Ptarmigan Traverse: Cascade Pass to Spider Meadow

  • Date:
    2013/07/26 to 2013/08/02
    Car-to-car:
    8 days
    Trip type:
    glacier climb
    USGS quads:
    Dome Peak, Cascade Pass, Suiattle Pass, Agnes Mountain
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  • Day 1

  • On the north slopes of Mix-up Peak with Cascade Pass in the background.
    On the north slopes of Mix-up Peak with Cascade Pass in the background.
  • Cache Col on the far left.
    Cache Col on the far left.
  • At Cache Col.
    At Cache Col.
  • The south side of Mix-up Peak.
    The south side of Mix-up Peak.
  • The summit of Magic Mountain.
    The summit of Magic Mountain.
  • On the summit of Magic.
    On the summit of Magic.
  • Traversing from Magic towards Hurry-up Peak.
    Traversing from Magic towards Hurry-up Peak.
  • Lindsay on the summit of Hurry-up Peak.
    Lindsay on the summit of Hurry-up Peak.
  • Mount Formidable.
    Mount Formidable.
  • We barely made it back to camp without turning our headlamps on.
    We barely made it back to camp without turning our headlamps on.
  • Day 2

  • Johannesburg from our camp at Kool-Aid Lake.
    Johannesburg from our camp at Kool-Aid Lake.
  • The steep snow slope before Red Ledges.
    The steep snow slope before Red Ledges.
  • Red Ledges
    Red Ledges
  • Spider Mountain
    Spider Mountain
  • Mount Formidable from Arts Knoll.
    Mount Formidable from Arts Knoll.
  • The only person we met on the whole Ptarmigan Traverse was this trail runner who was going from Cascade Pass to Suiattle River Road in a day.
    The only person we met on the whole Ptarmigan Traverse was this trail runner who was going from Cascade Pass to Suiattle River Road in a day.
  • Middle Cascade Glacier
    Middle Cascade Glacier
  • Yang Yang Lakes
    Yang Yang Lakes
  • Le Conte Mountain
    Le Conte Mountain
  • Spider Mountain
    Spider Mountain
  • On the summit of point 7004 with Mount Formidable in the background.
    On the summit of point 7004 with Mount Formidable in the background.
  • Our camp at Le Conte Pass.
    Our camp at Le Conte Pass.
  • Mount Formidable
    Mount Formidable
  • Le Conte Mountain
    Le Conte Mountain
  • Point 7004
    Point 7004
  • Day 3

  • Going up Le Conte Mountain
    Going up Le Conte Mountain
  • Steep scrambling on Le Conte.
    Steep scrambling on Le Conte.
  • On the summit of Le Conte.
    On the summit of Le Conte.
  • Le Conte Lake
    Le Conte Lake
  • The Le Conte Glacier.
    The Le Conte Glacier.
  • On the Le Conte Glacier.
    On the Le Conte Glacier.
  • Old Guard Peak
    Old Guard Peak
  • Scrambling up the only difficult terrain on Old Guard, the slabby ramp from the snow finger to the easy class 2 terrain.
    Scrambling up the only difficult terrain on Old Guard, the slabby ramp from the snow finger to the easy class 2 terrain.
  • On Old Guard with Sentinel Peak in the background.
    On Old Guard with Sentinel Peak in the background.
  • On the way down Old Guard, we downclimbed the slabby ramp with a prusik for a backup.
    On the way down Old Guard, we downclimbed the slabby ramp with a prusik for a backup.
  • Sentinel Peak and Old Guard Peak from the head of the South Cascade Glacier.
    Sentinel Peak and Old Guard Peak from the head of the South Cascade Glacier.
  • White Rock Lakes and Dome Peak.
    White Rock Lakes and Dome Peak.
  • Dome Peak
    Dome Peak
  • White Rock Lakes.
    White Rock Lakes.
  • Day 4

  • We briefly dipped into the West Fork Agnes Creek valley before ascending to the Dana Glacier.
    We briefly dipped into the West Fork Agnes Creek valley before ascending to the Dana Glacier.
  • Roping up for the Dana Glacier.
    Roping up for the Dana Glacier.
  • The pass between the Dana Glacier and the Dome Glacier.
    The pass between the Dana Glacier and the Dome Glacier.
  • Glacier Peak.
    Glacier Peak.
  • The pass between the Dome Glacier and the Chickamin Glacier.
    The pass between the Dome Glacier and the Chickamin Glacier.
  • The final, airy traverse before the summit of Dome Peak.
    The final, airy traverse before the summit of Dome Peak.
  • Lindsay's boot got wedged in a crack.  It was difficult to get out.
    Lindsay's boot got wedged in a crack. It was difficult to get out.
  • The beginning of our descent onto the Chickamin Glacier.  This descent was by far the most difficult part of the whole trip.
    The beginning of our descent onto the Chickamin Glacier. This descent was by far the most difficult part of the whole trip.
  • After a couple hours of slow descent down the upper Chickamin Glacier, we were still not sure if our route would get us onto the gentle slopes that we could see below us.
    After a couple hours of slow descent down the upper Chickamin Glacier, we were still not sure if our route would get us onto the gentle slopes that we could see below us.
  • House-sized seracs on the Chickamin Glacier.
    House-sized seracs on the Chickamin Glacier.
  • Glacier Peak and the Chickamin Glacier.
    Glacier Peak and the Chickamin Glacier.
  • Gunsight Peak.
    Gunsight Peak.
  • Gunsight Peak, with the gunsight visible on the right.
    Gunsight Peak, with the gunsight visible on the right.
  • The sun is setting and we are still on the Chickamin Glacier, but we are on relatively flat ground so we are happy.
    The sun is setting and we are still on the Chickamin Glacier, but we are on relatively flat ground so we are happy.
  • We headed for the lowest point on Stonehenge Ridge (the ridge between Gunsight and Sinister).
    We headed for the lowest point on Stonehenge Ridge (the ridge between Gunsight and Sinister).
  • Sentinel Peak and Old Guard Peak.
    Sentinel Peak and Old Guard Peak.
  • Yana and Lindsay kick steps up Stonehenge Ridge while I go get water.
    Yana and Lindsay kick steps up Stonehenge Ridge while I go get water.
  • Dome Peak
    Dome Peak
  • The final scramble up Stonehenge Ridge was pretty awful.  But we made it and found a lovely pair of sandy, flat ledges to bivy on.
    The final scramble up Stonehenge Ridge was pretty awful. But we made it and found a lovely pair of sandy, flat ledges to bivy on.
  • Day 5

