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#19
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 8:41 am 
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A friend of mine and I are planning an abbreviated trip into the Ptarmigan Traverse area in July.  We will only have 3 nights / 4 days.  Not enough time for us to complete the traverse and have fun too by bagging some easier peaks.

Seems like I remember someone on this board did the PT last summer?  My question is (to anyone who knows)  how realistic would it be for moderately strong walkers to walk back out to Cascade Pass from Yang Yang Lks in one day?  Would it be an epic 20 hour day?  Or something less?

Also, the terrain from Yang Yang to White Rocks looks pretty slow going on the map.  Would that be a doable daytrip doing Sentinal or Le Conte along the way?

Would appreciate any info or corrections to assumptions I have made.

thanks,

PAP
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Ptolomy
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 12:29 pm 
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Interesting to see the Ptarmigan Ptraverse on Ptrail Ptalk. Yang Yang to Cascade Pass would be a really long day. A strong party might do it with light packs. Late in year and good snow conditions on the glaciers would help. I did that section in 2 days but tossed in some peaks en route. If you plan to bag peaks, don't even think about Yang Yang to the car in a day. Also, routefinding can be a challenge if it's not good weather. That always seems to gobble up time.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 2:11 pm 
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Yo Pappy.  Ive played around in that area a bunch.  The  P-tarmigan P-traverse is a technical event!  I imagine you know that though?  Both in route finding and technical class 5 climbing!!!  Dont mean to make more out of it than it is, but you need to know that you'll be a rope carting, climbing gear carting, my pack aint light PUPPY if you want to make that bitch!

TB

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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#19
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 3:09 pm 
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peetolomy,

Thanks.  Kind what I thought.  It's easy to look at a map in January and over-estimate possibliities.  I've talked to a few people about this (including a 12 year old that did the PT) and wanted another opinion.

packerjoe,

thanks for the education.  guess my nikes and jansport bookpack won't due huh?  you were a big help.  oh hey, what kind of cart do YOU haul your rope on?
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Stefan
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 4:32 pm 
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Contact the USGS and see if you can hop a ride in with them on a helicopter.  They have some sort of well stocked cabin by one of the large glaciers in the area......

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Art is an adventure.
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MtnGoat
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 4:57 pm 
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I tried to donate some time to the station up there but found out only grad students and such get the nod, which makes sense I suppose. Furthermore, only the top guy and USGS honchos get the chopper ride, along with supplies, all the grad students get to enjoy the "trail" to the site and do not get the chopper ride!

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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#19
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 5:59 pm 
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Man what a wierd thread.

First, I got pckerjoe 'splainin' the bird and bees of the Traverse to me and scarin' me with techinal talk "that I'll just never understand".  Now I find that people are riding choppers in there.  Do you think a Vespa could make it?

But seriously, I believe there are plenty of experience'd folks at this site that might have an idea about what I asked.
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McPilchuck
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 6:49 pm 
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Several of my friends have done the entire route, though I haven't, like a few others said, it's technical, don't attempt it without climbing gear.  If you are just going for a few days, then go up in the brush somewhere for the view, make a nice camp and enjoy your surroundings. If you want to bag the entire route go with someone who has been there as you will undoubtedly be climbing some snow cornices. A party of 5 Trail Blazers did it just a few years ago that I also know of, which inlcuded a slide show afterwards at one of our meetings.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 7:15 pm 
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I'm not much into climbing anymore.  I was a 5.9/10 screamer at one time but alas, backpacker joe bees what I is.  I'm up for going in Downey creek to Bench lake, then Woods, then traverse above Slim to the ridgeline above South Cascade lake and V-wahla there you are.  Later a quick scramble up the glacier to White Rocks lake and paradise be you!  Maybe joe scientist will have BEER for us whenst we get there?

Any takers this summer?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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#19
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 7:42 pm 
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I can't believe the advice I'm getting!  I just wanted opinions on distance and time. Where did I ever give the impression I didn't know what the route involved?  It's said to have been done in a day by some extremists and the party that the 12 yr old was in took 9 days so I just tried to start a dialog on possible distances that could be covered in 4 days on the PT.

Hey McP, if i wanted to go "go up in the brush somewhere for the view, make a nice camp and enjoy your surroundings." then I'd plan that trip.  

TB, I was only a 5.7 whinner on my best day. I am very limited on the multi-day trips I do.  But that is an awesome and creative trip you are advertising and if you don't get any takers I just may some day.
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McPilchuck
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 7:48 pm 
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Sorry Pappy, I misunderstood. I was just trying to help that's all.

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IBEX
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 9:01 pm 
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In Aug of 77 I did the Ptarmigan Traverse solo. I traveled south to north without a tent or a sleeping bag. Sounds kind of hardcore when you say it that way. But, I had a Gore-Tex bivy bag combined with a big down coat and down pants that snapped together into a half bag. As far as the glacier travel was concerned, the winter of 76-77 was a supper light snow year. So in late summer that year, every crevasse was clearly visible and I just cramponed around the cracks. I don’t recall any technical climbing along the traverse route proper. But, seeing as I soloed all eight of the major summits, I was pretty much acclimatized to any exposure. I met groups of traverse-ers coming down from the north at every spot I stayed. So I wasn’t THAT alone.

One interesting thing about the route is that there is a well worn, easy to follow trail between the glaciers. As far as marching from Yang Yang Lakes to Cascade Pass trail head in one day; I say it can be done. I traced the route on TOPO and its only eight miles. And as I said; mostly “easy trail” between the glaciers. Of course, this year looks to be a heavy snow year; so plan on hidden crevasses.

biggrin.gif

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"....what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen...." -Rene Daumel
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polarbear
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 10:06 pm 
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Disclaimer: this adds to an already slight thread drift, but it's been known to happen, just don't let it happen to you...

I am a class 0.031415 climber (wimpy spice).  I get tears in my eyes if I'm in Death Valley and catch as much as a whiff of scent o' devil's club that caught a ride on the drifting cumulo nimby.  But darnit anyhow, the route you describe BPJ looks pretty awesome and I have to admit taking a gander at that section of the map more than a few times over the last few years.  I 99% plan on getting up in that area this summer be it by SCL or Woods.  I wonder how long such a trip would take.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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Randy
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PostMon Jan 21, 2002 10:18 pm 
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Steve Fox did the Ptarmigan Traverse last summer and he's been known to post here. He's probably who you're thinking of. He slapped a report on his site and at WTA (of all places!), so you might check those - his site is linked via WTA's site. I certainly don't remember much in the way of class 5 travel, but its been a while since I've read the reports.
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#19
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PostTue Jan 22, 2002 7:04 am 
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I think Ibex was born "acclimatized to exposure". biggrin.gif
Thanks for the imput.  What you are saying seems realistic under the right conditions..

I'll check out WTA's site (if I have to moon.gif) for the Steve Fox report.  Thanks.

My apologies for any previous undue sarcasm.
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