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Kyle M

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Everything posted by Kyle M

  1. Trip: Chiwaukum Range - Chiwaukum High Route Trip Date: 09/09/2021 Trip Report: This definitely isn't alpine climbing, and nothing exceeded class 3, but I think it is kinda interesting... John Berude and I completed a high traverse of the Chiwaukum Range in a single push. We started at the Lake Ethel Trailhead and ended at Hatchery Creek, summitting Big C, Big Lou, and Big Jim along the way. It was definitely the hardest high route thing I have onsited in a day and one of the best days I have had out there with the scenery and fall colors. It measured 32 miles and 14k ft gain, mostly off trail, and took us 16 hours. Full TR: https://climberkyle.com/2021/09/09/chiwaukum-high-route/ The most interesting part was getting between the Glacier Creek and South Fork Chiwaukum drainages. We utilized the pass to the east of Pt 7955. The south side of the pass looks improbably on a topo map, and there is indeed a cliff there. But one can follow ledges westward and through the cliff band miraculously. A beautiful morning in the Chiwaukum. Above Cup Lake. Some exposed scrambling on Big C. The beautiful Glacier Creek drainage. Looking back on the key ledge that gets you through the cliffs near Pt 7955. Vibrant orange near Cape Horn. On the summit of Big Lou. Nearing the summit of Big Jim. Gear Notes: Running shoes, poles, running vests. Approach Notes: Leave Lake Ethel Trail right before going down to the lake and enter the alpine! Hatchery Creek has over a hundred blowdowns.
  2. Bolts on Little Sister

    I heard (from a guide) that it was guides that put them in, along with the piton anchors on Green Creek Arete. I'm not sure why they put them in however.
  3. Trip: Twin Sisters Range - Green Creek Circuit Trip Date: 08/19/2021 Trip Report: @thedylan and @jenny.abegg and I did the classic Green Creek Circuit. It was a super fun day! I'm mostly posting to share details about the late season conditions, since this seemed more like an early summer thing. https://climberkyle.com/2021/08/19/green-creek-circuit/ We took advantage of some beta that some nice people had put in a log bridge about 1/4 mile downstream from the usual river crossing. There also is a Tyrolean if that suits you more. I will include a photo of where the bridge is. Hopefully this becomes a regular bridge! My track for where the bridge and according trails are. The trail to the bridge leaves the road with flagging. Trail is in surprisingly good shape, follow the climber's trail into the Green Creek Cirque. The Arete was awesome and then we found running water beneath the Sisters Glacier. The NE Ridge of South Twin was very enjoyable and the clouds shuffling by were beautiful. All the chossy descents were pretty darn chossy with no snow. We kicked off some pretty big slides and had to be careful. I definitely understand how snow would make this more enjoyable, but it is still manageable. Jaw's Tooth to Skookum was absolutely stunning! The 5.6 crux layback on Jaw's Tooth felt pretty real in approach shoes, but Jenny of course soloed it in style. I definitely enjoyed a rope. The crux 5.6 layback. So good! Jenny on Skookum Peak. Wow! With the clouds on Skookum. Note that a 30m rope is barely enough for the rap off Jaw's Tooth. We entered the clouds as we climbed up Little Sister and did the left arete. Maybe there is a better way to start it, because we started with about 100 ft of unprotectable face climbing that felt much harder than 5.4, with small downward sloping holds. Then it returned to excellent rock up the long climb to the summit. We did most of the ridge traverse to Cinderella before just bailing to the scree and then ascending the easy west ridge of Cinderella. From the summit, we just dropped to the north down slabs towards the edge of the Green Creek glacier. We had no issues with the glaciers on either sides: super easy to cross, no moat problems, no crampons even used. It looked like you could get on the Green Creek Glacier in a myriad of spots. Overall, this was a super fun day! The circuit definitely goes just fine late season, but it is probably a little slower with the chossy descents and you have to be careful with the loose rock. But if you are impatient like me, go for it! Gear Notes: Approach shoes, 30m half rope, small to medium cams, tricams and nuts (not really used), slings, crampons and ice ax (not used), helmet Approach Notes: See the map above for where the log bridge was placed. The river maybe could have been forded, but it would be a little scary.
