Great Traverses

Great Traverses in Washington State and beyond…

Welcome to my traverse page. I am very fascinated by the practice of climbing to a nice mountain summit-> Then, continuing on the ridges that connect to then even more mountains . These are long ridge-top traverses with many peaks available along the way. Trips like these often make for an intense and rewarding outing. The pursuit is obviously available exclusively to the seasoned, experienced, and lucky climber for sure. One should be in top form for the demands of the top tier adventures..duh.

Having done a few, I am hooked. It is great to be on a mountain summit. Traverses allow you to spend days (AND NIGHTS!!!) on many summits, as well as see NEW territory for the entire trip!……  Wow! Lets get going!!

Perhaps, The qualities of a great traverse should consider the following :
The specific routes size, difficulty and its overall “classic/quality” sense.
After reviewing the “Great Traverses” , I came to the conclusion that there are three or so “tiers”  of traverses.
The highest (1st) tier would be World Class Traverses. These are long, difficult outings. (Grade 6 and up, high 5th class, see examples below)
A solid 2nd tier example would be say, Torment-Forbidden Traverse (grade 4 to 5, and a classic.)
A good 3rd tier route could be: The Three Sisters Traverse in Central Oregon.( class 3-5, grade 2-4)
Big or small, easy to difficult, traverses have something to offer everyone.

There are different definitions of  “Traverses”

– Enchainment Traverses. They can meander anywhere and do summits or routes along the way. The idea is to do as many summits as you can. The connecting ridge-line may be easy or vague.

-Summit Ridge Traverses. Almost always stay on or near the crest of the (often knife-edge) ridge that connects the summits. That idea of always being “on top”, is what I am trying to represent here . It is a tough game to play, being in a committed position for so long. I believe these are the unwritten definitions of this particular pursuit that I am trying to show here. It is a strange, contrived, and beautiful game, so I welcome differing opinions. We all make our own rules.
Enjoy the page!

Extreme Traverses in  Washington State  ( 1st and 2nd tier)
Torment -Forbidden (beta)…and—–My Trip Report IV+ 5.7, 1/2 mi.+,

Torment to Sahale enchainment
Northern Pickets Traverse VI-5.7, 6 mi.
Southern Pickets Traverse  VI-5.10+ 3 mi+ Complete 2nd ascent! 
Sawtooth Ridge Traverse, Olympics VI-5.8, 2 mi. with pictures: Here
The Needles (Olympics) , Needles 2

The Valhalla Traverse (Olympics)
Bonanza Traverse #1 Tri-summit, NE to SW
Bonanza Traverse #2
Bonanza Traverse #3 Soviet Route to W Peak
Washington Pass Traverse VI-5.10 2 mi.
Index Traverse my reportMarko and Colins Winter Ascent V-5.8, 1 1/2 mi.
Twin Sisters Range Traverse
Gunrunner Traverse IV-5.9, 1/2 mi.
Ptarmagin Traverse
Formidible Traverse
Pioneer/Mystery Traverse
Bears Breast Traverse

Teebone Ridge Traverse

Liberty Bell Traverse++

Liberty Traverse, my report

Jagged Ridge Traverse Hannegan to Shuksan

Complete Pickets Traverse!!! VII-510+ , 10+ mi.

Single Peak/Summit Ridge Traverses
N.W. Ridge, Mt Logan V-5.8, 1 mi.
Megaladon Ridge, Goode
Mongo Ridge, Mt Fury ,   Old Waynessite page   VI-5.10-, 1 mi.
East Face of Mox (not a traverse, but could be) … became one to summit of Lemlo!

Waddington Range Traverse

Mulvey Basin Traverse

Slesse Traverse attempt

Devils Thumb Traverse
Tantalus Traverse.

California                     Great Sierras Traverse page

Cathedral Peak Traverse
Evolution Traverse, California
Mathes Crest
The Minarets in California————-and another tr
The Palisades Traverse
Sawtooth Ridge Traverse
Ritter/Banner Traverse
The Kaweah Traverse

Bishop Pass to Piute Pass

Grand Teton Traverse     ———-Mt. Project Beta
Capitol/Snowmass Colorado
Mount Massive Colorado
(3 or 4 major summits; 11 total with minor summits; 3 miles long)
Pfiffner Traverse Colorado
Mohling Traverse Colorado
Cirque of the Towers Traverse

Cirque Traverse Steph A.
Mt. Wilson to El Diente traverse
Little Bear-Blanca
Crestone Traverse
Maroon Belles Traverse

“2nd to 3rd tier”
-The Northwest

North Ridge Forbidden
Ragged Ridge traverse
Isolation traverse
3 Fingers Traverse
Snowking Cheval traverse
Tatoosh Traverse
Bacon Hagan Blum traverse
Goode Stormking Logan traverse ……..2nd trip report
Three Sisters traverse (Oregon) Check out the super extended traverse in the right hand column!
Dakobed traverse      ..more beta   Hummel tr
Spearheads traverse ( Canada)
Ingalls Peak Traverse
Stuart Range Traverse
The Eureka (creek) traverse, Pasayten
Denny to Chair peak
Twin Sisters Traverse
Bears Breast Traverse
The Brothers Traverse (Olympics)

Mt. Garfield Traverse

-Big Traverses of the World  (1st tier)
Waddington Traverse
Cerro Torre Traverse, congrats to partner, Colin Haley
Paine Traverse
Fitzroy group         Swiss Group

