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Grizz42

Ptarmigan Traverse trip is shot

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Just made a call to the ranger station in Marblemount asking about the conditions of the Ptarmigan Traverse. They told me if I could get to it more power to me. So now we are looking for some alternate plans for the next week and a half. Are there any good technical climbs that are easily accessable with roads that aren't washed out in the North Cascades or in Washington?

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uh, what? what roads did they say are washed out? how much extra mileage you potentially whining about? currently i think you've had some roads miles added on both ends, but so what? for the uber-aesthetic northwest traverse are you really gonna bitch about an extra 5 miles? perhaps you just need to bring a little extra nitro?

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Ive heard an additional 3mi on the approach and 14mi for the egress (North to South). Does anyone know different? Anyone been in the area that can report on residual sno-pack?

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For the trip we had last year on the Ptarmigan, I would gladly walk an extra three miles up the Cascade River Road.

 

There is supposed to be an alternative exit than coming out Downey Creek and the Suiattle River Road. I think it involves going from Dome to Sinister and then out via the east (Stehekin, perhaps?). Haven't done that route myself but I have been told it's a reasonable alternative. Plus, from Dome, Sinister looks like it would be a great climb.

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That's what that second link talks about. We're planning that very trip in a couple weeks!

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That's what that second link talks about. We're planning that very trip in a couple weeks!

Maybe see you up there. We'll be up the first week of August. Planning on making the slog out Downey. It'll be mostly road and we'll have eaten or fed all remaining grub to the :pagetop:'s

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We'll most likely be going over Lizard and heading towards Dome by the 27th, so I doubt we'll bump into you unless something is wrong :cool:

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I've always wanted to do the Ptarmigan traverse.. would be interested to hear how your deproach goes.

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I've always wanted to do the Ptarmigan traverse.. would be interested to hear how your deproach goes.

 

Im sure ill be interested in bitching about it. If we could only teleport bikes to the downey creek TH.

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Here's a route topo for the deproach out Agnes Creek, originally posted in the aforementioned link by Mikester, which Blake asked me to take down via private message. I ignored Blake's request but, ironically, someone edited the link out of my original post!! Considering this info is widely available in books on the market right now, it's no big secret. I'm not sure who edited the link out of my original post or what their motivations were for doing so, but for the record, I think it was a chicken-shit move.

 

Funny thing too, because I specifically remember Blake private messaging me asking for beta on the approach up Agnes Creek after I posted my TR - 7 Days in Agnes Creek. Now, all of a sudden he's an expert on the area who "knows this area of the Cascades more than pretty much anyone". My how things change in one year.

 

By the way, this is an excellent approach for Gunsight Peak which, on the USGS (and this map), is mislabeled Blue Mountain.

 

Sinister.JPG

Edited by Tom_Sjolseth

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I hear this route for egress is quite the slog as well. I would probably choose this one as the lesser slog of the two, but would have a hard time working the logistics from Chelan given constraints that I have to negotiate. Would be a beautiful hike, though, which is no secret. Not sure what blake is getting worked up about.

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I put this TOP SECRET description together from a few published books and a Park Ranger's report that did it*** for the portion from White Rocks - out. It looks like a good second option, but like anything else we'll figure it out along the way.

 

Ascend southerly from camp towards Spire Point and easterly to Spire Col, descend Itswoot Ridge to camps at 6,800'; traverse Easterly along Spire Basin, beneath Spire Point Ridge to Dome Glacier; begin slightly downward traverse on footpath through heather; continue traversing basin below successive rock ridge toes, then make obvious ascending traverse to Dome Glacier (heather, talus, snow patches); ascend glacier easily to High Col at 8,560' just North of the summit; descend adjacent to and West of exposed rock ridge to about 7,800' then make a descending traverse on the Chickamin Glacier, Easterly to about 7,000' just below Sinister Peak; ***ascend Easterly to notch near South Peak of Gunsight; descend Northeasterly along snow and talus to small col above 6,364' lake for possible camp; then traverse Northeasterly along ridge past small 7,070' peak continuing along ridge to saddle at 6,650'; descend Easterly for about 5,000' to about 6,000' in elevation; then descend to Spruce Creek; cross Spruce Creek at around 3,000' then contour Southeast to South Fork Agnes Creek for better crossing opportunities; cross South Fork Agnes Creek to the Pacific Crest Trail; hike PCT North to Highbridge Guard Station for camp (16.5 miles). Ranger said to avoid little lake at 6,364' because we'll just want to climb back out of it to gain the small ridge and continue the descending traverse Easterly.

