Our flightseeing tour took us over Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, the Pickets, Cascade Pass and part of the Ptarmigan Traverse. It was an awesome experience to see so many remote peaks by plane in such a short time. The following photo essay details some of the trip's visual highlights!
Note that the pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.
Due to the warm summer, this glacier is far more broken than normal.
Many parties are finding that they must belay across numerous crevasses.
Any ascent of this route this late in the season will require ice climbing skills.
The peak in the center of the picture is the South Twin and the peak on the right is the North Twin. In 1995 I made the first recorded winter ascent of the Northwest Face of the South Twin.
It's hard to see in this photo, but during the flight we were able to spot a few ski tracks on the Sulphide.
Mount Challenger is arguably the most easily accessible peak in the Pickets.
However, it still takes most parties four to five days to climb.
Note the ice patch just left of center. This is where the ice climbing on the Northwest Face/North Ridge of Forbidden Peak may be found. AAI Guide Mike Pond recently found five pitches of steep ice on this feature.
The Inspiration Glacier along with the McAllister and the Klawatti Glaciers make up one of the largest non-volcanic glacier systems in the state.
Mount Torment is the peak on the left end of the ridge.
The respected climbing guide and writer, Craig Luebben was killed in an icefall accident
on Mount Torment earlier this summer.
If you look carefully, it's possible to see the Forbidden Glacier and the North Ridge of Forbidden in the background.
It is clear that there is not much snow left in the Cascades. We did get a dusting late last week and you can see the remnants of that in some of these pictures. The glaciers don't look as dirty or as gray as they did prior to the snowfall...but other than that, this is one of the driest times of the year. As such, it is really interesting to look at an array of peaks throughout the range...!
--Jason D. Martin