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[TR] ptarmigan traverse ski - 7/4/2011


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Trip: ptarmigan traverse ski -


Date: 7/4/2011


Trip Report:

I skied the ptarmigan traverse yesterday, the big snowpack and a good overnight freeze made the travel conditions just about perfect. It's been awhile since i've had a long day alone in the hills and it was my first time into that corner of the cascades so i was pretty happy to be out there. On sunday I stashed my pickup on the suiattle and caught a ride up with some friends who were headed in to snowboard buckner. A little before daylight i left my sleeping bag at the boston basin TH for them to retrieve, and started out under the stars. There was a party camped at cache col with skis and I met another soloist at spire point who was out on a long trip (thanks for the bootpacks!). The snow stayed hard for a long time and even when I was dropping into batchelor creek (11ish) I was struggling to keep an edge


I was able to start on skis at the cascade pass TH and there was pretty much continuous snow from there to 4200 feet in batchelor creek. If you are thinking about doing this traverse soon I think it will be very skiable for a couple more weeks, in many places (not all) there is perfect smooth no-cup corn, cracks seem filled in compared to pictures I’ve seen, and there is plenty of skiable lines on the peaks. There is some scrambling around the cols and scoured ribs and stuff but if you were traveling in the heat of the day you could ski almost the whole way. I skied up the gut to cascade pass (instead of the trail) and took a high traverse from spire point to batchelor creek (skipping cub lakes), both of which saved some effort. I definitely wished I’d stashed a bike or packraft at downey creek th ahead of time, it was a little torturous watching all the 4th of july mountain bikers roll smoothly by on the siuattle road walk.


If you like shitty arms-length photos or are interested in snow conditions, I put some up here: https://picasaweb.google.com/ebensargent/PtarmiganTraverse#


The whole adventure from boston basin TH to the siuattle washout was a little over 15 hrs and the cascade pass TH to downey creek TH part was 11:41. It was pretty fun to stretch the legs a bit but next time I’m gonna spend a week and explore a bit.


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Very strong work, and nice to meet you.


My TR here.


Interestingly enough, on the way in on Friday one could have picked any number of ski lines from Cascade Pass to the lower basin. This afternoon, there was one that was barely hanging on and probably won't last more than a couple more days. Stuff is melting out FAST!

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Nice man. Way to fly. I just finished 6 days out there. It was us you passed at Cache Col (jason hummel). It would've been nice to meet you. Awesome job killing it. That road hike was certainly extra fun. Yum. And yeah...having done the Ptarmigan (and Dome) many times, I've never seen that much snow...even in april. Amazing.

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