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[TR] Ragged Ridge - Mesahchie, Kimtah, Cosho....south side 07/06/2018


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Trip: Ragged Ridge - Mesahchie, Kimtah, Cosho....south side

Trip Date: 07/06/2018

Trip Report:


The yin and yang of the North Cascades in one trip, a collection of experiences that seems much longer than could fit in three days...... A classic trail to an impressive pass, followed by a footsore traverse to a first camp with airplane wing views across the valley where the last of the grizzlies was shot in 1967.  Choss, choss, and more choss, in all its varied forms on the south side of the ridge, including a winding gully up the imposing Mesahchie, highest of the ragged peaks on Ragged Ridge, climbed in the late after noon of day 1.  A wind whipped night in a tent not as guyed as it should have been, an early start to another footsore traverse across endless gullies and ledges to easy snow and talus slopes leading to Kimtah (I had climbed Katsuk on a prior trip and Josh wasn't that interested).   Storm clouds gathering to the west as we close in on Cosho, finding a register with the scrap from the FA in 1970, along with a photo of a friend who never made it to Cosho since he died on Luahna in his quest for the 100 highest.  Traversing again, this time too high, running the ragged tippy top, praying to not meet the same fate as T.J. and Dallas and so many others, sans rope.  Finding a second camp on an old moraine just as the thunder roars and the rain falls, diving into the tent to wait it out.  Emerging to cook dinner during a lull, shortly after the rain starts up again and continues all through the night.  Packing the wet tent, how did my battery go to 14%?, embarking on a snowy side hill in the rain.  Punching my leg into a deep hole, my heavy pack dragging my body below my knee, so painful!, sheepishly and desperately calling to Josh to rescue me.  Limping down a steepening ridge in the rain, brush soaking everything, getting off route despite checking the phone and making corrections.  Battery is at 9%.  This is a lot steeper than it looks on the map.  OK, it's mellowing out now.  Where's that trail?  The trail!  Lunch!   German tourists sitting too close at our 4th of July pass lunch spot,  drying gear in the hot sun, so many clean looking people on the trail, Chinese tourist clogging the bridge over Thunder Creek, are the North Cascades going the way of I-90?  A full campground and busy highway but nobody wants to pick up a slightly battered hiker trying to look harmless.  Suddenly a guy whips a u-turn and Josh and I are saved.  He's a shop teacher with a house in Winthrop, and obviously a very good man.  Too nice, even, to take any of the beer we pulled from the creek, exactly where we left it two days before.


Camp 1:


Forbidden from Mesahchie:





Summit of Mesahchie.....4th of July pass looks so very far away:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44380.thumb.JPG.d67478230195e6561b724112b07d925f.JPG




Katsuk, Snowfield and Baker all lined up:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44396.thumb.JPG.b7df4918d887a73c8748246f5c7495ac.JPG


The Inspiration Icecap2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44398.thumb.JPG.10f6d0d65c65f24e29b84be96adcfd98.JPG

Stormking, Sinister, Dome, and Glacier:



Be honest, you haven't given Arches enough credit, have you?



This, for a long ways:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44464.thumb.JPG.257e2fb1225f2dfba7e7799932f30a69.JPG


Looking back at Mesahchie and Katsuk:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44471.thumb.JPG.4d8005a74dece7fcec2e4f07719adfb1.JPG


Summit of Kimtah:



How many pictures are you going to take on this trip??2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44494.thumb.JPG.1223018daeb7ce6f55726f128e9098f6.JPG

Careful out there people:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44499.thumb.JPG.4c1ccc803ef828fa17395fb2b0f3f0fa.JPG2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44507.thumb.JPG.57a931e341f2f29cf4b93d1a845e8fef.JPG


Kimtah and thieves peaks:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44508.thumb.JPG.5f68eb5c065766f1419e2b84282b72d0.JPG

Running a little too high west of Cosho....



Time to decompress:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44538.thumb.JPG.80a25d7adb1aa9dfd7fda2d6f522b493.JPG


Uh oh:2018RaggedRidgeTraverse44546.thumb.JPG.e36df71f5b2260bc3409d185f53f7828.JPG

Why can't the weather be coming from the east?



Clearing after the first round:



Heading down between rain squalls:



Don't rush the transition, yo:


Gear Notes:
Helmet, ice axe, crampons

Approach Notes:
Easy Pass to 4th of July Pass. ~6800' contour to camp below Mesahchie, and thereafter 7400-7800' to traverse the south side of the ridge, dropping stuff and going up from the traverse.

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