  4. @Otto Dylan told me about this route since he had done it a few years ago. I believe Darin was the first to really publicize this official "circuit":
  5. Trip: Bailey Range - Full Bailey Range Traverse + Olympus Trip Date: 07/31/2021 Trip Report: https://climberkyle.com/2021/07/31/the-bailey-range-traverse/ Nick, Sam, Rio and I did a Bailey Range loop through Olympus starting and ending at Sol Duc over 5 days. It measured 61 miles and 26k ft gain. It was incredibly beautiful and rugged, as epic as the Ptarmigan or any other classic North Cascade High Route. My main beta contribution is that I think there is a better route between Queets Basin and the Humes Glacier. This is purely hypothetical, but I think one could drop to 3300 ft and then ascend relatively bush free river gravel bars up towards the Humes, instead of that henious sidehilling and ravine crossing. Blue shows our route, red are the theoretical better routes. Glaciers were fine, but do bring real crampons for the bare ice! Crystal Pass route in fine shape. Gear Notes: Standard UL backpacking gear, bear can, La sportiva Ultra Raptors, strap on aluminum crampons, ice ax, lightweight glacier gear Approach Notes: Sol Duc in and out.
  6. Trip: Darrington - Squire Creek Wall -> Buckeye -> Whitehorse Trip Date: 06/19/2021 Trip Report: @jenny.abegg and I did a linkup of Skeena26 on Squire Creek Wall, Buckeye Peak, and Whitehorse. It was a full value 16 hour day, even with nearly everything going "right". Super fun, if you don't mind some jungling and adventure climbing. The MP approach beta for Skeena26 is spot on. We did not find the bolts until the top of P3, and from there on it was still hard to follow the route as the bolts hide in the shade. The upper section of the buttress above the route is pretty blue collar, as is the top of Squire Creek Wall. We were happy to be on snow climbing up to Buckeye Peak. The ridge heading north from Buckeye was very aesthetic, featuring mid fifth class climbing over steep gendarmes with wild exposure. We did a few pitches and a few rappels and then ended up at the SE Ridge of Whitehorse. The SE Ridge definitely felt a bit fifth class to us for a few hundred feet, but we were definitely pretty tired. It is "Beckey 4th class" after all. The rock is ok. Rappel over the bergschrund, then long hike out. https://climberkyle.com/2021/06/19/the-darrington-rodeo/ D-Town is cool! Skeena26 is definitely worth checking out! Gear Notes: Single 60 m rope was enough. A few moderate sized cams, lots of long runners. Approach Notes: About 6-8 minutes after the official Squire Creek Trail sign, there is a white rock cairn. This marks the trail, which leads down to Squire Creek. Found a log crossing just downstream. Then hike up the trail on the other side.
  7. Initial release of the new Cascade Ice Climbing guidebook!!! https://cascade-ice.com/. A few weeks ago, I shared a list of obscure alpine ice climbs in Washington. It was met with a surprising amount of enthusiasm. @DPS, who has climbed many of these routes himself, reached out to me about turning the list into a true online guidebook. So I went out (more like hunkered in my room) and built us a website. It includes detailed route descriptions, caltopo approach maps, and tons of great photos. Currently, we only have 8 awesome routes up, mostly just routes I've done, but we hope to have 20+ routes by next winter! We're still early on in the development of this site, so I welcome feedback / advice. If you have info/pictures for a specific route you'd like to see here, we might be able to work together to get it up! To follow along with updates, new routes added, follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cascade-Ice-106832897688029/. And for the computer nerds out there, yes, our code is open source and you can check it out here: https://github.com/Washington-Ice-Climbing/ice-conditions-map.
  8. Footwear is the most important of gear, no question. I've taken some time to think about all kinds of different footwear in the Cascades, from trail running to ice climbing and skiing. Here are my thoughts and strategies. I welcome diverse opinions! https://climberkyle.com/2020/09/15/footwear-in-the-cascades/
  9. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Whitepine Ice delivers! Josh's route "Doctor's Orders" was truly a gem, definitely worth checking out. He put up the routes on mountain project: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/120310945/whitepine-ice-mixed. He fully realizes there might be established names for these often-climbed routes, but he just figured he would give them some names for the MP page. And here are some more photos from my blog: https://climberkyle.com/2021/02/20/whitepine-ice/ Not sure if these pillars will survive the rain the next day or so, but if they do, I bet they'll be solid next weekend with more cold temps.
  10. [TR] Sperry Peak - East Gully 01/23/2021

    Sick! I cannot wait to get back on this one! I wonder if it was also good conditions for the incredible north face of Sperry.
