The Northern Pickets

Northern Pickets Page
Certainly the most brutal and committing range within the Cascade range, The Northern Pickets epitomize the wilderness mountain experience.
Sounds Perfect!
After two goes in 04 and 05, Josh Kaplan and I finally were able to traverse the entire Northern Picket Range along its summit ridge. This epic journey was captured well in this-The NW Mountain Journal   –Article. Thanks to Gary Yngve on his editing job.
The Savage Attempt -2004
The next year we were successful in an epic 6 day push, completing the first ever summit ridge traverse  of the Northern Picket Range.Josh Kaplans Original Cascadeclimbers. Trip Report-2005
Great Ski Link
My own experiences with this range started in the toughest year of my life, 1994. I had planned to go with my friend Richard to tackle the North Butt of Fury. I instead cut off my middle finger at work. It had to wait a year, and I had to get through an ugly divorce. We eventually headed into Fury though the next year. It seems you have to be tough to even get in there. I wanted to go lightweight on the 5 days we planned for it. I remmember being dissapointed in the weight of my pack, the annoying mosquitos and the grueling toil of taking the high route in.
Once we reached the Luna Col, Richard informed me he was sick and started vommiting. He recovered in the morning and we had a great time on the NE Buttress of Fury. We reveled in its classic mountaineering, taking our crampons off and on 7 times. On a strange note we became separated on the descent. It was a bizrarre trial as we wondered what happend. We met up again at the Col figuring the other was ok and we each needed to get back to camp in order to survive. What a grand introduction to the range I cherish.
photo:  Seth Pollack————Dem Pickets!
July 4-2001- My next trip was a wonderful example of a wacky plan that played out beautifully. I devised this plan to have 2 separate teams traverse to the summit of Challenger coming in from opposite directions . Then we would meet on the summit and exchange car keys to return the other parties cars. I had just moved to Seattle and hooked up with 2 friends, we would form the Hannegan Pass approach team. I had 4 friends from Portland that I suckered into the difficult Eiley-Wiely Ridge approach. They struggled up the ridge for 2 days . It appeared they would run behind when we talked on the radios the night before summiting. As we rounded the glacier though we saw them trucking along to the saddle. It worked out perfect. We did just vacate the summit when they met us for our first celebration. After seeing a whole new side on the way out we met on day 5 in Seattle at Gorditos for a final party that would catalyze for us what was possible in this wonderous range.
Routes I reccomend in the Northern Pickets:
Northeast Buttress of Mt Fury
Mt Challenger
Luna Peak
SE Ridge of Mt Fury
West Ridge of Ghost
Poltergiest Pinnacle, Challenger
Mongo Ridge, West Fury
Haunted Wall, Spectre Peak
N Ridge Whatcom peak
Nice Pictures
NWMJ Report from Mike on Blob and Spectre
Great TR from Mike on Spectre
Getting around Fury
Soaked on Challenger-The start of 30 wet hours
The 4 Approaches to N Pickets:1-.Little Beaver:Suck Rating: 4 of 5Trail was washed out for miles, better lately. Longer boat ride(more $). Limited access to Pickets.
2.- Eiley-Wiely,Suck: 3 out of 5.        Really,really long . Both trail and ridge.      Only puts you at Challenger. Route finding difficulty. Up-side Amazing veiws once up high, is an ok way to get    out of Challenger area3. –Easy Ridge. Suck 1 of 5 .The best way to get to North side of Pickets. Easy route finding after crossing Chilliwack and finding the TRAIL! Great veiws. Some work getting through Imperfect Impasse. Key is to go up first, then in.
4.- Access Creek .Suck 2 of 5. This is the best way to get to Fury / Luna.Dont get  off route in the valley, stay close to  creek. Look to stay on right side till last resort. Watch yourself up high too stay  right if worried about steep grass.Dont  even think of the Tabor Crowder High Route.
All routes in are 2 character building days
Season July-SeptGreat Beta Page- SP
Ice Station Zebra- below freezing night
Great Trip Report, Missing Photos?Challenger-Fury-Terror SP Report on this same trip(multiple pages)
Trip gone wrong
Challenger-Fury Combo TR
New Routes in The Northern Pickets? Shhhhh..
East Ridge of Swiss.
The 5 Summits Of Challenger Traverse
Any of 3 west faces of Challenger
Great West Buttress of Whatcom
West Face Cub Scout Salute
Tombstone Wall East Fury
North Ridge, Phantom Peak (Center of photo, left to right)
Several first winter ascents awaitRemember to keep these secret!
My Pickets Trips:
7-94 N.Butt, Mt. Fury
7-01 Challenger Traverse
8-02 W. MacMillan and Inspiration(2 summits)
6-03 Little Mac to Insp- (4 summits)
7-03 Sou. Pickets Traverse-(14 summits)-FA
7-04 N. Pick Traverse Attempt ( 5 summits)
7-05 N. Pick Traverse (9 summits)-FA
8-06 West Face Spectre pk-FA
8-06 Mongo Ridge , Mt Fury (3 summits)FA
8-07 N.Butt E.Twin Needle attempt
7-20-08 N. Butt. Mt. Terror 6-27-09 Thread of Ice-East Twin Needle  FA (2 summits)6-22,23-10 S.Face Inspiration III-5.813 trips
47 days
44 summits
The Northern Pickets Summits
1. Outrigger Peak
2.Luna Peak
3. East Fury
4. West Fury
5.Swiss Peak
6. Spectre Peak
7.Phantom Peak
8.Ghost Peak
9.Crooked Thumb
10.Challenger Peak
11.Whatcom PeakSub summits?
Apparition, (Near Spectre)
Waiting Tower
Pole of Remoteness
4 Challenger sub-summits
3 Spectre sub-summits
Here are the GPS waypoints that Josh loaded in on our traverse. They came in handy when the weather was bad. It helped us track progress and gave us a lift when we passed the points.


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