 

We'll probably break it up a bit by a bivy near Dome so we can bag all those peaks.

 

Now that I've told you all this... uh, ya... I'm gonna have to kill ya.:cool:

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Here's a route topo for the deproach out Agnes Creek, originally posted in the aforementioned link by Mikester, which Blake asked me to take down via private message. I ignored Blake's request but, ironically, someone edited the link out of my original post!! Considering this info is widely available in books on the market right now, it's no big secret. I'm not sure who edited the link out of my original post or what their motivations were for doing so, but for the record, I think it was a chicken-shit move.

 

Funny thing too, because I specifically remember Blake private messaging me asking for beta on the approach up Agnes Creek after I posted my TR - 7 Days in Agnes Creek. Now, all of a sudden he's an expert on the area who "knows this area of the Cascades more than pretty much anyone". My how things change in one year.

 

 

How's it going Tom, how was Martin peak?

 

I asked you about your approach at a time when I had already done that route 2 times in the past 12 months, I wasn't interested in beta, but curious if you went the way I had gone too.

 

As for your link disapearing in the old post, I have no idea why that happened, but i'd guess it was done for some logical reason(size/bad link?), or out of accident. People spend a lot of time moderating these boards, and I wouldn't be so eager to start swearing at them as you seem to be.

 

As for Dan saying that I know a lot about that area; I can certainly think of a few locals in Stehekin who know more, not to mention tons of NW climbers. It was still a nice thing of him to say though, even if it was an overstatement. I'm sure he'd be glad to delete that part of his TR if it'd make you feel better.

 

Anyhow, it sounds like something sure rubbed you the wrong way, so if you want to talk more about it or benefit from my vast and unrivaled cascades expertise, :crosseye: shoot me an email. BlakeHerringtonATgmail.com

-thanks

 

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I'm not sure why the link disappeared either, but nevertheless it did. I just find it ironic that you PM'd me to remove the route topo and a little while later it mysteriously disappeared.

 

As for me being eager to "wear at the moderators", I'm not wearing at the moderators, I'm only calling out the one who clearly edited out the link in my original post. They know who they are, and like I said, it was a chicken-shit move to remove it without so much as an explanation (or a valid reason). A link doesn't just disappear by "accident". The link was there for a week or so after I posted it, then it wasn't. Maybe the bits and bytes got garbled, heh?

 

The thing that rubs me the wrong way is people trying to tell me what I can and can't share with the climbing community. You didn't find the area, you didn't settle it, it belongs to everyone, so what was your motivation in asking me to take the route topo down?

 

Kudos to you for going into Gunsight and tackling big routes on nice rock. I also think others should have the same opportunity to experience what you and Dan and many others have, and by sharing info on the approach I hope I'm helping people to do just that. In this case, someone was asking about the Ptarmigan Traverse, and I offered some suggestions on exiting the traverse via an untraditional route. I'm sure that's what this forum is for, to share thoughts and info on climbing routes in the Cascades. Or is it?

 

[Forest Gump]And that's all I have to say about that[/Forest Gump].

 

Tom: I'm replying here so you can see what it looks like when a moderator edits your post. If one of us had deleted your link it would be tagged at the bottom, just like this reply: "edited by off white" I'm not aware of any moderation requests related to this approach. It's entirely likely this is the result of one of those mysteries, like how a knot sometimes just appears in the middle of your rope. Best, Off

Edited by Off_White

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Thanks to Off White for demystifying the "Big Brother conspiracy theory." Perhaps we can move on to another aspect of this debate:

 

Should all parts of this wild and challenging wilderness area be mapped out and shared online, or not? Clearly there are different opinions on this -- Tom appears to be at the end of the spectrum that believes in open exchange of information. There are others that think that wild places should remain more in the realm of adventure and discovery -- or even, preservation.

