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jordansahls

[TR] Dakobed Traverse (Glacier peak finish) - 3/31/2013

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Trip: Dakobed Traverse (Glacier peak finish) -

 

Date: 3/31/2013

 

Trip Report:

It seems that every year, around this time, my friend Brian talks me into some sort of ski traverse. Last year it was a wandering trip from Holden to Tall Timbers ranch. On that trip I remember looking towards Clark and wondering if anyone had done a traverse of the long ridge system leading towards Glacier peak. Not long after I learned that there is a traverse and it's called the Dakobed traverse, Dakobed being an Indian word meaning "Great parent". I was hooked, and plans were set.

 

 

Day 1-2, Tall Timbers ranch to Boulder pass:

 

Brian and I got a late start Sunday. We hiked in the first 5 miles or so. Having not carried a pack weighing over 30lbs since the summer, my 50lb pack came as a bit of a shock so I didn't mind the leisurely start.

 

The Next day to Boulder pass was a bit of a grind. The snow was wet and heavy.

 

Looking up the White river

Day1_2.jpg

 

Looking back down the Boulder valley

Day2_1.jpg

 

The moon above Boulder pass

Day2_3.jpg

 

Alpenglow at Boulder pass

Day2_2.jpg

 

 

Day 3, Clark:

 

Things went well on the traverse of Clark until we dropped down onto the Richardson glacier and got a look at the climb up over Luahna peak. The saddle was crowned by a massive cornice and the ledge system showed massive avalanche fracture lines. We decided to drop about 1500 feet and set up camp for the night.

 

 

 

Low on the Clark glacier

Day3_1.jpg

 

Getting closer

Day3_2.jpg

 

Follow the skin track

Day3_3.jpg

 

This is what we came for

Day3_4.jpg

 

Luahna in the distance

Day3_5.jpg

 

Day3_6.jpg

 

 

Day 4, Butterfly glacier to base of the Honeycomb glacier:

 

After dropping low to around 5600 feet, we had to climb back up to cross the Butterfly glacier. We traversed a ledge system below the Pilz glacier and took a ridge to the Lower Butterfly. We quickly traveled across the Butterfly and dropped down into the head of the Napeequa valley and climbed back up to the lake on the North East side of Tenpeak.

 

Traversing Tenpeak was way sketchier than I had expected. I have never seen avalanche chutes as large as those on Tenpeak. The whole North side drops massive amounts of snow down thousands of feet to the valley below. The ledge system was not in good form this early in the spring. We tried to traverse high but got turned around by hollow snow over ice. We eventually managed to down climb into one of the main avalanche chutes and very quickly descended to its outlet before cutting East over to the base of the Honeycomb glacier. Needless to say, we didn't get any pictures of the traverse proper.

 

 

 

Climbing back up to the Butterfly glacier

Day4_1.jpg

 

Crossing low on the Butterfly

Day4_2.jpg

 

Looking towards the base of the Honeycomb glacier

Day4_3.jpg

 

Glacier peak from camp

Day4_4.jpg

 

 

Day 5, Honeycomb glacier to base of Glacier peak:

With most of the major route finding problems behind us we were able to take an easy day traveling up the Honeycomb glacier to our base camp at 7300 feet between the White chuck and Suiattle glaciers. We had planned on setting up camp and than making a summit bid but the clouds rolled in so we decided to hang out and go for it the next day.

 

 

 

Brian leading out

Day5_1.jpg

 

Short down climb onto the Honeycomb

Day5_2.jpg

 

Clouds start to roll in

Day5_3.jpg

 

In the land of the giants

Day5_4.jpg

 

Our camp before real weather moved in

Day5_5.jpg

 

 

Day 6, Summit of Glacier peak to the base of the White river valley:

 

The weather decided to cooperate with us and we awoke to crystal clear skies. We very quickly melted some snow for water and headed out for the summit. We couldn't have had a better day. The views were amazing and the ski down wasn't bad.

 

After hitting the summit and skiing back down to our camp we rested for around an hour before packing up and traveling across the White chuck glacier towards White mountain. The sun was up high and we had some weird clouds that rendered our depth perception useless. I would look at a hill and I couldn't tell if it was 5 minutes or a couple of hours away. The sensory deprivation started to get to me. If I didn't focus on my skies I would start to get a little bit of vertigo. For these reasons we started to call the area "purgatory". I half expected to run into Death from the movie "The Seventh Seal", I'm a terrible chess player so it's probably good that we didn't.

 

Anyway, we found a weakness in the ridge running East of white mountain and skied down into the White river valley.

 

 

 

Leaving camp

Day6_1.jpg

 

Heading up

Day6_2.jpg

 

And up

Day6_3.jpg

 

Up some more

Day6_4.jpg

 

Almost there

Day6_5.jpg

 

Heading up the summit pyramid

Day6_6.jpg

 

Looking back to the South and our camp

Day6_8.jpg

 

Brian on Top

Day6_9.jpg

 

Enjoying our ski with incredible views

Day6_10.jpg

 

Day6_11.jpg

 

Day6_12.jpg

 

 

Traveling through Purgatory

Day6_13.jpg

 

Day6_14.jpg

 

At the ridge about to ski down into the White river valley

Day6_15.jpg

 

Day6_16.jpg

 

The skiing down low

Day6_17.jpg

 

Day 7, White river valley back to Tall timbers ranch

 

Nothing too exciting on the last day. We skied the 15 or so miles out to our car at the ranch. Up high in the valley we followed fresh bear prints, they seem to be awaking from their slumber.

 

 

 

Strolling

Day7_1.jpg

 

Hibernation appears to be over

Day7_2.jpg

 

This happened more than I like to admit

Day7_3.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

7 days worth of food

Skis

Whiskey

 

 

Approach Notes:

Park at Tall Timbers ranch and walk the three miles of road to the start of the White river trail

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Excellent! I briefly considered doing a variation of this traverse this past week, but didn't pull the trigger due to uncertainty about conditions. Way to pull a great trip off in a really neat area!

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Awesome report, awesome trip. And double bonus points for your partner having K2 Shuksans like me!!

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lotsa gorgeous-looking skiing in that part of the range--thanks for the photos!

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I feel like I say this about most places in the Cascades, but this area was amazing. The North facing slopes skied will but the South/SE facing slopes were well cooked. Even still, I can't complain. It's hard to beat a week of solitude in the central cascades with near perfect weather.

 

It's funny, I went out hoping to "purge" the outdoors from my mind for a while (Thanks to grad school). It appears my trip had the opposite effect. Instead of being focused for another quarter all I can think about is going back outside, Ha!

 

 

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