  11. [TR] Chair Peak - NE Buttress 01/17/2021

    Great work! So much snow that the usual anchors are buried - incredible!
  12. I remember in January 2019 when Jacob and I reached the top of the Melakwa Flows and turned around and laid eyes on the beauty. We remarked how it could be "the Winter Dance of Snoqualminix!". But it was far above our pay grade at the time. So psyched someone could finally go send it. Some more enticing photos of it, from a scouting trip around Christmas 2020. Top of the flow is visible in the bottom right. Visible once again upper left of the image.
  13. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    @Doug_Hutchinson and I checked out the Roosevelt Flows yesterday. Most of the ice was rotten and aerated with snow clinging to it, just like most everything else we've seen in the snoqualmie area recently. We climbed the thin gully feature, which went at WI2+/3- for 60m. There's a lot of potential here, but none of the climbs are really in. Definitely worth the trek when it's in! https://climberkyle.com/2020/12/28/roosevelt-ice-exploration/
  14. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Checked out the Melakwa Valley today. There's lots of ice forming, and maybe some is climbable, but definitely not protectable. Very thin and lots of snow sitting on the ice so I presume it's aerated. Hot Tubbs. Melakwa Flows. Also, Source Lake Line not in. Other random ice around Snow Lake - same status. For more details, see our ice observations page! https://cascade-ice.com/observations/28
  15. Ice Observations Page

    @Doug_Hutchinson in all seriousness, I wanted to include historical weather data that led up to a particular observation and compare it with current weather patterns, but the data costs anywhere from $10-$50 per month, so I wasn't about to do that on my own money.
  16. Ice Observations Page

    So for this winter, as @Doug_Hutchinson alluded to, I present to the ice community a new observations page: https://cascade-ice.com/observations. I think that we could record observations of ice in the field in a more organized, easy to search manner, with location pins. Over many years, I believe that this format could have a lot of value because of its clarity and searchability. My dream would be to display historical weather patterns that led to certain observations and awesome insight like that. Facebook posts get buried after a few days. CC Threads are great, but can be tricky to search through and it can be challenging to describe exact locations. This isn't meant to replace CC or anything, more augment it. It's an experiment. I welcome feedback. This observations page I will maintain with submissions from the community. To make development easier, there's no form for user submissions, just send us an email at cascadeiceguide@gmail.com and I'll get it up as quickly as possible. There are instructions on the page of what information to include in submissions. Think cold thoughts and hopefully it'll be a good season!
  17. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Toured around Snoqualmie on Saturday. Multiple parties gunning for NEB Chair, one party reported a successful climb later. The ice step seemed to be in pretty good condition actually. Source Lake Line, all the other stuff, not in. Made it out to the summit of Wright to scope the surprisingly impressive north summit of north Roosevelt (north^2 roosevelt). This area is often loaded, with 6-7 single pitch lines right next to each other and multipitch potential. Only really one of the single pitches looked good currently, but it's still very early in the season. Maybe someday I'll have the motivation to stop sliding down couloirs and climb some of these guys, but I've been by them a few times now and it's a pretty cool spot.
  18. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    North Face lundin looks like it has some potential. There's also some vertical ice most definitely formed on the cliffs below the Lundin/Red saddle on the north side. You can see the ice lower right in the above photo. Commonwealth Falls is running water, obviously, with a little ice on the sides.
