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| |-+  June 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
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Author Topic: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse  (Read 22310 times)
avajane
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #25 on: 06/21/13, 11:20 PM »

Way to make the most out of a June in the Northwest. You'll always remember this one! Great job. Inspiring...
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
Trevor Kostanich
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #26 on: 06/22/13, 06:00 AM »

Congrats guys!

It was great running into you and I'm stoked to see that you made it over Fortress.

Cheers!

Trevor
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JCR
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #27 on: 06/22/13, 08:35 AM »

So glad you guys had a safe rest of your trip and that I could help out. I'm also thankful you came out a day early and I didn't have to put your stinky asses in my car. You guys were already ripe after only 5 days....Can't wait to see some more pictures especially the comparison of organizational style shots!
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ryanl
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #28 on: 06/25/13, 01:56 PM »

heck of a trip you two! Makes me proud to be a Cascadian....
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jesski
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #29 on: 06/25/13, 02:13 PM »

Strong work, you two.
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bringing the fun since 1984
Splitboard Graham
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #30 on: 06/25/13, 10:18 PM »

thanks for paving the way, kyle.
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Kyle Miller
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #31 on: 06/27/13, 12:16 PM »

WOW!! Thank you so much for all the kind comments they are truly appreciated.

As with Ryan I am proud to be a Cascadian as our small mountain community has some of the nicest, most approachable people I have ever met.

At this moment we are working out some kinks to get a slideshow of the adventure together as well as a few other potential formats. This was an amazing experience and I am still wrapping my head around it as I watch the rain fall over the city skies.

Lowell the Logan high route has always interested me and I have scoped it from many different angles and dreamed of pulling it together.

"It's interesting to see how plans and goals change as you move along the journey of life.    Smiley "

Zap I couldn't have said it any better.

Gary you are totally right we were always concerned about weather but somehow we got a rare June weather window that closed down the day we got out.

Marcus and Charles we are all forever in debt to you guys for pulling together such an amazing community, I remember some of my early gibberish TRs on here where people were telling me that I was crazy, some things never change.  Wink


As I have said before "I am a rich man with a poor persons bank account"

or as Ale said James said SISU and Ale I was able to not lose my boot liners this time. Smiley

« Last Edit: 06/27/13, 02:01 PM by Kyle Miller » Logged

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #32 on: 08/15/13, 09:11 AM »

Amazing turnout at Jason and Kyle's program at The Mountaineers last evening, especially for a ski slideshow in August.

Here's a transcript of my introductory remarks. They provide more details on the background of this trip:

Quote
Backcountry skiing in the Northwest has been booming for the past decade or so. Better gear and more information have made the sport attractive to many more skiers.

But a smaller boost happened over thirty years ago with the rediscovery of the telemark turn.

A milestone at that time was the publication of the book, Cross-Country Downhill, by Steve Barnett, who now lives near Bellingham. [I invited Steve to the presentation, but unfortunately he was not able to make it.]

Steve Barnett’s book was first published in 1978. But Steve did more than just help revive a forgotten ski technique. With a small group of friends, he envisioned using skis in the Cascade and Olympic mountains in ways they hadn’t been used before. Steve and Bill Nicolai were the first to try skiing the Ptarmigan Traverse, back in 1977. Steve’s early attempts were hampered by weather and avalanche conditions, but he spread the word, and by 1981 the Ptarmigan Traverse had been successfully crossed by telemark skiers.

My friend Gary Brill knew some of Steve’s friends, and Gary invited me to ski the Ptarmigan in the spring of 1982. We had a fantastic trip, and the following year Gary organized a ski traverse from Snowfield Peak to Eldorado Peak, a trip we dubbed the Isolation Traverse. Two of the skiers on that trip were on telemark gear, and the other two were on alpine skis using Ramer bindings and climbing boots.

I got hooked on trips like this, and in 1985 I traversed the Picket Range on skis with Jens Kieler and my younger brother Carl. I started to think about linking some of these trips together, but to be honest, I didn’t think the idea was very practical.

