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The Bailey Range Traverse: Sol Duc to the Hoh via Mt. Carrie, Queets Basin & Mt. Olympus

Tyler Reid - August 9, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Humes Glacier and Blizzard Pass on the Bailey Range Traverse

I just returned from an amazing 6 days on the Bailey Range Traverse along with Ross from Montreal. An additional member of our crew unfortunately had to bail at the last minute due to illness, but hopefully will be back to experience one of the best alpine traverses in North America.

Heart Lake in 7 Lakes Basin High Divide Loop

Heart Lake

We started at the Sol Duc trailhead, ascending into the alpine past Heart Lake, up onto the High Divide. We shared a camp perched above a terrain feature called the Catwalk with a volunteer ranger and a family of goats.

Mountain Goat in Olympic National Park

Mt. Carrie (6,995') in Olympic National Park

Mt. Carrie

The next day we crossed the Catwalk and passed through a camp known as “Boston Charlie’s” as we ascended onto the west shoulder of Mt. Carrie. Rather than follow the standard route from here which consists of sidehilling beneath Mt. Carrie, we took the high line over the summit.

Glacier on Mt. Carrie on the Bailey Range Traverse

We descended this glacier on Carrie to the icy headwall beneath Mt. Ruth.

View from the summit of Mt. Carrie on the Bailey Range Traverse

From the summit of Mt. Carrie we descended east on a glaciated ridge feature formed by years and years of consistent wind patterns, passing beneath Mt. Ruth, and up a steep headwall that in a good snow year would typically involve steep snow climbing in early August. This year it was melted down to glacier ice.

Steep headwall on Mt. Carrie, Olympic Mountains

Steep headwall.

Anticipating this section, I was psyched to have brought along a 19cm ice screw which came in handy for drilling V-thread anchors. 3 short pitches (30m) of 45° ice and snow put us on the lower angled glacier above, where we popped through a notch in the ridge.

Alpine ice climbing on Mt. Carrie, Olympic National Park

Alpine ice climbing on Mt. Carrie, Bailey Range Traverse

From the notch, we had a beautiful descent into the Stephen Lake basin, where stopping for a swim in the lake was very tempting on this hot day.

Stephen Lake Basin and Stephen Peak in Olympic National Park

Stephen Lake basin and Stephen Peak

Bailey Range Traverse in Olympic National Park

Stephen Lake in Olympic National Park on the Bailey Range Traverse

We contoured around the basin, ascending 1200′ of steep snow and scree to the ridge, where we were able to set up our tent a couple hundred feet beneath the summit of Stephen Peak.

Stephen Peak on the Bailey Range Traverse

Summit of Stephen Peak on the Bailey Range Traverse

Summit of Stephen Peak

The next day we cruised on the ridgeline from Stephen Peak to Upper Ferry Basin with the occasional sections of scrambly bushwhacking. In Upper Ferry Basin we ascended past many beautiful lakes and tarns to the true crest of the Bailey Range, passing beneath Mt. Ferry and Mt. Pulitzer.

Frozen lake in Upper Ferry Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse

From Mt. Ferry to Queets Basin is one of the most fun and awe-inspiring sections of the traverse. The views are dramatic and constantly evolving. Travel for the most part is straightforward, following the ridge crest, with sections of steep snow and glacier travel mixed in.

Bailey Range Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Crest of the Bailey Range

Beyond Bear Pass we dropped into Upper Queets Basin and set up camp in a killer location next to a beautiful alpine tarn.

Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Happy feet.

Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

The Humes Glacier and Blizzard Pass in the background, our objective for the following day.

Bailey Range Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

That evening provided one of the best sunsets of the trip.

Upper Queets Basin, Bailey Range Traverse

Quartz in Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse in Olympic National Park

Wildflower in Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse in Olympic National Park

Camped next to a tarn in Upper Queets Basin on the Bailey Range Traverse

Wildflowers on the Bailey Range Traverse in Olympic National Park with Pacific Alpine Guides

Day four is one of the navigation and sanity cruxes of the route involving a contour to the base of the Humes Glacier, through steep, densely vegetated terrain, avalanche paths choked with slide alder and downed trees, and game trails that appear and disappear without warning.