  19. With some time on my hands with the quarantine and all, I decided to compile some research. Here's a list of "forgotten" Cascade alpine testpieces (ice focused) or FACTs. Feel free to add some others I left out! Who's gonna be the first to tick the entire list? I apologize for all the weird formatting. I just copied this post from my blog https://climberkyle.com/2020/03/22/forgotten-cascade-alpine-ice-routes/. I90 I90 climbs offer the best access and easiest conditions to predict. There are undoubtedly many more climbs to be discovered in this area with easy access, generally good rock, and surprisingly rugged little mountains. Mt. Kent, North Face (multiple variations): the greatest north face in the Snoqualmie region with many long 1000 ft lines. Bonus: you can see conditions from I90 near exit 42 while driving west! This has been super high on my list to explore. Snoqualmie Mt, North Face (multiple variations): an abundance of mixed ice lines like the classic New York Gully and the lesser known Pineapple Express and Blue Moon. Abiel Peak, North Face (multiple variations): the “Ben Nevis” of the PNW has many shorter alpine ice and mixed lines. Bryant Peak, Hot Tubbs: Maybe this route hasn’t been around long enough since Jacob and I published it, but it reportedly hasn’t seen much action, so I think it’ll be forgotten soon enough… Summit Chief Mountain, North Face: Colin Haley said this line had “more ice climbing than any other Cascade ice climb” he had ever done at the time. Big compliment. The North Face is much like Dragontail, just fatter. Peak 3964, False Idol: An incredible 10 pitch ice route off the Middle Fork Snoqualmie that needs very cold temps to form. I believe this is just scratching the surface of the ice potential in the Middle Fork. US2 US2 offers some hotspots like the Stuart Range, with its steep granite peaks, and a sprinkling of other incredible routes in the Lake Wenatchee area. Weather is generally colder and drier on the east side, which is good for ice. Chiwawa Mountain, Intravenous: Cutting edge Colin Haley mixed route deep in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Buck Mountain, Buckshot: Another bold line in a wilderness setting. One of the great underrated north faces in Washington. Mt. Index, North Face: Steepest peak in Washington, visible from the highway. Always an involved matter for a sub-6000 ft peak. Another huge route is Murphy's Law. Dragontail Peak, NE Couloir: This route feels much more full on than Triple Couloirs next door, and seems to be difficult to get in proper (fall) conditions. Colchuck Peak, NE Buttress Couloir: Often overlooked with Triple Couloirs and the North Buttress Couloir next door. Ends with a cornice-tunnel! Argonaut Peak, NE Couloir: Also a rock/snow route in early summer, this can be a fantastic mixed/ice route in late fall. Mt. Stuart, Ice Cliff Glacier: a technically easy but deceptively committing and full-on climb in a wild setting. Argonaut Peak, Chad Kellog Memorial Route: Challenging new age mixed route in the heart of the Stuart Range. Mt. Stuart, Lara Kellog Memorial Route: Climbs the incredible NE Face of Stuart above the Ice Cliff Glacier. Looks directly across to the Chad Kellog Memorial Route. Mt. Stuart, Stuart Glacier Couloir: A classic route where the crux is arguable climbing the west ridge in mixed winter conditions. Nason Ridge, Alpine Dropout: A fantastic looking ice route that sits just above Lake Wenatchee. Mountain Loop Close to Seattle but tragically overlooked, the peaks of the Mountain Loop are as rugged as anywhere in the North Cascades but with surprisingly decent winter access. The myriad of big climbs in this little region speaks volume to the incredible terrain. Big Four Mt, North Face (multiple variations): multiple routes, including the famous Spindrift Couloir. This is a mighty north face, and routes often take multiple days. Hall Peak, North Face: little brother to Big Four supposedly has some ice routes. Three Fingers, NE Face: This is a big route on a surprisingly big mountain. I believe there’s much more potential on the east side of Three Fingers. Whitechuck Mt, E Face Couloir: A very aesthetic couloir ice/mixed route. Access can be challenging unless it is a very low snow year. Whitehorse Mt, E Couloir: This steep route splits the Squire Creek Headwall for a fantastic line. I think it might even be visible from Darrington?! Sperry Peak, E Face Gully: Another beautiful, long, moderate ice/mixed route that likely varies in technicality from fall to spring. Sloan Peak, Full Moon Fever: This route climbs the weakness on the NW Face of Sloan. Having been at the base, I can say there is HUGE potential all over the place near the route. Sloan Peak, Superalpine: I certainly hope this climb isn’t forgotten, as Porter and I believe it is truly the best moderate alpine ice route we have climbed in the Cascades (better than Cosley Houston or the NW Couloir of Eldorado), but I know how things go around here… Lake 22 Headwall: who would think that one of the greatest alpine walls in the Cascades was just a short hour drive and hike from Seattle? There are so many unclimbed 2000 ft lines up this face, and you can get conditions updates by searching Instagram! Highway 20 Highway 20 undoubtedly has many huge ice lines, but difficult winter access has limited exploration. During lower snow years, the Cascade River Road could be a great area for exploration and development. Eldorado Peak, NW Ice Couloir: This route was sort of “remembered” in Fall 2019 when probably 20 parties climbed it (me included), but it’s a fantastic easier route, so I’ll leave it here. Colonial