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Ptarmigan Traverse Exit

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Hi everyone,

 

Does anyone have an RECENT beta on the exit from Spire Point on the Ptarmigan Traverse (Heading North to South)? I have read reports of people taking Bachelor Creek Trail (Not listed on most maps) to meet with the Downey Creek Trail (768), but would not be surprised in the least if it was completely overgrown.

 

Otherwise, has anyone descended into Downey Creek over the pass from the White Rock Lakes area?

 

I know it can be quite thick up here and would rather save the annoyance of brushwacking through several miles of dense forrest cover.

 

Thanks!

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I descended the Bachelor Creek trail a couple weeks ago. It's not that bad or overgrown. There are a few downed trees which you must go over, under or around.

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I went S-N on July 1-2, taking the Downey Creek trail to Bachelor Creek, to Cub Lake, to the Spire Point col. There has been some work done on the upper Bachelor Creek "trail", as evidenced by orange flagging, and generally speaking the trail is pretty well beaten-in. If you miss the flagging, the easiest way down would be through the pine forest on the descender's right side of the valley.

 

Unless you have skis, you shouldn't have much trouble even if you end up tunneling through alder for a bit. Going uphill through alder with skis was fun.

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Sweet, thanks for the info guys. Also, I was assuming that the trip in its entirety would be more efficient without skis, specifically since if we are planning to climb multiple peaks, but would you recommend them or not? Trip planned August 4-7.

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Definitely leave the skis at home. When we did it S-N we skied:

1. Spire Point to just below White Rock Lakes (aka the Dana Glacier),

2. a quick traverse of the South Cascade Glacier,

3. the Le Conte Glacier,

4. Le Conte ridge down to Yang Yang Lakes,

5. the Middle Cascade Glacier, and

6. Cache Col to Cascade Pass (almost)

 

If we were going N-S, we could have skied:

1. Spider-Formidable Col to Yang Yang Lakes,

2. Le Conte ridge to bottom of Le Conte glacier,

3. Le Conte-Sentinel Col to South Cascade glacier,

4. South Cascade Glacier to White Rock Lakes,

5. Spire Point to Cub Lake

 

I suspect all these runs will involve at least one carry now.

The problem with the N-S runs is that most of them are not fall-line; you're just trying to maintain elevation as long as possible. This will be much more difficult as the snow starts to melt out, mostly because moats you have to traverse under will be bigger and further downhill. What would have been the best N-S run, Spire Point to Cub Lake, is south-facing and could be melted out by now.

 

We skinned from Cub Lake to Spire Point, but otherwise either booted or skied the rest. The frequent transitions and steep traversing made booting faster.

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Todd,

 

Hey man, thanks a ton for the beta. Definitely confirms what I was assuming, I just love the shred and would ski it if I could :) Would love to do it as a ski traverse another time though.

 

I hope your trip was rad. I have heard great things about it, and we will be incorporating some alpine climbs into it as well. Should be sick!

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