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[TR] Pickets - North to South Traverse 8/5/2008


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Trip: Pickets Traverse - Up the Little Beaver trail, over Whatcom, across Challenger, up the NB of Fury, over Outrigger Peak, through Ottohorn-Himmelhorn Col, out Goodell Creek Trailhead


Date: 8/5/2008 - 8/12/2008


Who: Steph Abegg, Donn Venema, Jason Schilling


Trip Report:


Day 1: Up Little Beaver Trail

Day 2: Over Whatcom Peak to Perfect Pass

Day 3: Across and up Challenger and down into Luna Cirque

Day 4: North Buttress of Fury and camp on summit

Day 5: Stuck in a snow storm on the summit of Fury

Day 6: Still stuck in a snow storm on the summit of Fury

Day 7: Traverse over Outrigger Peak and across Picket Pass to Frenzel Camp

Day 8: Climb through Himmelhorn-Ottorhorn Col, across Crescent Creek Basin, out via Barrier to Goodell Creek Trail


What a memorable adventure! We successfully completed a north to south traverse through the rugged Pickets, climbing 4 major summits on the way, dealing with unexpected route finding and weather issues, finishing a bottle of bourbon, spending an unforgettable 3 nights stuck in a snowstorm on the top of Mt Fury, experiencing jaw-dropping scenery, and running out of food by the final long day out.


Click the following link to see my full trip report and photos.




A beautiful morning on the summit of Mt Fury.

Edited by Steph_Abegg
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thanks for the TR and great trip Steph and Donn. My bedsores from Mount Fury have begun to heal, and I'm looking forward to another Pickets trip with both of you. I can't imagine being tentbound with better companions.


here are a few more pics


the moment I realized we would be spending a third night in our foggy purgatory. Soon after, the chocolate and bourbon supplies were exhausted.




Donn and I wore parallel sleeping grooves into the snow on Fury that somehow managed to slope into one another. So we'd often wake up practically on top of each other, or feel the other's hot breath on our necks.


Our first unfiltered sunshine in 60 hours. A glorious morning. I stood on the summit ridge shuffling my feet to stay warm, just waiting for the sun to rise. I had to see it to believe that we would soon be making a jailbreak.




Soon after descending Fury, I became enamored with Terror's North Buttress, which seemed more alluring the closer we got.




I was bummed that we couldn't climb it as planned, but we were able to sleep in it's shadow at one of the most spectacular and comfortable camps I've experienced in the mountains (Frenzel camp)and hatched a plan to climb it in the future. The heather beds we had there were a major upgrade from our grim situation on Fury.

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Welcome to the Weathered off N. Buttress of Terror Crowd.


How did you manage to find 5th class rock out of Picket pass??? If you ever return take the ridge center and it is at worst 30 feet of class 4. More like 15 feet. Isn't Luna/Fury Peak Awesome?!>?!?!?!!?! I sure thought so!



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Congrats - Steph, Donn and Jason. Cool report, for me seeing the photos without doing the work seems like some kind of a theft!


Epic remote summit bivvy in the floorless tent!! I bet you were so glad to see clear sky after those nights, so you didn't have to battle out Access Creek or something in a storm.


How much weight for floorless vs. floored tent? How did the pack weight feel when doing the North Buttress of Fury? Did you have sleeping pads (since you mentioned sleeping grooves)?

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I have to agree with Reid, your night photography page is stunning. Especially that Milky Way shot!! Atsa keeper! Reminds me of John Dittli's photography.


Thanks. It's not always easy to leave the warm sleeping bag or carry the extra 7lbs of camera gear, but it's always worth it in the end. In case others are wondering "what night photography are these guys talking about?" here's the direct link to this page of my site:




This photo was taken from Frenzel Camp on our last night of the traverse. It is a 20 minute exposure of star streaks and lights of civilization over Baker and Shuksan.

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How much weight for floorless vs. floored tent? How did the pack weight feel when doing the North Buttress of Fury? Did you have sleeping pads (since you mentioned sleeping grooves)?


The MegaLight weighs 1 lb 14.5 oz (without the pole, which weighs an extra 7 oz, but you can use trekking poles as we did). THere is a floor insert you can buy that weighs almost as much as the tent (1 lb 12 oz). Extra weight, not necessary until you get stuck on a 3-night snow bivy....


The pack felt a bit hefty on Fury, since we still had 3 more planned nights (ended up spending 4 more nights out). But not too bad, overall. With my camera gear, I might have been around 40lbs, but most of Fury is 4th to low 5th, so it was more an athletic challenge, with the pack only being a real hindrance on a few moves.


We had sleeping pads, and fortified this with various things (packs, pack inserts, tortillas) to keep as far off the snow as possible. But the cold seeped through and after 3 nights butt groves were prominent. A floored tent would have contained more warmth, but would have added to the pack weight too. Overall, the Mega Light was a good tent for the trip, and held up quite well in the high winds on Fury. Should have just built an igloo up there, if we'd known we would be stuck up there so long!

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Hey right on. Looks like you guys had a great time. It was good to see you guys. Me and my partner were the two heading down Him-ott col when you guys were comming up. Thanks for being patient with the rocks. We had a long day, so hanging out at the top of that gully would have made it that much longer. I like the photos. Very nice.

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