Peak, North Face (multiple routes): The mega line Watusi Rodeo offers 4000 ft of front point terrain and is “easily” accessible all winter. First Date is another attractive route. Pyramid Peak, NE Face (multiple routes): Home to some challenging mixed/ice routes on a wonderfully aesthetic peak. Graybeard, North Face: Everyone seems to report this deceptively big route deepened their sense of mortality. Davis Peak, No Milkshakes: the north face of Davis Peak is supposedly the steepest vertical mile drop in Washington. Silver Star, West Face Couloir: Originally planned as a ski descent, it actually turned out to be a huge ice climb! Visible from the highway, but you probably need a sled to get up there. Cutthroat Peak, Cauthorn Wilson: Gaining popularity lately, can be climbed right before the highway closes or after it opens. Early Winters Couloir: This one is sort of a classic and can be climbed in both fall and spring. Highway 542 The areas around Baker and Shuksan are generally well explored, but still offer great adventure. The Black Buttes are one of the centerpieces for hard alpine ice climbing. Lincoln Peak, Wilkes-Booth: A huge, challenging route on one of the hardest peaks in Washington. Assassin Spire, NW Face: Considered by many to be the toughest summit in Washington, this was also the first peak where the first ascent was made in winter. Colfax Peak, Ford’s Theater: The “forgotten” next door neighbor of the ultra classic Cosley Houston. Mt. Rainier / Tatoosh This area is dominated by the mountain, but I’m guessing the Tattosh have good stuff and certainly easy access. Rainier, Mowich Face: A long moderate route on the “quiet” (NW) side of the big hunk-a-hunk. Rainier, Ptarmigan Ridge: A steeper, more sustained route than its next door neighbor, the world-renowned Liberty Ridge. Mt. Hood I don’t know much about Hood, but I’m sure there are some great routes that are infrequently climbed, so I’ll take suggestions here!
  20. Trip: Heliotrope Ridge - Various Heliotrope Water Ice Trip Date: 11/08/2020 Trip Report: Just an update from the Heliotrope Water Ice "Playground". Over the last few years, I've had a great time getting back into the flow of ice by cragging at the various water ice flows above the Heliotrope Ridge Trail in the fall. The combination of Fraser outflow events, northern aspect, and superfluous water supply from the glacier above seems to create the most consistent water ice opportunities in Western Washington from late October until the trailhead is inaccessible. The climbs are easy and short, yes, but it's pretty easy to get in 10 reps of a 50 foot pitch and then, bam, you have 500 ft. of ice climbing just a short walk from the car. Not bad IMO. To help explain some of these climbs, I created this map. https://caltopo.com/m/06CB. I'm by no means claiming FAs or anything, but there is limited information about these climbs so I thought it was helpful to name a few so I can give my recollections. In 2019, on Nov 1st, I climbed a ton of climbs, starting with "hidden in plainsight" and working my way through the "heliotrope headwall". All the "misc curtains" were fat, lots of other climbs like "Cauliflower Curtains" were manageable. We had an early dump of snow (late september) that started the freeze thaw early. Some of the climbs are fed by glacial runoff and streams, but others need seepage from early snowfall and freeze/thaw. In 2020, I headed up there October 24th during a cold spell (overnight around freezing in BHAM). It was evident the ground was still too warm and almost none of the climbs were in. We did however find "Femoral Bleed" a bit higher up than I had ever explored before. It was in great shape on the 24th, but when we returned on the 25th, after a very cold night, it somehow had become very wet and was spurting water out of a hole in the middle, nowhere near where we had climbed the day before. Bizzare. I returned on Nov 8th (today). Temps were very warm (freezing level 7k) just a few days ago, so I wasn't too hopeful. Friends had walked up there on the 6th and found running water everywhere and no real ice. But as we started hiking up, the ground was very frozen and signs were good. We found "Cauliflower Curtains" to be in good shape, not protectable on lead, but good fun on TR. It was possibly in better shape than the year before even. This had gone from a full waterfall to climbable in less than 48 hours. Impressive. We continued up to Femoral Bleed. It was very thin and wet compared to last time, not in good shape at all. Perhaps it does not form as well under fast-freeze conditions? Maybe it will bulk out in the coming days. But just to the right we found a beautiful line "Supermarket Shrimp", with wonderful tentacles and striking ice formations. This was a fun TR. Two weeks before, when Femoral was fat, this climb was running water. Go figure. It looks like serious snow is coming soon, but maybe some people will find this useful in future years. It's a primo spot: 1-2 hr approaches to relatively reliable water ice, at least by WA standards. Happy hunting! A few more details can be found in my trip reports: * https://climberkyle.com/2019/11/01/heliotrope-ridge-ice-playground/ * https://climberkyle.com/2020/10/24/heliotrope-ice-hunt-2020/ Oh and if you were wondering, CH is looking quite a bit better than a few weeks ago. Probably good to go. Gear Notes: microspikes very helpful for the trail, as always. screws, tools, and slinging boulders all used for top rope anchors. Approach Notes: Road can be treacherous, take caution in the fall. It's usually worst a few days after a low snow event and freeze thaw on the road.
