We did the Traverse from North to South. Once you cross Cache Col you leave the National Park. We checked at Marblemount Ranger about the permit. You are out of the Park, so no permit required by National Park from Kool Aid Lake to Suiattle Road. At this time the Suiattle Road is blocked because of the washout,so no parking permit is required there either. This was a permit free zone...except from our wives, but they tell us to take a hike anyway... Also, the road blocks 9 miles of easy walking from car to Downey Campground where the Downey Creek trail begins to Cub and Itswoot Lakes. There are milage signs every mile on the road. We did the road in 3 hours.
Thanks for the update. I'm down to doing easy stuff with my kids and appreciate any help in getting my SummitPost stuff to approach the truth.
We followed the route description in Stage 3 out of Yang Yang Lakes and found it inaccurate. We ascending WNW to the ridge crest and found it vary difficult to "walk" the ridge crest south. There's a hump on the ridge (point 7004) that is very difficult to get around. We ended up descending and finding the "goat path" that ascends up the a rib that is southwest of the lakes. It's discussed in Beckey and you can see it from below. It's a relatively easy and direct route to the lowest spot on the ridge (about elevation 6,500 ft).
I did ya wrong -- I'm sorry. My only defense is that it's been ages since I was there, and nobody else has pointed out the inaccuracy. That's the beauty of SP: anyone can help improve it.
If you found anything else I messed up or that's changed, let us know.
And hey - you just came back from one of the world's beautiful places - got any pics?
Eric: No problem, we valued your stages reports very much. I should point out that the two other teams doing same basic trip as we did...we all had your stages printed out. My trip report is on your page with pics. You own a good page there...
This is a good page and an important one for Washington State, however it is a route. I think we can all agree that it's a route. So why is it listed as a mountain/rock? This page ought to be listed as a route.
The first one is interesting enough, the 2nd one no longer exists (404 error). A somewhat current TR in 2012 can be found at: http://myadventuresinthemountains.blogspot.com/2012/08/ptarmigan-traverse.html