The Mt. Challenger Expedition, North CascadesSummer 2001 (?)
This was our first multi-day excursion, and a totally epic journey that is up there with Glacier Peak.
We attempted this one really early in our climbing careers. There were some mistakes made, including me forgetting my sunglasses in the car.
The trip was 5 days, as I recall. Challenger is the northernmost of the Pickets, deep into the remote and rugged North Cascades.
We made it as far as "Perfect Pass" (also called Pain-in-the-Ass Pass), which is shown in the last photo here.
It was at the base of Challenger itself, which was as far as we had the time, experience, and equipment to handle at the time.
The only two photos we have to remember this one by were captured by Kevin. That's great! I'll take 'em!
This was an unforgettable time in the North Cascades with my newly found climbing team.
The climbing team, before we had any idea of the many peaks that we would climb together in the following years!
Perfect Pass. Just as I remember it.
That's Whatcom Peak on the left, and the taller Challenger Peak on the right, above the Challenger Glacier.
The route was supposedly as follows:
1) Down into the 'pass',
2) Back up the other side of the 'pass',
3) Over that spur of Whatcom Peak,
4) Up the right side of the Challenger Glacier (which was criss-crossed with crevasses),
5) Along the summit ridge to the third and furthest of those rock spires,
6) Then a technical rock climb up to the summit.
7) ...and back again.
Yeah... we weren't ready for that. Oh, but the view and the journey...
I'm so glad that we tried and that we got as far as we did.