Again, Steve Barnett provided the spark.

In 1987, Steve published The Best Ski Touring in America. While his earlier book was mostly about ski technique, this one was about inspiration.

Writing about the Ptarmigan Traverse, Steve said: “The North Cascades are the most rugged, the most wild, and the most heavily glaciated mountains in the lower 48 states. [...] It's the only place in the lower 48 where real glacial traverses are possible, like those commonly done in the Alps. These are trips where you climb one glacier, cross a pass, ski down another glacier, and then climb up yet another... Along the way you can climb and ski the great peaks from which the glaciers flow.”

Steve continued: "Only in the last few years have skiers started doing the Ptarmigan. Some of those who have done it have gone on and explored similar high traverses nearby. [...] So the pathfinding is almost complete for a ski route covering the entire glacial crest from the North Cascades Highway to south of Glacier Peak. We await our Orland Bartholomew."

Orland Bartholomew was a ski pioneer who traversed alone from Mt Whitney to Yosemite in the Sierra Nevada during the winter of 1929. His adventure was described in the 1987 book, High Odyssey, by Gene Rose. Bartholomew was one of a kind, and his accomplishment has inspired hard-core backcountry skiers ever since. Steve Barnett had laid out an adventure in the North Cascades that was worthy of Orland Bartholomew. So I took the bait, and the hook sank deep.

In 1989, my brother Carl and I skied from Sulphur Mountain to Glacier Peak, along a route we called the Suiattle High Route. With this trip, we had scouted most of the route outlined by Steve Barnett. I lobbied Carl and my friend Jens Kieler to try the entire trip in a single push.

To boost our motivation, I decided the route needed an inspiring name. “The American Alps Traverse,” I called it. Jens and I placed caches during the fall of 1990, one of them near Cascade Pass and the other near Lyman Lake. I had in mind an ideal trip, a continuous 100-mile high route where we never had to descend below timberline to resupply.

During the spring of 1991, we made several false starts (foiled by weather), and Carl and I made one full-blown attempt. But it was a terrible spring for long trips. Wet and consistently cloudy and incredibly frustrating. We had a soggy bailout, and none of us could generate much interest in the trip for several years after that.

In the year 2000, I returned with Bruce Goodson and Matt Firth to extend the Ptarmigan Traverse from Dome Peak to Holden. With this trip, I had skied every foot of the American Alps Traverse. But with a family and a regular job, I doubted that I’d try a continuous push again. It wasn’t a good fit for my lifestyle. After I told Matt about my faded dream, he recruited his friend Bob Nielsen to give it a try. In 2002, they skied from Diablo to Holden in eight big days. About two-thirds of the total distance. It was a really strong effort.

My brother Carl got into steep skiing, pioneering several important descents in the Cascades. But the sport cost him his life in 2005 after a fatal fall in South America. In Carl’s memory, I returned to the traverse we had attempted together, but instead of trying to do it in a continuous push, I decided to extend it—in segments. In the spring of 2007, I completed a 25-year linkup of trips from Mt Baker to Mt Rainier, a distance three times as long as the American Alps Traverse. Breaking the trip in pieces was a better fit for me.

After completing my Cascade Crest ski project, I finally went back and removed the caches that I had placed 17 years earlier. The American Alps Traverse was over for me, but I shared the idea on the turns-all-year website, and this got Jason and Kyle thinking about the trip.

I’m thrilled to see that they actually pulled it off. And I’m looking forward to hearing their story this evening. As Steve Barnett wrote over twenty-five years ago, we await our Orland Bartholomew....

« Last Edit: 08/15/13, 09:17 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Kyle Miller
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Re: June 1st though 17th, The American Alps Traverse
« Reply #33 on: 08/15/13, 11:17 AM »

Thank you so much for the kind words Lowell, Once again it was an honor to be presenting next to you. Smiley

and thank you so much everyone for attending. It was a blast!
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
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