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Bailey Traverse Aug 22-28 2009
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The Olympic Mtns Bailey Range Traverse.. Sol Duc to North Fork Quinault, circumnavigating Mt Olympus north to south..
This is our GPS tracked route.. our distance covered was ~65 miles in 8 days..  
Total elevation gain according to my GPS was 24,486 ft


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Sol Duc trailhead.. looking fresh & clean.. & no blisters.. it wouldn't last..  My buddy Dave (left) talked me into this..  pack wt just over 50 lbs

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The above 'Begin Bailey' is about 9 miles in from the Sol Duc trailhead.. but the Bailey really begins at the Catwalk, a fairly exposed ridge of rock and goat trail.. hundreds of feet down on each side.. it's 13 miles in.  I took this photo while on Childs glacier looking back from where we had come

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Looking towards the southern portion of the Bailey Range.. after crossing the Catwalk

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A cramped camp at Heart Lake..
The next morn Dave & I turn left when everyone else turned right..


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Day 2 starts

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One last look at Heart Lake and Sol Duc Park... at one time planned to be a ski area.. I guess, a remote ski area

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Mt Olympus massif

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end of the trail.. time to climb straight up to find the way to the Catwalk

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Our first look at the Catwalk from high above.. after a 150 ft scramble straight up.. the first of many over the next 7 days..

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down climbing to the Catwalk

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The two goats that led us across the Catwalk

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Mt Olympus from the Catwalk

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There was bit of exposure on the Catwalk.. it took us about an hour to cross

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Knife-edge that is the Catwalk

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Boston Charlies, at the end of the Catwalk.. where we lunched with the goats

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up we go.. looking back down at the farside of the Catwalk

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West down the Hoh River valley
leaving the Catwalk behind


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Dave.. hike with a view

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South down the Bailey Range & up the Hoh River valley

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Gully crossings beneath Mt Carrie.. bottom line... they sucked.  There were about 6 bad ones..

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At least this gully had solid rock to hang onto.. 'don't slip, don't slip'.. oh and the 45 lb pack made them even more enjoyable

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11 Bulls basin beneath Carrie

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The treeless notch high on the ridge which holds the high camp we wanted to reach and would lead us to Stephen Pk & Stephen basin the next day.. way above the 'main trail' an elusive goat tred finally got us up there

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Last bit up to the notch.. then a short scramble up to the ridge

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Nite 2 camp on the ridge.. as the clouds rolled up the valley and over us...  No sunset tonite

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Day 3 begins magnificently at High camp.. Mt Olympus dominates across the Hoh valley

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Dave in camp

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Looking west down the Hoh River valley

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snow to melt even in a low snow yr..

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Passing thru the notch saddle to Stephen basin

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Stephen Pk & Crisler Lake

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The notch behind/above me on the ridge is the one we passed thru

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Our path up Stephen Pk to access the other side to attempt to gain the high south ridge in order to complete the Stephen Pk Cream Lake bypass

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Looking across Crisler Lake at Ruth Mtn

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Our scramble up to that notch

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From high on Stephen Pk

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Stephen Pk

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Heading up.. portions were 4 point scrambling up loose scree.. yeah

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Trying to find the way across to the ridge leading off Stephen Pk to the south.. too much exposed rock and not enough snow caused us to eventually abort our attempt and descend to Stephen basin for the night

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Those we had talked to who had successfully completed this portion had much more snow to traverse than us.. just too dry a spring.. resulting in too much vertical rock

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After aborting we had to get back down to Crisler Lake to camp.. Our way down after the first 4 gullys proved impassable.. that was a looong day

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Stephen Pk from our camp

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Finishing up chow after sundown..

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Day 4 begins.. Stephen Basin camp.. Mt Fairchild looms as the clouds began to thin out enough for us to get going at around noon.. had to be able to see the notch we needed to pass back thru

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A gloomy Stephen Pk.. our path up the day before was near the left side up the vertical scree field

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Finally beginning to clear.. time to pack up and head back out of this basin

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Our route up and out

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Backtracking up & out Stephen basin..  to high ridge camp..  Crisler Lk below..  We weren't sure we had enough time to make Cream Lake after our noon start.. so we spent a recoup 1/2 day up high..