  • Good morning, Glacier Peak.
    Good morning, Glacier Peak.
  • The SE ridge of Sinister.
    The SE ridge of Sinister.
  • Fooling around on the Garden Glacier.
    Fooling around on the Garden Glacier.
  • The Hanging Gardens.
    The Hanging Gardens.
  • We got to camp early and had a lot of time to relax.
    We got to camp early and had a lot of time to relax.
  • Camp in the Hanging Gardens.
    Camp in the Hanging Gardens.
  • Pasque Flower
    Pasque Flower
  • Pasque Flower
    Pasque Flower
  • The first rain of our trip.
    The first rain of our trip.
  • Eating Jello pudding while it rains.
    Eating Jello pudding while it rains.
  • Agnes Mountain
    Agnes Mountain
  • Sinister Peak
    Sinister Peak
  • Day 6

  • Dome Peak
    Dome Peak
  • The most vivid watermelon algae ever.
    The most vivid watermelon algae ever.
  • Looking down at the lower two Bannock Lakes.
    Looking down at the lower two Bannock Lakes.
  • One of the only brushy spots on this trip.
    One of the only brushy spots on this trip.
  • Yana, taking a ride on a snowberg in Bannock Lake.
    Yana, taking a ride on a snowberg in Bannock Lake.
  • Partridge Foot
    Partridge Foot
  • The outlet from the upper Bannock Lakes.
    The outlet from the upper Bannock Lakes.
  • At the 7,040' col on Saddle Bow Mountain.
    At the 7,040' col on Saddle Bow Mountain.
  • Saddle Bow Mountain was my favorite scramble of the trip.
    Saddle Bow Mountain was my favorite scramble of the trip.
  • On the summit of Saddle Bow Mountain.
    On the summit of Saddle Bow Mountain.
  • Agnes Mountain
    Agnes Mountain
  • Shooting Star
    Shooting Star
  • Nap time.
    Nap time.
  • Sitting out another evening rain storm.
    Sitting out another evening rain storm.
  • Day 7

  • Bannock Mountain over Bannock Lake.
    Bannock Mountain over Bannock Lake.
  • Dome Peak over Bannock Lake.
    Dome Peak over Bannock Lake.
  • Drying out at the 6,600' pass between Bannock Lakes and the South Fork Agnes Creek valley.
    Drying out at the 6,600' pass between Bannock Lakes and the South Fork Agnes Creek valley.
  • Descending into the South Fork Agnes. These are the first real trees we've seen in days.  Eventually the duff forest floor got so steep that we put crampons on.
    Descending into the South Fork Agnes. These are the first real trees we've seen in days. Eventually the duff forest floor got so steep that we put crampons on.
  • Hugging the Pacific Crest Trail.
    Hugging the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • The summit of Cloudy Peak.
    The summit of Cloudy Peak.
  • A bit of crummy scrambling near the top of Cloudy.
    A bit of crummy scrambling near the top of Cloudy.
  • On the summit of Cloudy Peak.
    On the summit of Cloudy Peak.
  • A mysterious artefact on the SE slopes of Cloudy.
    A mysterious artefact on the SE slopes of Cloudy.
  • Our camp near Lyman Lake, where we were kept up after sunset by a crazy doe that kept crashing through the underbrush and snorting.  Later we were woken by the strange sounds of... we weren't sure what, our best guess was porcupine mating calls.
    Our camp near Lyman Lake, where we were kept up after sunset by a crazy doe that kept crashing through the underbrush and snorting. Later we were woken by the strange sounds of... we weren't sure what, our best guess was porcupine mating calls.
  • Day 8

  • A rainy morning as we leave Lyman Lakes.
    A rainy morning as we leave Lyman Lakes.
  • The upper Lyman Lakes.
    The upper Lyman Lakes.
  • At Spider Gap.
    At Spider Gap.
  • Looking down at Spider Meadow.
    Looking down at Spider Meadow.
  • At Phelps Creek Trail Head.  We are ready for our milk shakes!
    At Phelps Creek Trail Head. We are ready for our milk shakes!

  • Copyright © 2019 Gabriel Deal.