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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:

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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