desktop. Ho! :)
Picked up a couple of leads from the posts. It is definitely a bushwhack up Lease Creek to the lake at the base of the North Faces of Carru and Osceola. Secondly, there is at least one party which has traversed the base of the North Faces of the two peaks and gone out by way of the col between Osceola and Carru.
It appears that no one so far has attempted a complete circuit using the north side of the three peaks and connecting up Ptrarmigin Ridge on the east side with the Pt Defiance Ridge on the west side of Lease Creek drainage and coming out at the Guard Station on the Pasayten River at the base of the Tatoosh Butte Trail, The only picture I have found of the Pt Defiance side of the route is in Becky's Guidebook. It is my understanding that both the Pt. Defiance Trail and the Pleasent Valley Trail which connects to the Fred's Lake Trail are either gone or in bad shape lacking any repairs over the last twenty years. Still looking for pictures taken from above Lease Lake of the Northeast Face of Osceola and the North Face of Carru. Also looking for pictures from Pt. Defiance Ridge back at Osceola and Carru.
Will keep looking!
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Re: Ptarmigan Traverse Around Mt. Carru - Mt Lago in Pasayte

Postby Murph1 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:51 am

tazz:
I am slowly getting a better picture of the North Side of Carru, Lago, and Osceola. My objective is to check out the possibility of making a complete circuit of Lago, Carru and Osceola by the following route:
l. Slate Peak to Pasayten Guard Station on the Middle Fork of the Pasayten River.
2. Up the Tatoosh Buttes Trail to a campsite on Tamarack Ridge.
3. Over Ptarmigan Pk and around the west side of Dot Pk and Point 8207 to
a campsite below Mt. Lago in the basin to it's north.
4. Traverse west below the cliffs of Mt Carru to Lease Lake.
5. From Lease Lake head southwest towards the Carru-Osceola Col to a tarn
at 6761'.
6. Traverse northwest to the top of the ridge which runs from Pt Defiance to
the north slope of Osceola. (This is the section I am looking for pictures
of along with the area immediately below the north faces of Carru and Osceola)
Will camp at the lake at 6429' in Pleasant Valley.
7. Continue from the lake in Pleasant Valley along the ridge to Pt Defiance at
7403' and then drop down the ridge to the north following the general line
of the old Point Defiance Trail to the Middle Fork.
8. Follow the Middle Fork back to Slate Peak.
Should the traverse on to the ridge north of Osceola prove too exposed and
dangerous I have the option of going over the Osceola-Carru Col to Doris Lake or
using the standard route across the north basin of Lago through the col between
Lago and Carru and join the Shellrock Trail where it peaks out.
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