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DerrickL
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DerrickL
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 10:35 am 
I have a backpacking trip doing the copper ridge loop with tapto lakes extension starting next week.  The latest update on the trail Iíve seen said that you would need an ice axe and spikes to cross the Hells Gorge portion of the trail.  This update was on the 17th.  I was wondering  if anyone had any more recent updates on the snow/ice especially with the heat wave hitting this week.  I hate to have to buy the equipment if I donít need it.  I live in North Carolina so it wouldnít be something I would use around here.

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Asplorin
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Asplorin
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 4:15 pm 
If youíve never used an ice axe, or for that matter walked in spikes on a snow slope, is it even worth bothering/the risk?

Iím in more or less the same boat, though my permits donít start until next weekend.

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DerrickL
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DerrickL
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 5:17 pm 
I have done a bit of backpacking in the snow and know how to self arrest with an ice axe if needed.  I just didnít want to buy any unnecessary equipment if not needed.

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Nancyann
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 6:56 pm 
We did a lot of snow travel Sunday-Monday, not in that area but in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Itís true that the snow is melting fast, but what is remaining is soft, slushy and very slippery. If you think there may be some lingering snow on a steep traverse on your route, keep this in mind.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostThu Jul 28, 2022 12:33 pm 
You can bypass Hells Gorge by going high. There is some tedious steep sidehilling directly above the ravine but it is out in the open (and south facing), offers broad views, and presumably melts out earlier than the ravine (gorge). If it is dry it is viable. From the east just head uphill before the trail enters the trees. From the west access the broad saddle east/northeast of Hannegan Peak by heading up from the trail after the switchbacks but before it begins to traverse under steeper slopes. Catch it right and this is a stroll through semi open forest to the open saddle. The broad saddle has a number of good tarns and is also part of the Hannegan High Route (approaching Hannegan Peak from the east)

https://www.topozone.com/washington/whatcom-wa/summit/hannegan-peak/

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DerrickL
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DerrickL
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PostThu Jul 28, 2022 12:56 pm 
Thank yíall so much for the info!!  We will have to keep the high route in mind and watch for it depending on conditions.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jul 28, 2022 8:32 pm 
It is also possible to avoid it altogether by descending scree from Hannigan Peak and traverse the ridge above to where the trail pops out on the ridge. The ridge is rather brushy and easier in snow.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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