Speed Records and Traverses

Washinton, Cascades
Author: Andy Anderson. Climb Year: 2017. Publication Year: 2018.

On May 28, Andy and Jason Dorais set a fastest known time for Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge, approaching and climbing the ridge and skiing down the Emmons Glacier in 7 hours 7 minutes round trip from the White River Campground (5:57 to Columbia Crest). The Dorais brothers covered 21.3 miles and 11,222 feet of elevation gain. Just a few days earlier, Eric Carter, Nick Elson, and Colin Haley had set the previous FKT for the route, going 9:11 round trip.

Over the course of 34 days, from May 1 to June 4, longtime Cascade guides Trevor Kostanich and Forest McBrian skied from Snoqualamie Pass to the Canadian border through the heart of the North Cascades. Lowell Skoog Jr., chronicler of local ski mountaineering, called it “by far the most ambitious ski venture attempted in Washington’s mountains, that I know of.” The pair was joined for one week by a photographer and resupplied five times, but otherwise traveled self-supported. [The Seattle Times published an excellent account, available online.]

On August 7, Sean O’Rourke completed the Northern Pickets traverse (from East Fury to Challenger) in 28 hours, 32 minutes round trip from the Ross Dam Trailhead. He estimated the total distance at 60 miles, with elevation gain over 15,000’. This was possibly only the third complete traverse of the Northern Pickets ridgeline and almost certainly the first in a push.

– Andy Anderson, compiled from various sources