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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Teebone Ridge Traverse

Teebone Ridge traverse. This little-traveled piece of country lying ten miles northeast of Marblemount was fully traversed from one end to the other this past Labor Day weekend by our group of The Mountaineers from Everett. The party consisted of Ron Miller, Jim Carlson, Dave Fluharty, Paul Bergman, Bob Briggs, and me. Using a southern approach up the Lookout Mountain Trail about seven miles east of Marblemount, we hiked north and easily reached timberline and the high country. That day we followed the ridge northeast to Peak 6438, to Peak 6844, and then to 6985-foot Little Devil Peak. Another half-mile north we climbed Peak 6880 and established our camp 200 feet below and southwest of the summit on a lush heather bench with running melt water close by. At dawn the next day we had the problem of crossing Peak 6880’s west ridge. We selected the high notch about 100 feet below the summit, descended the steep, narrow, and rotten couloir on its north side, and then traversed a half-mile of steep ice to reach pleasant meadows. Two miles farther northwest we climbed 7065-foot Big Devil Peak for what appears to be a third ascent, the first apparently being in 1963 by J. Haggerty and J. Roper. Then 1½ miles northeast we eyed a 6700-foot rock peak, and with disregard for the time we decided to give it a try. From a narrow notch on its west side we climbed unroped up steep but heavily broken rock to a first ascent. By now it was mid-afternoon, and the return trip was essentially backtracking all the way; we were resigned to the possibility of a bivouac because camp was miles away. In the last hours of light on the return trip we decided to climb the only peak we had bypassed, Peak 6840 located ½ mile northeast of Peak 6880. Fluharty and Carpenter made a first ascent of this peak and roped off by flashlight. It was a straggling group that finally reached camp at midnight, and the supper menu was cold chow in the sack. A leisurely trip out on the third day was punctuated with many a stop for huckleberries. This, the flowering meadows, the near and distant peaks, the goats and high country deer, all combine to make this a select little part of the North Cascades.

Kenn Carpenter