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Unicorn Peak to Pinnacle Peak traverse & ski


Original Post
Paul L · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 205

Has anyone done this traverse in full snow conditions?  I have found a few very short trip reports that seem to indicate it can be done, but nothing very detailed.  I have found one report of a ski tour from The Castle to Pinnacle, but not starting at Unicorn. http://www.alpinedave.com/castle_pinnacle/castle_pinnacle.htm

My thought would be to get an early start on a weekday, most likely parking at Narada Falls lot and ski the road to Snow Lake and the approach to Unicorn.  (If the lot at Reflection Lake is open that would be a better starting point for sure.)  Summit Unicorn via the standard route, ski off back toward Snow Lake but then cut towards the unnamed peak between Unicorn and The Castle.  Ascend to the ridge and traverse to The Castle, summit and rap, and then continue to Pinnacle before skiing off and skinning out to the car.  Depending on how long the approach took and how fit we were feeling it seems possible to descend pretty far off Unicorn before heading back up to do the traverse just to add some extra turns.  

I'm thinking of attempting this in the next couple of weeks, snow, weather and avalanche conditions allowing.  

I am not familiar with the terrain of the Tatoosh and I'm curious about bail options midway if weather or other conditions become a factor.  Is it possible to safely descend via ski or foot between the standard approach routes for each peak, or would it require a full retreat back the way you came or full commitment to make the next peak and known descent route?  I've also seen some reference that you can't access the road until well into the morning, is this true?  I would think for the full traverse to make sense I would want to start as close to dawn as possible.  

Any other info on the route or opinions of this are appreciated

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest
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