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benneke
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PostThu Jun 18, 2020 2:46 pm 
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I am hoping to complete the Bailey Range Traverse this July (if Olympic re-opens for backpacking) and I am wondering if the route is doable with trail running shoes and microspikes or if I will need real crampons. I will be bringing an ice axe and we plan to enter from Sol Duc via the Catwalk and exit via the Elwha Snowfinger.
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Fullripbrian
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PostThu Jun 18, 2020 5:24 pm 
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I went with trail runners in mid-August of 2016.  I used grivel alum crampons.  Micro spikes would have been ok probably.  The route was pretty melted out on that trip.

Going in July Id probably want approach shoes and crampons at a minimum unless I was confident in the current conditions and assuming more snow on the route compared to Aug/Sept.

I should probably mention that I lost my left crampon in Fairchild basin on my 2nd day out.  I managed to get over to Stephen Lake then Ferry Basin avoiding snowfields.  The southern portions from Lone Tree to Dodwell-Rixon had a lot of suncupped, icy exposed slopes that were extra spicy with a single crampon.  Luckily it was my downhill leg 99% of the time.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Jun 18, 2020 5:44 pm 
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Depends ...

Seriously it depends on the conditions, your skill level, and your "comfort zone". The amount of snow left in July will likely be significant on parts but not overwhelming. What that means is some of the route will be on snow while others will not. Traction devices are really important on hard and frozen snow, like in the morning. If the snow is soft you are really going to be kicking steps for the most part. And that will mean trail runners vs waffle stompers is a personal choice. With trail runners you are going to end up with wet/cold feet after long sections of snow. It's also more difficult to kick steps with trail runners and stability can be iffy in trail runners, depending on skill and comfort level.

Hope that helps.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Pyrites
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PostSat Jun 20, 2020 6:31 pm 
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You want shoes your feet are used to, and with still with crisp tread. Those hard packed dirt chutes on S aspect of Cat et al I thought were spookier than any snow. Ive been told Bear Glacier is gone, or just a permanent snowfield.
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RAW-dad
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PostMon Jun 22, 2020 4:21 pm 
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Don't have too much to add, except that the steepest snow you're likely to encounter, except for gullies on the side of Carrie, is the short section coming up from Lone Tree.  Would not want to do that with micro spikes and trail runners in the AM.  Also, depending on its condition the snow finger can require side hilling where spikes are handy.  I've never brought crampons on the BRT.
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