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Another glorious morning up high.. Day 5 begins

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Mt Olympus summit 2010: Red circle is base camp on Blue Glacier...  yellow circle is the high ridge exactly where Dave & I camped on the Bailey.. and from where these camp pics were taken...

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Mt Olympus.. Mt Queets on left

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Dave burning the image into his brain..

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Mt Olympus.. Middle Pk, upper Blue glacier, Snow Dome, Five Fingers ridge and West Pk summit block..

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Packing up to headout.. One of us is all packed up

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The rock slide we descended from the ridge back to the main 'trail'

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The 'high Cream Lake' route..

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After descending from High Ridge camp

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Lunch on the bench above Cream Lake

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From Cream Lake (bottom right) where we had a near close encounter with a big black bear, we began our ascent up into Ferry basin..  left (east) of the three gullys

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Mt Mathias hides Mt Olympus.. Hoh Glacier on left.. Cream Lake below

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Ferry Basin to Mt Olympus

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Descending to....

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Cream Lake

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Up into Ferry Basin

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Mt Ferry left.. Mt Pulitzer back right

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Mt Ferry & Lake Billy Everett

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Spiritual Lake Billy Everett

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Higher we go

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Ferry Basin below us, we now ascend the rocks above tree line

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Mt Pulitzer.. aka Snagtooth

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Dawn on Day 6.. this would be my favorite day.. up on the ridge

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Camp beneath Pulitzer near the Ferry Pulitzer saddle.. a windy gusty nite ensued as a front passed

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Looking back at dawn.. Mt Carrie, Stephen Pk

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Wind break built during the nite in order to save my tent.. it gusted up to 50 mph I'd guess.. but the Milky Way was incredible

Sidenote.. the guyouts on my GG Squall were on the verge of failing that nite.. pulling away from the tent.  After contacting GG they refunded my money for the tent..  Great customer service (I now have a BA Copper Spur UL1)


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Cruising past the Lake beneath Pulitzer (which until recently was a glacier) up to the ridge

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First look at the glacier behind Pulitzer.. over which our route takes us

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Mt Childs in distance

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Looks kinda vertical from here

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Looking up the Hoh Glacier on Mt Olympus

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Dave climbing up.. at the rock outcropping we traversed across, then scrambled the rock to gain the upper aspect of the glacier then traversed it..

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On the upper aspect of the glacier behind Pulitzer.. Mt Scott in the background

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Mt Olympus:  Athena, Hoh glacier, East Middle West Pks; from the ridge just after climbing Pulitzer glacier

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This pano taken from atop Mt Olympus (2010) shows the Bailey.. and the location were the prev pic was taken

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Olympus Traverse in background

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Childs Glacier

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Pk 6078 on left & Mt Childs (6193')

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Kinda melted out and cravassed a bit

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Looking back at the northern portion of the Bailey from Childs glacier

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Scree that we became all to familiar with all along the upper traverse.. when we weren't on ice/snow

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Another snowfield to ascended

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Down 'sliding' to the snow

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Spires on Mt Childs backside

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checking our next move

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Mt Queets behind.. the snowfield leads us back up to the ridge

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up another snow field

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proof I am hydrating

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up the snow..  Childs spires on left

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Mt Olympus.. now from the southeast

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Bear Pass glacier where we will drop off the Bailey ridge and descend into Dodwell Rixon Pass

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Looking back..  Childs & Pulitzer peaking thru the saddle

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From the ridge looking east.. Mt Scott on left above Goldie River valley, Mt Dana, Mt Wilder, Mt Barnes

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Mt Olympus.. Humes Glacier on left
Athena's Owl looks like Athena's Bear


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Crampons where on and off all day.. here they are on Bear Pass glacier

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thoroughly enjoying the day

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Happy Dave knowing we are going to reach Dod/Rix Pass.. our goal this morning..