  21. review Footwear in the Cascades

    @genepires on descents the hard, rigid sole just kinda wears down on the forefoot until my feet are quite sore. It's not that I cannot wear them at all, it's just I'm soft and complain if my feet are not in cushy trail runners.
  22. review Footwear in the Cascades

    @kmfoerster I personally just cannot hike in approach shoes. I know some people can. I wish I could! Then approach shoes would be great for me. I also think that you're a little more technical climber and thus can tackle most alpine rock routes in them, whereas I know I have to bring rock shoes anyways for anything 5.6 and harder. Also, I try to run more, and you definitely cannot run in them. Our styles are different, so approach shoes are more valuable to you.
  23. Thanks @kukuzka1 and @Carbonj for your input! I'll add these to the list on my blog.
  24. Trip: Mt. Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Climbed the NE Buttress with Steve July 18-20. The trail from Highway 20 was largely brush free until Grizzly Creek, which we crossed easily on a log. From there, it was a brushy caterpillar orgy. The direct approach, climbing just right of the leftmost waterfall, was easy and fast. Glacier navigation was simple, although we did cross some blue ice and bridges. We were able to gain the buttress just below the red ledges via a collapsed snow moat. Climb was great! Plenty of snow patches on the route to fill our bottles with. From the summit we scrambled NW to the next notch and found a huge patch of snow which we melted for abundant water. Descent was a long day but not too bad. Once down at the 7400 ft heather benches, keep traversing skier's right until reaching the burned ridge that divides the drainages between Storm King and Goode, take that down to the Park Creek Trail. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/18/mt-goode-ne-buttress-5-5/ On a side note, it appears from the summit logs that quite a few parties have climbed Megalodon Ridge. Most mentioned that they never found the 5.10 pitches, so perhaps it is easier than 5.10 or these difficulties are simple to circumvent. Goode Glacier and NE Buttress. On lower route. Le Conte and Sloan. Forbidden, Eldo, and the Twin Sisters. Sahale and the sound. Silver Star. Douglas Glacier on Logan. Rapping down. Gear Notes: Trail runners, aluminum crampons, and ice ax for the approach. Climbing/approach shoes on route. 60 m 8mm rope. Cams .4-2, 9 slings, tricams, nuts. Oh, and 10 lbs of camera gear (including a full sized tripod) for Steve. Approach Notes: When you reach the open valley beneath Goode, ford the river, ascend up easy boulders/snow. Climb the 4th class slabs just right of the leftmost waterfall. Continue upwards through the magical alder tunnel. Eventually you'll emerge into wildflower meadows and then the camps atop the lateral moraines.
  25. Trip: Pasayten Wilderness - Tatoosh Buttes - Ptarmigan Peak - Lago Trip Date: 07/08/2020 Trip Report: Last week, Anthony Marra Danny Bradley and I ran an incredible 42 mile, 11k gain loop in the Pasayten Wilderness. Took us 14 hours. We started at Slate Pass, ran down the Middle Fork for a long ways, traversed the ridge from Tatoosh Buttes over Ptarmigan Peak to Mt. Lago, then back out. The ridge between Dot and Lago has some class 3, and is very aesthetic and fun. It was the quintessential Pasayten experience, with broad valleys, wildflower meadows, epic ridges, tundra, and a helluva lot of blowdowns. To me, this was one of the most wild and stunning routes I have ever done. Bless that Pasayten magic. The Middle Fork Pasayten trail has a ton of blowdowns past the Fred's Lake turnoff. Tatoosh Butte trail is fine, once you get above the burn. Descent down Lago sucked. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/08/hart-of-the-pasayten/ Middle Fork Pasayten from Tatoosh Buttes. Cruising along the buttes. Magical trail. Running down Ptarmigan Peak. Dropping off Dot Mountain. Epic tarn on south side of Ptarmigan. Dot Lakes. Final ridge to Lago. Lago summit. Sunset near Slate Pass. Gear Notes: Trail running gear. Approach Notes: 20 ft up to Slate Pass, and then down down down!
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