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highclimb

[TR] N-S Traverse of the Picket Range- Challanger, Fury,Terror 8/14/2004

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interesting.....depending on if you can make it up access creek in a day...your second day with be alot of elevation loss and gain but doable if you get an early start. and then your third day if you keep moving would be ok....anyone else have an opinion?

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Everything sounds reasonable except for the approaches. Big Beaver and Wiley in a day would be horrid. Access to Luna col would be easier because it's shorter, but still...too much for me. frown.gif

 

Here are a couple of more pictures from the trip.

 

whatcom_sunset.jpg

Sunset over Whatcom Peak from the base of the Challenger Glacier.

 

fury_closeup.jpg

View of Fury from the southeast peak ("Outrigger"). Our descent was talus on the left then the steep icy snow (would have been easier to go way around on the right).

 

to_picket_pass.jpg

On the way to Picket Pass. This is the ridge descent off of Outrigger Peak, which is very pleasant except for two spots where the rope was needed - one for a rappel, the other (this one) for an exposed section of 4th class.

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Hrm. We were going to try and do Luna too. I winder if it's doable in reverse. One day to Luna base. Second day over Luna and to Challenger Glacier, Third day over Challenger and out to Wiley or further. Fourth day back to trailhead...

 

I think you could pull off the trek to Luna if you had a few breaks:

1. An early start w/the water taxi

2. The sign Dave Parker placed on the BB trail pointing out the Access creek cutoff was removed. I carved a replacement when we returned, but who's to say how long it will last? We spent an extra hour and half finding a log crossing on our way up.

3. Weather: the traverse about Luna to get to the col was pretty straightforward - the problem would be if it got wet. That would definitely slow you down.

4. Luna looks like a bitch from the false summit. It's probably much quicker to do the traverse route from about 150' below the false summit.

 

It would seem like a shame to go that way and not even consider Fury, but given the ass-kicking I got - I can't say I'd blame you!

 

-t

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If I wanted to push up Access Creek to Luna Col in a day from BB TH I would want to be trying Fury in a day or something like that. No reason to suffer all that trail and bushwack, and then that long slog up the alpine meadows in a day otherwise! But it is entirely possible to do this.

 

We were lucky enough to stumble right on a log jam to get to Access Creek. You should be able to get close where it just "feels right" to head through the forest after Luna Camp.

 

The SE glacier route on Fury is very tame compared to the N. Buttress, especially from Luna Col, where the buttress route requires a brutal loss of elevation to get on it. It was all but a walk-up when we descended it in early July, if you give the right line a good study.

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When I did NB of Fury, we got early water taxi (8:00am) and we made it to Access Creek basin headwaters by about 6, but also we did not nail access creek very well as it was my first time. It was only about 3-4 hours to Luna Col from there.

 

I think if your plan is to make those kind of times you will be dissapointed and very tired. It's one thing to have a big day, but to link 3 or 4 is not wise in my opinion. I was glad for the easy day before climb day on Fury which by the way is not close to being over on the summit! We did go all the way out from Luna col to the car on the 4th day, but we barely made it up the trail from Ross Lake. Our legs got wicked stiff during the boat ride. We practically needed wheel chairs to get out of Good Food!

 

It's an amazing area and you can enjoy yourself if you push hard, but not rediculously hard. What's an extra day or two?

Edited by David_Parker

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well theron and michael both have their TR's up.

theron has a written one as of now...michael's i am sure will come later...check em out.

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If your goal is to do Luna (or anything in the n. pickets) in the shortest possible time, i think the best option is to come in via hannegan pass/perfect pass. Perfect Pass is a pretty reasonable day (ok, it's long, but in context, reasonable, mostly on trail and above timberline, 0 real bushwacking), Luna is a reasonable RT from there in a day (2 hrs PP to challenger summit, 4 hrs to Luna lake, 1 hr to luna pass, 1 hr RT to summit, 5 hours back to Challenger, 1/2 hour to PP = 11.5 hours, more or less, quite doable with day packs if you do it early enough in the season that most of the basin is snow covered), day 3 back to the car. BTW, the ridge from the false summit to the true summit is pretty easy, exposed but only 4th class.

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