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Ptarmigan traverse

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Ptarmigan traverse

Postby snowlover » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:11 am

Rookie by most standards here, but doing pt mid Aug. check cascade pass last sat. Still lots of snow. Pass to cache col was very snowy. Will back side of mixed up melt out in 4 weeks? Any reports from 2012? 3 are experienced hiker/ Trekkers with one having 2 rainier summits. 3 rather newbies. I would rather stash bikes for southern exit. Any advice? Anyone have gps tracks or waypoints of primary features/passes. We are not climbers and enjoy several forms of outdoor rec, but the traverse looks awesome.

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Re: Ptarmigan traverse

Postby Wastral » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:00 am

Stashing bikes at south... How do you propose to get said bikes to where you can use them... Helicopter? Car won't do any good since the road is closed/washed out why you want the bikes to begin with... A blow up raft seems a better option for a large party. Always did want to try that option. Still would require a powered bike and rope to hide said raft up in the trees to snag on your way out and then float down the river. IE take bike, throw raft/pump on back, toodle up the road all the way to downy creek and stash it in a tree.


Backside of mixup melted out? Yea. Its southern/western exposure. Everything about 2 weeks behind. I wouldn't count on Kool-Aid lake being snow free though. High probability of it though.

The traverse is awesome. Best exit is going out via Garden Pass and Image lake. Adds another 2 days. You better tag Dome peak summit. Get that crevasse rescue training in.

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Re: Ptarmigan traverse

Postby nickmech » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:58 am

I did it last year early August. Snow all the way from Cascade Pass to Cub Lake. Don't need to be a climber if not doing any peaks on the way but expect challenging snow crossings, steep in a few places like at the cols. Bring axes. Route finding will be your biggest problem. Just walk the road out at Suiattle river, it;s only 9 miles. Ha.
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Re: Ptarmigan traverse

Postby snowlover » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:12 pm

Ride bike up road walk out a few days before starting the traverse. Really simple concept, and sounded better than a 9 mile stupid walk down a road. We will do some easier summits, but the intention is to explore and get experience for a future trip with peaks.

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Re: Ptarmigan traverse

Postby johngo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:20 pm

I realize this reply is very late, but it still might help somebody.

You can get a map a GPX track and Google earth KML file for the complete route for FREE at the Mazamas website.

Mazamas dot org > Resources > Maps for Climbing and Hiking
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Re: Ptarmigan traverse

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:09 am

nickmech wrote:Don't need to be a climber if not doing any peaks on the way

While some of the peaks on the Ptarmigan Traverse are of little interest to the technical climber, I see little value in doing the traverse without climbing some of the 'better' peaks, but maybe that is just because I can't look at a mountain without wanting to climb it.

I'm no expert having climbed only 4 or 5 of the peaks, but I think a good rubric is to climb only peaks that do not require 5th class climbing. That way you avoid lugging rock climbing gear all that way, and can get away with a 30 meter rope, prusik slings, an ice axe, and crampons as your only climbing equipment. Also, if there was ever a case to be made for aluminum or hybrid crampons, the Ptarmigan Traverse is one of them.
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