Silhouette on the Bailey Range Traverse

Mt. Queets on the Bailey Range Traverse in Olympic National Park

Mt. Queets

Once on the Humes Glacier it was easy climbing to Blizzard Pass.

Climbing the Humes Glacier on Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse

A steep descent to Camp Pan, and we were comfortably situated on the Mt. Olympus Massif, in one of the more dramatic camp locations in Olympic National Park.

Camp Pan on Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse

Camp Pan

Camp Pan on Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse

Camp Pan on Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse

The next morning we dropped to the Hoh Glacier, ascended through Glacier Pass, down the mighty Blue Glacier, and onto the lateral moraine.

View from Camp Pan on Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse

We spent our last night along the Hoh River and had our car shuttle ride waiting for us at the Hoh Visitor Center on day 6 (thanks Dave!).

Mt. Olympus on the Bailey Range Traverse, Olympic National Park

 

9 Days in the North Cascades

Pacific Alpine Guides - August 1, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Check out photos from guide Eric Frank, from a 9 day trip in the North Cascades with climber John C., including Mt. Baker’s North Ridge, Mt. Shuksan, and Boston Basin:

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10 Reasons to Ski Chile’s Volcanoes

Tyler Reid - June 30, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

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  1. Aesthetic Lines. The ski descents themselves are even more impressive than the summits.
  2. The Country. Chile is a land of otherworldly landscapes, interesting culture, and incredibly friendly people.
  3. The Corn. There’s something about Southern Hemisphere corn that’s extra buttery (corn snow that is).
  4. Light Backpacks. Most international expeditions involve hauling heavy loads. Not really the case on this trip. Three out of four of these peaks we ski with day packs.
  5. The Proximity. The relative spacing of these four mountains could not be more perfect. Less car time, more skiing.
  6. 4 Volcanoes in 10 Days. Many expeditions are lucky to climb one mountain in 10 days.
  7. Young Volcanoes. Villarica’s summit crater is a boiling cauldron. Llaima last erupted in…2009!
  8. Araucarias (Monkey Puzzle Trees). Combined with the volcanic lunar landscapes, these add to the prehistoric nature of the subalpine landscapes, and you get the sensation you might run into dinosaurs at any moment.
  9. Pisco Sours. The perfect cap on any ski day.
  10. The Timing. September is an amazing time to be skiing, and a healthy dose does wonders for your patience level, awaiting the Northern Hemisphere winter.

We still have a few spots left on our Sept 20-Oct 1, 2014 program. Learn more here: Chile Volcanoes Ski Mountaineering Expedition

Solstice North Ridge of Mt. Baker Climb

Pacific Alpine Guides - June 24, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Alpine start on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

Guides Elías De Andrés Martos and Tyler Reid, along with climbers Bruce, Carey, Bill, and Tony climbed the North Ridge of Mt. Baker over the Solstice weekend. Here are a few of their photos:

North Ridge of Mt. Baker climbing school, with guide Elias de Andres Martos

Climbing the Hourglass on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

Climbing the Hourglass on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

Guided Mt. Baker North Ridge climb

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Climbing the ice lobe on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

Guided climb of the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

Guided climb of the North Ridge of Mt. Baker

View from the summit of Mt. Baker

 

 

 

 

Mt. Johnson, NW Couloir & Mt. Deception, NE Chute Ski Descents

Tyler Reid - June 2, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Mt. Johnson (The Needles) NW Couloir Ski Descent, Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

The NW Couloir on Mt. Johnson in The Needles first caught my eye three years ago from the Hurricane Ridge to Deer Park Traverse. With the level of certainty that a distant grainy photo has to offer, combined with a rapidly melting snowpack, expectations were low. My better half thought she might be getting sick on the approach which was confirmed by the next morning. So she kept it chill.

Ski Touring in Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

Katy, keeping it chill.

It’s about an 800′ descent off the back of the col at the head of Surprise Basin, and a quick skin around the corner puts you at the base of the line. Looking up from the bottom it didn’t look obvious. Snow conditions were firm and aluminum crampons and a piolet were quite handy.

Mt. Johnson (The Needles) NW Couloir Ski Descent, Olympic National Park

Looking up from the bottom; not exactly obvious.

Lots of front pointing later I was at the top of this amazing 1,200′ foot line. Two short sections would require down climbing due to a rapidly melting snowpack, but not much more coverage is needed for it to go cleanly.