 

I'm sure Fred Beckey, for example, has many places he has been or wants to go which he hasn't put in his guidebooks. I know that Alan Kearney intentionally left certain areas out of his books because of his concern for how publicizing these areas would impact the wildlife and plant-life there, for example....

 

Is this selfish of these people to want to minimize knowledge of the areas? Perhaps....but do all areas need to be demystified? I am not talking exclusively about the Agnes Creek approach to the Chickamin, I am talking more as a general principle.

 

I personally have mixed feelings on this topic. There are places that I believe should remain terra incognita. Once something is in the public domain, access increases and human impact also goes exponentially up. On the other hand, who doesn't appreciate learning a much better or more efficient way of getting somewhere wonderful (like the "Dave's Direct" deproach from Joburg that became well-publicized on this site awhile back).

 

In the end, though, I would rather see wild corners of the range STAY wild and un-published...do we really want all the wild places to become crowded with well-worn trails and permits for use???

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I think you overstate the risks, even with the beta it's not like there are that many people driven to make an approach like that. How beat down is the Access Creek approach to the Pickets? It'll be a long time before the Agnes-Spruce Creek approach makes it into Best Hikes With Children Vol. XX.

 

Yeah, I guess that puts me in the "information wants to be free" camp.

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Fair enough, Off. And Access Creek is a good example of your point. But if I'm overstating the risks, could you perhaps be understating them?

 

Are there NO places that you'd prefer to see un-mapped or un-publicized, or do you think that all information shared is good information shared?

 

I appreciate the function and beta-aspect of this site very much, but wonder if ALL areas need to be publicized.

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I appreciate the function and beta-aspect of this site very much, but wonder if ALL areas need to be publicized.

 

Who should be in control?

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good question.

 

Self-governed is usually best (vs. police state). That's why I brought this up, to foster the question of self-selecting (as Kearney did in his guidebook) before posting such things...

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I've always wanted to do the Ptarmigan traverse.. would be interested to hear how your deproach goes.

 

 

Your awsome Lisa!

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In the case of the PT, I dont think that there has been any info shared that couldnt be otherwise deduced by someone who can read a topo, which should include anyone considering this route. Someone said, "you can find egress through agness," and my thought was, "yeah, there is a drainage leading from the route to a populated area, and the distance from the route to the lake is shorter than it would be if other drainages were chosen. The topo for the drainage jives, so its probably doable." You still have to go out there and do it, which the vast majority of folks reading this wont.

 

As routes are established, the word will be spread. I feel that the range of abilities of those who view this site is wide enough, that its good to share alternative options for those who may otherwise be getting in over their head. Thats what this site is all about, sharing of information. I look at TRs as inspiration and motivation to get out and do routes that I may have previously thought out of my league. I rely on the beta offered by those who have been there. Its not about cocky assholes spraying about adventures and then refusing to help others out, although it does happen here.

 

oh and, ILS. Do you want to bang all the chicks on this site?

 

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Goatboy, how is it a conspiracy? The link that now shows up as a red "X" in my previous post, displays the route topo in this very thread. The link is exactly the same. The route topo on the old thread was there for about a week (if you don't believe me, ask others who saw it - like Blake) when Blake PM'd me to take it down. I totally ignored Blake's request, and a few days later the route topo showed up as a red "X". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to solve the caper. With computers it is what it is. There is no in between.

 

But at any rate, the route topo is there now so I'm happy. It would be great if it could stay there this time, as I know others will find it useful.

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Once something is in the public domain, access increases and human impact also goes exponentially up. On the other hand, who doesn't appreciate learning a much better or more efficient way of getting somewhere wonderful...

 

In the end, though, I would rather see wild corners of the range STAY wild and un-published...do we really want all the wild places to become crowded with well-worn trails and permits for use???

 

Ummmm. If you haven't heard....numbers are dropping of people getting out to these hard to reach places. Only close places to urban settings are seeing an increase in the number of people. Road damage will keep these places even harder to get to.

 

You have nothing to fear.

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