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Mt Olympus from Bear Pass Glacier

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Mt Barnes Mt Queets above upper Queets Basin

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Taking in Mt Queets & Queets basin

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Dropping down from Bear Pass.. saying good bye to the Bailey

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Our eventual passage is via that canyon.. which holds the Snofinger..  Mt Seattle in distant

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Mt Barnes Mt Christie Mt Seattle Mt Queets upper Queets Basin

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Queets Valley

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One last look at magnificent Olympus our constant companion for 5 days.. including the rare Jeffers Glacier (on left), named after the photographer  Joseph Jeffers who perished in one of its crevasses in 1924

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end of day 6

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Camp near Dod/Rix Pass morning of day 7

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water, rocks.. garden

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Ehh.. nothin' to the Snowfinger, right?

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Having passed thru Dod/Rix pass we now descend the Elwa Snowfinger.. the result of thousands of yrs of avalanche accumulation down into this tight valley

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Earlier in the yr or with a higher snow fall yr one can just walk all the way down the Snowfinger.. not so this trip

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The Snow Dome.. actually a glacier.. up and over we go.. littered with avy debrit.. branches, logs & rock exposed from the late season snow conditions, which we experienced all thru this trip

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Dave crossing what is left of the snow bridge to the lower section.. it probably didn't last many more warm days

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my turn.. no lingering

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After climbing up yet another scramble a few hundred ft to bypass the Elwa gorge we begin to descend back down to the Elwa.. this cascading waterfall must have been 1000 ft high

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Noyes Basin.. between Mt Seattle & Mt Noyes.. getting ever closer to the real trail

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Happy Hollow camp shelter.. sleep on the shelves.. we are back on actual trail.. just 20 miles to go lol..

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Funki fungi

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Foot care was an evening and morning ritual

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Low Divide camp.. one day left

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Day 8 underway..

Next stop North Fork Quinault trailhead.. 16 miles 8 hrs.. pounded my feet


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Bailey Traverse accomplished!!  Now for the Eel River Organic Amber!

pack wt 33 lbs.. including about a liter of water and 3 rocks and a small piece of petrified wood I packed out for my boys.. yes I packed out some rocks


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Elevation profiles

Day 1 Sol Duc Trailhead to Heart Lake


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Day 2 Catwalk, 11 Bulls basin gullies, High Ridge Camp

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Day 3 Stephen Pk day

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Day 4 Stephen Basin back to High Ridge camp.. 1/2 day

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Day 5 Cream Lk, Ferry Basin, Mt Pulitzer

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Day 6 Glacier Day.. Pulitzer, Childs & Bear Pass to Dodwell Rixon Pass

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Day 7 Elwa Snowfinger to Low Divide

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Day 8 North Fork Quinault Trail

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end of Day 1 to Heart Lake & Day 2 including Catwalk, 11 Bulls Basin & gullies beneath Mt Carrie and up to High Ridge Camp

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Days 3 (grn) & 4 (red) GPS routes High Ridge Camp, Stephen Pk & Stephen Basin camp

Sidenote.. We attempted to do a high Stephen Pk traverse.. trying to gain the ridge above Ferry Basin.. but on such a low snow yr we could not navigate over the rock  barrier separating us from the snow field that leads to the high ridge ..  We encountered vertical rock and moats and with no pro decided to abort after hrs scrambling around on the flank of Stephen..  Oh well that let us enjoy a second nite up on the high camp across from Olympus and thankfully we got to trek thru Ferry Basin bottom to top..


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Day 5 High Ridge camp thru Ferry Basin to camp beneath Mt Pulitzer

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Day 6.. Ridge & glacier Day

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Day 7 Elwa Snowfinger down to Chicago camp up to Low Divide Camp

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Day 8 North Fork Quinault trail..  16.3 miles in 8 hrs

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Herb Crisler with his 74 lb pack complete with homing pigeon cage.. at the start of his 30 day Bailey/Olympus survival trek in 1930

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