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[TR] Mystery Ridge - Traverse of Ridge 8/14/2008


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Trip: Mystery Ridge - Traverse of Ridge


Date: 8/14/2008


Trip Report:



[font:Arial Black]A Traverse of Some Cool Alpine Terrain [/font]



[font:Times New Roman]Back early last week I got a message from JN asking me if I was interested in checking out an area west of the Picket Range. Having looked at the region from the Pickets a few times the trip sounded interesting. We didn't count on doing much climbing. We just talked about exploring an area that not that many people get to.


After some more talk JN his friend Mark and I set off. The area isn't too far from Seattle. You just head up Highway 20 to just west of Newhalem and then turn north on Bacon Creek road. The road heads up into the mountains till it dead ends.


At this point some pictures and a map are required tools since there are no signs or trails. We put 4 days worth of gear on our back and scrambled down to a river where a bridge once stood. from there we crossed Jumbo Creek and scrambled up the far side.


Once we got above the creek we found signs of an old road continuing up the valley. There was a trail hidden there by salmon berries beat in by some previous folks. We then walked up the road, which parallels Bacon Creek, for about a mile till through the trees we saw a geographic feature we'd been looking for.


Our description told us that Bacon Creek divides into a west and east fork. Just past the divide you cross the east fork and head up the feature we were looking for called Porkbelly Ridge.


On the far side of Bacon Creek we loaded up all the water we could and began a steep brushwack up the ridge. [/font]




[font:Arial]Here are a couple photos of the terrain [/font]





[font:Arial]Signs of some old school cedar loggers [/font]





[font:Times New Roman]The goal at this point is to gain about 4000 feet of elevation. There's lots of brush to travel through and some cliff bands where one needs skills for climbing crags covered with trees and brush.


The 90 degree temperatures inspired us to take lots of breaks. Also finding the best spots to gain upward progress was exciting. Eventually we did make it to the upper part of Porkbelly Ridge. It was late, and we were tired. We found water, thank god, and set up a tarp. [/font]




[font:Arial]View of the terrain along upper Porkbelly Ridge [/font]





[font:Times New Roman]On Friday we traversed the ridge and scrambled down to a tarn below Berdeen Peak. After a rest at the tarn we continued scrambling and traversing up to a pass. During this time the heat triggered an exciting avalanche in a very small pocket glacier. We were near the debris, but out of any danger zone.


At the Pass we got our first view down to Berdeen lake and northwest to Bacon Peak.[/font]




[font:Arial]Berdeen Lake and Bacon Peak [/font]





[font:Times New Roman] Saturday we left our heavy gear and hiked down to Berdeen Lake then up onto Mystery Ridge.


We were just there to check things out, so I don't have any rad climbs to report. The area is beautiful and well worth visiting. [/font]



[font:Arial]Mount Blum [/font]




[font:Arial]Mount Triumph [/font]




[font:Arial]Despair [/font]




[font:Arial]Northern Pickets [/font]





[font:Times New Roman]Sunday it rained a little. We were planning on scrambling up another peak, but instead we ended up scrambling back on our approach route to another camp spot. Monday we descended Porkbelly Ridge and got back to the car.


This region of the Cascades is well worth visiting, but it isn't an easy approach. There's even some rad climbing available.


If you have the time it's worth visiting[/font]


Gear Notes:

To travel there bring ice axes and possibly crampons.


Approach Notes:

Study a map before you go in here! There are two cliff bands above Bacon Creek that are tricky to get through.


If it's hot bring lots of water.

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