Mt. Johnson (The Needles) NW Couloir Ski Descent, Olympic National Park

Still not obvious.

Royal Basin, Mt. Fricaba, and Mt. Constance from the summit of Mt. Johnson

Nice view of Mt. Fricaba, Royal Basin and the Mt. Constance Massif from the top.

Mt. Johnson, NW Couloir, Olympic National Park

Yep.

Mt. Johnson, NW Couloir, Olympic National Park

Mt. Johnson, NW Couloir Ski Descent, Olympic National Park

Second short downclimb.

The next morning I cruised to the summit of Mt. Deception via the NE Chute and was dropping in by 8:30am. The line was in bad shape with a monster garbage runnel down the middle (a 10′ foot deep trench) but still seemed skiable along the edge with a little precision required in the choke.

Mt. Deception NE Chute SkI Descent, Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

The Needles from Mt. Deception, Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

The Needles from the summit of Mt. Deception. Mt. Johnson is the highest peak on the left.

Mt. Deception, NE Chute Ski Descent, Olympic National Park

It’s a steep one.

Partway down the upper section, into view came another party of skiers from Seattle and Portland booting up. I was surprised I hadn’t heard any yelling or cursing from them as I sent down wet sluff on the upper turns. Lucky timing. I assumed they’d gone up the normal route.

Mt. Deception, NE Chute Ski Descent, Olympic National Park

I hit the pause button my descent to let them cruise by. Out of the chute, the rest of the face provided great turns along the skiers right side.

Royal Basin Ski Touring, Olympic National Park

Currently the trail into Royal Basin is pretty much snow free cruising in tennis shoes to the Lower Meadow. Things are melting fast up there but there’s definitely another couple weeks of spring skiing to be had.

Mt. Baker Summit Climb Photos

Eric Frank - May 28, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Mt. Baker Summit Climb

After a hazy day in the clouds while approaching, the weather opened up and we were able to summit on May 21st. Mt. Baker was exceptionally clear with moderate winds. Thanks Mike for great climb! Some photos…

Mt. Baker Easton Glacier Summit Climb

Mt. Baker Easton Glacier Summit Climb

Mt. Baker Easton Glacier Summit Climb

Mt. Baker Easton Glacier Summit Climb

Mt. Baker Easton Glacier Summit Climb

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition Photos

Tyler Reid - May 26, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition

Check out photos from a May 12-21, 2014 Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition with partner guide service Wild Alpine. Our team didn’t have the window to ski off the summit, partially due to weather and partially due to a low snow year, but we still managed to get in a significant amount of ski exploration in this zone from two different camps on the mountain. Another awesome mission to the Wrangells.

Thanks to Collin, Erik, Ben, Robert, Herwig, Lucas, and guides Seth Waterfall and Eli Potter.

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition

Alaska Ski Expedition

Alaska Ski Expedition

Alaska Ski Expedition

Alaska Climbing

Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition, Alaska

Mt. Blackburn Ski Expedition, Alaska

Wrangells Ski Expedition

Avalanche on Mt. Blackburn, Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Mountaineering in the Wrangells

Camp on Mt. Blackburn, Alaska

Alaska Expeditions

Mt. Blackburn Expedition

Mt. Blackburn Expedition

Mt. Blackburn Expedition

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Ski Mountaineering in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Mountaineering in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Mountaineering in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Mountaineering in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Mountaineering in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Ski Touring in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Alaska

Mt. Blackburn Expedition, AK

Wrangell St-Elias National Park, AK

Mt. Angeles North Side Tour

Tyler Reid - May 2, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Mt. Angeles North Side Ski Tour, Olympic National Park

Despite the ridiculously warm temps, the Mt. Angeles north side tour was the perfect way to ring in the month of May: up to Victor Pass and the SE Ridge to the East Summit, down the prominent north side line, up to the col above Klahhane Bowl, a sweet long east facing run into the bowl, back up to Victor Pass and down to the road. Thanks Josh for a great day! A few photos…

Mt. Angeles Ski Mountaineering, Olympic National Park

Mt. Angeles Ski Mountaineering, Olympic National Park

Mt. Angeles Ski Mountaineering, Olympic National Park

Mt. Angeles Ski Mountaineering, Olympic National Park

Mt. Angeles Ski Mountaineering, Olympic National Park

Photos from our April Wapta Traverse

Tyler Reid - May 1, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Wapta Traverse powder turns, Canadian Rockies

Check out photos from another fantastic trip on the Wapta with Dennis, Terry, Marianne, and Katy. Winter snow conditions, a deeper snowpack, some incredible weather, some challenging weather and whiteout navigation (an important part of the Wapta experience), powder skiing, great hut chilling, heated poker games, and a summit of Mt. Gordon.

