Fortress-Chiwawa Speed Traverse

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I traversed Fortress Mountain and Chiwawa Mountain in 9:16 roundtrip from the Buck Creek Trailhead at Trinity. Both peaks are located on the cascade crest within the Glacier Peak Wilderness. They are situated perfectly to provide views of the heavily glaciated Dakobed Range and Glacier Peak, which is the most remote major volcano in the Cascade Range. Complete trip report and photos HERE.

The traverse over Fortress Mountain and Chiwawa Mountain

The traverse over Fortress Mountain and Chiwawa Mountain

The route was very aesthetic forming a large 25+ mile loop with no ground repeated except the final 1.5 miles. The first 9 miles and the last 9 miles were on trails while the middle climbing portion traversed Fortress and Chiwawa on rugged terrain from west to east. There were some routefinding uncertainties, particularly on the descents off the SE sides of each peak which were more technical and had less route information, but the traverse went without any backtracking.

Dakobed Range with Mount Rainier in the background from the summit of Fortress Mountain

Dakobed Range with Mount Rainier in the background from the summit of Fortress Mountain

The clarity on this day was amazing due to recent heavy rains and snow at higher elevations. In some places I found several inches of fresh powder on top of rock hard snow patches – very rare conditions for August.

Glacier Peak from the summit of Fortress Mountain

Glacier Peak from the summit of Fortress Mountain

This adventure run had a little bit of everything – mountain trails for running, steep snow slopes, exposed rock scrambling (fourth class), and magnificent views.

View north along the Cascade Crest

View north along the Cascade Crest

Complete trip report and more photos HERE.

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One Response to “Fortress-Chiwawa Speed Traverse”

  1. Buzz Says:

    Jeez, I feel like a couch-potato compared with Leor! And notice the snow in those photos … it doesn’t look like that in the Rockies. In fact, I just got back from the Sawtooths (Idaho), and like the Sierras and Winds earlier this year, the view was greatly obscured by smoke from a forest fire. You could smell it in Ketchum (and Bishop and Pinedale before that). Cascades still have a blue sky!

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