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#1156605 - 09/09/17 07:37 PM [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017
JasonG Online   sleepy
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Trip: Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni

Date: 9/3/2017

Trip Report:
Just when Steve and I thought ourselves well traveled in the North Cascades, we found an unexpectedly spectacular corner of the range, away from the masses, yet within a reasonable 3 day weekend of home. Sure, I had climbed Primus 15 years before, but it was in a cloud without views except for my partners in the mist. So imagine my surprise when I saw the view this past weekend!

We began our short, yet long-feeling soiree from the standard approach to Eldorado on Saturday, after what has become a now typical MMA fight for permits at the ranger station (take a number, wait an hour, marvel at the lack of trip planning of many groups). Then it was time to drop a vehicle at the Thunder Creek TH (full as well) and circle back to begin the painful slog upwards from the Cascade River. It was hot, but at least there wasn't much wind.

The hike up was the standard 5 hour exercise in humility, broken up in the boulder field by an encounter of two young and enthusiastic lads who were hiking in for the first time, armed with beta gleaned exclusively from Instagram. Steve and I felt even older than the trail already had us feeling, but more we thought that Fred better figure out how to start using social media if he wants to keep his dirtbag lifestyle sustainable. Don't go the way of Blackberry.

Anyway, the east ridge bivy (with the best crapper in the park) lived up to its reputation and we were treated to a great sunset and sunrise from one of the better camps anywhere. We got to know our neighbors from the Colorado Mountain School and Mountain Madness, glad that they appreciated the Skag as much as we do. They don't make mountains like this anywhere else in the lower 48.

We were up with the sun the next day and we bid our newfound friends farewell. They would be the last people we would see until we were hiking out Thunder Creek Monday. No tracks on the glaciers, and just a few footprints in the dirt would be the theme of the next two days. Smoke from fires slowly invaded over the weekend until we hiked out under a surreal sun Monday afternoon. I'll leave the details of the traverse out to Thunder Creek to your imagination, with plenty of photos below to pique your curiosity.

Half of the fun from this past weekend was being surprised right in our own backyard. Go explore!



J'Burg:




Colorado Mtn. School Ice climbing practice:




Moonrise over TFT:


NW face of Forbidden:






















Notice the climbers on the summit ridge of Eldorado:






Primus:


This lake is not on your map:


Snowfield group in the distance:


The Borealis Gl. is shrinking fast:


Goode and Stormking:


Moon over Logan:














Steve and Tricouni:






Tricouni (L) and Primus:










Gear Notes:
30m glacier rope, Al crampons, axe, helmet.

Approach Notes:
Standard Eldorado approach to East Ridge bivy. Through Austera/Klawatti col, around Austera, carried over Primus to Primus/Tricouni col. Traverse high on Borealis west until possible to reach ridge descending to glacial lake not on USGS map. Descend from Lake on prominent ridge to McAllister Creek.


Edited by JasonG (09/27/17 09:14 PM)
Edit Reason: captions
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#1156607 - 09/10/17 06:39 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
mthorman Offline
member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 195
TRs: 12 Photos: 208
Loc: Spokane, WA
Man looks like a beautiful trip! I love all the great pictures.

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#1156608 - 09/10/17 08:50 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 17493
TRs: 118 Photos: 1803
Loc: Oceania
lub'ly rawk
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Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery

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#1156610 - 09/10/17 11:14 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Rad Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2461
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Great shots, as always.
Boy, those glaciers are looking thin. frown
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Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1156611 - 09/10/17 11:16 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
curtveld Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 1063
TRs: 22 Photos: 190
Loc: Bellingham
Awesome! How burly was it to complete in 3 days? I mean, for those of us that don't choose the hardest way into the Pickets....

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#1156613 - 09/10/17 01:10 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: curtveld]
JasonG Online   sleepy
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Thanks everyone!

Curt, it is certainly physical, but not anywhere as ass kicking as getting into the Pickets via Mystery/Pioneer ridges. You can go pretty light, given that it is only three days, and skip Tricouni to make the second day shorter. Neither the first or third days are super long, by traverse standards. For us, the heat zapped us on Day 1 and we were feeling it on the second day. Cooler temps wouldn't wring you out as much getting up to Eldorado.

Rad- we were remarking the same thing. It seems there are some big changes up there, at least in the 18 years since I first climbed Eldorado.
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#1156619 - 09/11/17 08:33 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25324
TRs: 47 Photos: 895
Loc: In Love with You
Wow.

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#1156620 - 09/11/17 11:16 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3555
TRs: 15 Photos: 131
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Originally Posted By: JasonG
For us, the heat zapped us on Day 1 and we were feeling it on the second day. Cooler temps wouldn't wring you out as much getting up to Eldorado.


Glad to hear it wasn't just me being effected by the heat Labor Day weekend. Great photos, as usual.

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#1156624 - 09/11/17 02:40 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
dougd Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 852
TRs: 5 Photos: 17
Loc: Spokane
Thanks Jason. Beautiful pics.
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#1156628 - 09/12/17 08:22 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Trent Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 171
TRs: 14 Photos: 170
Loc: Stanwood
The new camera set-up already worth the weight! Great pictures!
Thanks for the planning and great trip. A must do if limited by time.
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#1156635 - 09/12/17 06:24 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
scott schmidt Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 7
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: deer harbor,wa
Thank you for sharing! Nice shots of Forbidden north side and lots of other peaks that I don't know.

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#1156674 - 09/15/17 01:32 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Gabe O. Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/16/16
Posts: 13
TRs: 3 Photos: 5
Incredible photos of a spectacular trip! Jason, if you don't mind me asking what camera & glass do you shoot with?

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#1156691 - 09/17/17 02:14 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Summit_Rolos Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/19/01
Posts: 73
TRs: 7 Photos: 130
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
So beautiful. Nice work, as usual, Jason!

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#1156695 - 09/17/17 07:28 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: Gabe O.]
JasonG Online   sleepy
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Originally Posted By: Gabe O.
Jason, if you don't mind me asking what camera & glass do you shoot with?


I recently got a Nikon D750 with the Nikkor 24-120 f4 and the 70-300 f4-5.6 lenses. Nothing super fancy, but fancy compared to my 8 year old Canon T1i!
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#1156696 - 09/17/17 07:29 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: scott schmidt]
JasonG Online   sleepy
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Originally Posted By: scott schmidt
... and lots of other peaks that I don't know.


I'll try and add captions this week Scott!

Thanks Rolos!
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#1156775 - 09/26/17 09:44 AM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Alex Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 4677
TRs: 23 Photos: 116
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
great pictures as always! worthy of a coffee table book!

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#1156796 - 09/27/17 09:15 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: Alex]
JasonG Online   sleepy
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Thanks Alex!

I added some captions tonight.....
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#1156811 - 09/28/17 06:00 PM Re: [TR] Inspiration Traverse- Cascade River to Thunder Cr. - Primus and Tricouni 9/3/2017 [Re: JasonG]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25324
TRs: 47 Photos: 895
Loc: In Love with You
Yeah definitely need to think about a coffee table book Jason.

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