Approaching the Peyto Hut on the Wapta Traverse

Approaching the Peyto Hut on the Wapta Traverse

The Peyto Hut, Wapta Traverse, Canadian Rockies

Wapta Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides, Canadian Rockies

Traversing from the Peyto Hut to the Bow Hut, Wapta Traverse

View from the Bow Hut, Wapta Traverse, Canadian Rockies

View from the Bow Hut, Wapta Traverse, Canadian Rockies

Skiing above the Bow Hut on the Wapta Traverse

The Bow Hut, Wapta Icefields Traverse

The Bow Hut, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Touring above the Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Touring above the Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Ski ascent of Mt. Gordon on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Ski ascent of Mt. Gordon on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Ski ascent of Mt. Gordon on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Ski ascent of Mt. Gordon on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Wapta Icefields Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Wapta Icefields Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Approaching the Balfour Hut, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Touring beneath Mt. Balfour, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Touring on the Diableret Glacier, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Trolltinder Mountain, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Skiing on the Diableret Glacier, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Skiing on the Diableret Glacier, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Skiing on the Diableret Glacier, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Skiing on the Diableret Glacier, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Powder turns on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Powder turns on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Powder turns on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Looking towards the Yoho Valley, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Ski Touring on the Wapta Icefields Traverse

Wapta Icefields Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

Balfour Hut, Wapta Icefields Traverse

View from inside the Balfour Hut, Wapta Icefields Traverse

Wapta Icefields Traverse

Wapta Icefields Traverse

Wapta Icefields Traverse with Pacific Alpine Guides

 

Hurricane Ridge to Rocky Peak Traverse

Tyler Reid - April 15, 2014 - Dispatches & Trip Reports

Mt. Angeles, Klahhane Ridge, and Rocky Peak viewed from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge to Rocky Peak and down the Dragon’s Tooth. A super worthy, somewhat involved springtime objective covering a lot of terrain. This might be a tricky one to onsight in a day without knowing the individual parts, especially the summit ridge of Mt. Angeles and the north face of Rocky Peak. But linking it all together makes for a very rewarding day in the mountains.

Strait of Juan de Fuca from the summit ridge of Mt. Angeles

Start at the Hurricane Ridge ski area. Cruise to the top of the rope tow and rip skins. Zip across Sunrise ridge, transition, and skin towards Maggies, along the ridge, to the top of the Bowling Alley. Rip skins, ski to the col above Lost Bowl. Skin up and over King Dome to the west side of Mt. Angeles, up through the forest, switch to booting, traverse around to the SW Ridge and climb the final 4th class pitch to the west summit (so as to avoid any backtracking). Chill on the summit.

Summit of Mt. Angeles, ski mountaineering in the Olympic Mountains

Traverse the summit ridge most the way to the east summit, ski partway down on the south side, walk over to the first narrow ribbon gully and ski this into the bowl.

Ski mountaineering on Mt Angeles in the Olympic Mountains

Lots of ridge cruising out Klahhane with various ups and downs. Ski cool line above Rocky Peak col that you’ve looked at on multiple occasions.

Hurricane Ridge to Rocky Peak Traverse, Olympic Mountains, WA

Traverse below the north face to the secret ramp through the cliff bands. Climb the Broken Tooth.

The Broken Tooth, North Face of Rocky Peak, Olympic National Park

Chill on the summit of Rocky Peak. Ski down the ridge towards the Dragon’s Tooth and run into a couple large goats. Hang out with the goats.

Mountain goats above the Dragon's Tooth on Rocky Peak, Olympic National Park

Ski the Dragon’s Tooth. Catch a ride back up the road with an old friend.

Hurricane Ridge to Rocky Peak Traverse, Olympic National Park