 Mother of all Fitzroy Traverse -Caldwell/ Honnold 2014 effort

Bolivia: Ancohoma > Illampu
Illumani Traverse
Gasherbrum Traverse
Care Bear Traverse
Devils Thumb Traverse
Mazeno Ridge
Mazeno to summit of Nanga Parbat       Article from climbers

Many in Europe that I dont know about…
Morgenhorn-Blumlisaphorn Traverse
Meije, the Traverse of the Arêtes 

-Yet to be done:


Aoraki Grand Traverse
The Tooth Traverse
Local to NW
Verita Ridge Super-Traverse
Challenger 4 Summit traverse
Complete Pickets Traverse   ..2010 Attempt …2013 near completion
Chimney Rock Traverse,  tr of just Chimney Rock
Lemah Traverse

     Why Traverses?
Traverses have been around for a long time. It is hard to find quotes and history on what motivates other climbers to pursue them. Peter Croft and Lowell Skoog were my early inspirations.
Having been at the sport for a while , it is a great way for me to explore my capacity for climbing. It can get somewhat easy to climb just a single route.
It gives one the chance to stay on the summit longer as well.

There are easier traverses,to do, that most climbers have the capacity for.
Sold on the idea of traversing? Send me your trip report!
Tips: Be careful to bivy within easy escape if you can. Be familiar with  all escapes/descents, and beware of being up high in bad weather and thunderstorms. On traverses you are more vulnerable to storms, exposure ,wind, and altitude issues. Physical exertion and water intake needs to managed well. I am always melting snow in a large water bladder in warmer temps. Light gear is essential. Bail, if, and before the weather turns bad. Figure on camps based on best/worst case scenario. Figure out any shuttle issues too.
If you are successful with this sport, it should be very rewarding!
Good Luck


Great Winter/Cascades Page!

My personal traverses: Route, Date and(# of summits covered and # of miles along ridge-top)
The Oregon Cascade Grand Traverse Hood to Broken Top July-1982 (8 summits)
The Southern Pickets Traverse-FA 7-03 (14 summits, 4miles)
The Sawtooth Ridge Traverse  8-04 (20 summits, 2 Miles Long)
Ingalls Peaks Traverse 9-04 (3-4 summits Half Mile)
The Northern Pickets Traverse-FA 7-05 (9-10 summits, 7 miles)
The Stuart Range Traverse 7-05 (5 summits, 3miles)
Torment-Forbidden Traverse 8-08 (2-summits,1 and a half miles)
The 3 Fingers Traverse  5-09(3 summits ,Quarter Mile)
GunrunnerTraverse 7-17-09, (4 sum., 3/4 mile) IV-5.10, 2nd ascent
N.W. Ridge, Mt Logan-FA 10-2003 ( 1 summit, 1 mile)
Mongo Ridge, Mt Fury-FA 8-2006 (3 summits, 1 mile, plus W to E Furies traverse for descent)
Index Traverse 7-10, (3 summits, 1 mile)

Selesse near complete Traverse V-5.7 (5 summits, 2 miles)

Interesting discussion from 2 of my friends on the Washington Pass Traverse:

Alpinfox Offline
Tebow Believer

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 5215
TRs: 22 Photos: 320
Shit that’s a lot of climbing!Spectacular effort. However, I call bullshit on the VI rating. I don’t believe enchainments should be rated as the sum of the parts since the roman numeral grade is supposed to be about commitment, not just how long it takes to do the route. By my reckoning, this would be three Grade IV or V routes done consecutively.If you try to do 5 Grade III climbs in one day, you can bail off with a few raps anytime you want, so I don’t think that changes the roman numeral grade.Whatever. Blah blah blah.Nice work! Looking forward to the pics.
#493259 – 08/27/05 01:02 AM Re: [TR] F.A. “The Washington Pass Traverse”- Silv
layton Offline

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7089
TRs: 39 Photos: 802
Loc: Salt Lake City
I’m still awake and can’t sleep so I’ll respond to that. I agree if these were seperate climbs. But this is one long ridge and a complete route but for some reason they get different names. The whole thing should be just the silverstar massif.All the ridge traverses that are rated grade VI (like the picketse or sierras) need to be downgraded to a fuckload of grade I’s then.Anyway, two posts in and it’s the peanut gallery nitpicking. gimme a break.
#493260 – 08/27/05 01:04 AM Re: [TR] F.A. “The Washington Pass Traverse”- Silv
Alpinfox Offline
Tebow Believer

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 5215
TRs: 22 Photos: 320


All the ridge traverses that are rated grade VI (like the picketts or sierras) need to be downgraded to a fuckload of grade I’s then.


I just don’t think the roman numeral grading system is appropriate for traverses/enchainments. How about “XXXX vertical feet of 5th class climbing” and leaving it at that?


Anyway, two posts in and it’s the peanut gallery nitpicking. gimme a break.

Yup. Welcome to  


search words: “climbing” , “climbing traverses” ,” NW traverses”



  1. Michael A Preiss says

    yes if you can bail fairly easily on any part of a traverse then its only as committing as that


  1. […] Does anyone visit a blog? If they do, they full of text and fluffy, self-indulgent essays? Sometimes, yes. The rest of the time people visit blogs because they are searchable, last longer than an IG post, and have more actual content. I visit Colin Haley’s blog site all the time, to get inspired by his most recent adventures. I go back to reference Chris Mutzel’s posts on places like Chamonix. And I enjoy Wayne’s posts and especially his traverses list. […]

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