Colin Abercrombie and I climbed Mount Fury in 25 hours roundtrip from the Big Beaver Landing at Ross Lake on August 5th. Mount Fury is located in the Picket Range, an extremely rugged subrange within the Cascade Mountains, and entirely within North Cascades National Park. While the elevation of the primary summits is modest (8,000 ft to 8,300 ft), the relief is spectacular with deeply carved cirques and giant rock faces. Fury is situated in the heart of the Picket Range right at the divide between the two major cirques that form the Northern and Southern Pickets.
Fury is guarded by a long, arduous approach that begins with 11 miles of trail (the easy part) and then a classic cascades bushwhack complete with slide alder, devils club, and salmonberry. Once above the brush, there is loose talus, slippery heather, and steep snow slopes. After all of this, we were only at the start of the route!
The route itself begins with highly enjoyable scrambling atop a mile-long ridge that divides Luna and McMillan Cirques. The views here are tremendous. We then descended off the ridge and rounded a buttress to access the Southeast Glacier of Fury. Due to the high snowfall this past winter, the glacier was in great shape.
We had originally hoped to do the climb in 20 hours roundtrip, which seemed reasonable judging by the elevation gain and mileage output from mapping software. However, the map does not tell even part of the story. Every mile in the Pickets is rough and physically taxing whether it be on the ascent or descent. Colin and myself joke that the Pickets first try and keep you out and then try and keep you from leaving. There is definitely a price to be paid for climbing Mount Fury, but I thought it was totally worth it!
Read the complete trip report and photos here.