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[TR] Buckhorn Mountain - High Traverse 11/18/2018

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Trip: Buckhorn Mountain - High Traverse

Trip Date: 11/18/2018

Trip Report:

Sunday was summer-like t-shirt weather in the Olympics!  I took advantage and did a high traverse over Buckhorn, NE Buckhorn, Iron, and Worthington from the Big Quilcene valley.  The views were incredible and the terrain was engaging albeit a bit chossy.  Surprisingly, despite the traverse being well above 6000' elevation, there was zero snow on the entire thing.  The difference between the Olympics and Cascades right now is significant. 

Approximate route:5bf5bf1e17307_BuckhornTraverse.thumb.PNG.3d14b8b42797cc0c25f91dded83441d0.PNG

 

Foreshortened view of Buckhorn(s) and Iron from the Big Q trail:IMG_1872.thumb.JPG.fddec5797b77f3801c1119bc76d4f9b1.JPG

 

Marmot Pass:IMG_1876.thumb.JPG.ea99ffce56aea801d2adbbd21943bc66.JPG

 

Buckhorn from Marmot Pass.  The main peak is an easy walkup on trail:IMG_1880.thumb.JPG.52d59c972447fae9fa5ae49cc8a61f12.JPG

 

Constance, Warrior, and Inner Constance from Buckhorn trail:IMG_1882.thumb.JPG.5f307553e10a30aa2b66ffb9838ca79e.JPG

 

Mystery, Fricaba, and Deception from Buckhorn trail:IMG_1883.thumb.JPG.462842b24efeb3a9712ed1d14889206b.JPG

 

View of the traverse from the top of Buckhorn.  NE peak in the middle, Worthington on the left.  Iron is hidden behind the NE peak.IMG_1885.thumb.JPG.5b5c1a2edb5847fd0900d0d1880db758.JPG

 

The descent off NE Peak (pictured here) was easily the crux.  In general, stay on the east side and pick your way down various chimney/groove/ledge systems.  It's never more than 4th class, but a rope could be useful here. IMG_1905.thumb.JPG.52d1edb21382ae04857ca2458e9cf6b3.JPG

 

Choss lovers delight:IMG_1902.thumb.JPG.a8c7747cf7d0be2af220ecc52e55eba5.JPG

 

Easy slopes up to Worthington:IMG_1910.thumb.JPG.88c65f83522764727883ed988896760c.JPG

 

Looking back on the traverse from Worthington.  Iron Mountain is middle left, NE Buckhorn middle right, and Buckhorn proper on the right.IMG_1912.thumb.JPG.93e531a427d12983348ce99b0f335d95.JPG

 

Big Q Valley from Worthington:IMG_1916.thumb.JPG.0671f00451d1915f0adbe20af1a573b7.JPG

 

After tagging Worthington I dropped down on the east side and traversed below cliffs back to ~4800' on the Big Q trail to avoid any bushwhacking.  A staged bike and a continuation over Hawk, Welch and all the way to Townsend (pictured here) would be a great alternative exit:IMG_1918.thumb.JPG.a2748d385a4c778571e4da8a9640e9ea.JPG

 

That'll do summer 2018, that'll do...

Gear Notes:
Helmet!

Approach Notes:
Nice trail
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Nice, I love this that time of year.  I camped on the ridge between buckhorn and marmot pass once in late November and watched the clouds fill up the valleys in the evening with the sun setting on clear skies above.  Amazing!

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Great use of that day! What views. And to think all I did with that weather window was mow the lawn...

Thanks for posting such great images of the route!

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