The Isolation Traverse

WA Cascades NW (Mt Baker)
Posted by Kyle M on 6/1/20 7:44pm

Anthony, Nick, Will, and I completed the Isolation Traverse in 17 hours from the Eldorado Trailhead to Pyramid Lake Trailhead. We had great conditions - firm until about 9 am, then nice corn the rest of the day - that allowed fast and safe travel on all aspects throughout the day, which is a necessity with an objective like this. The crossing of Backbone Ridge required a little steep snow across a bergschrund up to the rappel, and this might become problematic in coming weeks. For the Eldorado river crossing, look a ways downstream of the normal crossing. We lost at least 30 minutes wandering in the dark here. Otherwise, route finding is quite easy. The skiing and scenery were equally fantastic. This is definitely my favorite ski traverse to date!

The stats were about 27 miles and 14-15k ft gain. We lost about 30 minutes on the river crossing, at least 30 minutes on failed summit attempts of Isolation Peak and Snowfield Peak, and had a splitboarder with us (you know what problems that can cause). So it could easily go in 15 hours or less for a group that has their stuff together and doesn't get distracted by peak bagging or rivers.

Inspiration Glacier


Crossing the Inspiration Glacier.

McAlister Glacier


Skiing down the McAlister Glacier.

Backbone Ridge


Epic views along Backbone Ridge.

Ice Elation Couloir


Wonderful turns on the Ice Elation Couloir.



What a great team!

Snowfield Peak


Steeper turns off Snowfield Peak.

Getting me psyched to break out the skinny skis, strong work!

2020-06-02 03:02:49

Amazing feat, and truly inspiring. Appreciate having this TR here for the future as a potential bucket list item.

Beautiful pix!

2020-06-02 03:10:24

Impressive!  On my list.

2020-06-03 05:34:05

Wow that’s a big Day trip!

2020-06-04 06:04:44

Reply to this TR

Kyle M
2020-06-02 02:44:37