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North America, United States, Washington, Easy-Heather Traverse, Repeat with Variations

Easy-Heather Traverse, repeat with variations. In July 2001 I traversed the ridgeline of peaks from Easy Pass to Heather Pass along the north boundary of the south block of North Cascades National Park. I began at 6:06 a.m. from the Easy Pass trailhead and followed the trail to Easy Pass. I left the trail and climbed the first peak, Graybeard, and continued along the crest, covering 15 miles, with 11,000' of elevation gain and 10,000' of elevation loss, before I returned to the North Cascades Highway at the Heather Pass trailhead at 6:34 p.m. I went to the highest point of every summit, including Graybeard, Fisher Peak, Little Horn, all of the Ragged Ridge summits, Black Peak, and Corteo Peak.

I know that part of my traverse covered new terrain, but I don’t know which parts. Beck- ey only mentions the summits (obviously), but there are big parts of this ridgeline that were technical but not near summits, so probably had not been traveled. That said, there were lots of little “summits” along the ridge that I went to because I figured no one had been there, and it was part of the game I’d set for myself. The conditions were very dry. I wore sticky-rubber running shoes and carried a camel-back. I could only get water at one location, just before Fisher Peak, about one-third of the way across. The climbing was up to about 5.7, the downclimbing and traversing up to about 5.6, and there was lots and lots of 4th/easy 5th, which is why it was worthwhile.

Steve House, AAC