The Isolation Traverse takes you through the mountain wilderness north of Eldorado. From the high peaks of the Colonial-Snowfield group to the glacial expanses of the McAllister and Inspiration glaciers, this trip is a true North Cascades adventure. We will cross high cols, summit lonely peaks, and cross big glaciers. It's a natural and compelling route that offers some great skiing and an unforgettable adventure.
We meet early at the Marblemount ranger station for a gear check and a car shuttle. Then it's off to Eldorado Creek, where we begin our climb into the high country. We ski north, crossing the Roush Creek drainage on our way to a camp on the East Ridge of Eldorado.
This day brings us into country rarely visited by skiers. We cross the Inspiration and MCAllister glaciers and ski a third, nameless glacier to a camp near the enigmatic Backbone Ridge; A truly wild setting in the heart of the North Cascades.
An intricate route takes us north, down the elusive "Ice-Elation" couloir, and over the top of Isolation Peak. This is a big day, so eat your Wheaties! We aim to make camp at the top of the truly unique Neve Glacier.
If you've ever driven the North Cascades highway, then you may have gazed up at Colonial and Pyramid peaks from near Diablo Lake or Thunder Arm. On our final day, we ski down between these grand peaks in what is truly a grand exit. A classic Cascadian climber's trail leads down from tree line to Pyramid Lake and the highway shortly beyond.
Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental.
Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.
The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.
BASE LAYERo 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweighto 1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweighto Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pairo Ski Socks - 2 pairMID LAYERo Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessaryo Schoeller™ type pants - soft shellOUTERWEARo Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacketo Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pantso Softshell Ski Touring Pantso Warm Hat - should cover earso Sun Hat - baseball type or visoro Lightweight Gloveso Ski GlovesINSULATIONo Down or Synthetic Jacket PERSONAL GEARo Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimumo Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 15º F to 20º F minimumo Compression Sack - for sleeping bag o Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflatingo Headlamp - lightweight LED recommendedo Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide moutho Bowl or Cupo Utensilso Small Knifeo Sunglasses - adequate for snow travelo Goggleso Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproofo Lip Balm - SPF 15+o Lightero Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, etc.o Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. SKI GEARo Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemarko Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill bootso Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not requiredo Climbing Skinso Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!o Ski Brakes SAFETY GEARo Transceiver - single frequency, 457 kHz onlyo Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferredo Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice TECHNICAL GEARo Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweighto Boot Crampons – Aluminum is recommended for this tripo Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)o 2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) reg. lockero 3 Non-locking Biners - any style, we recommend wire gates o 1 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untiedo 1 Sewn Sling - nylon or spectra, double-length OPTIONAL ITEMS o Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!o Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleepo Camp Bootieso Thermos - vacuum typeo Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-rain brand waterproof notebook workso Compass - adjustable declination a musto Altimeter - Suunto watch works wello Map Case - large zip-loc will sufficeo Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangleso Collapsible Water Canteen - good for storing snowmelt at campo Warm Socks - to sleep ino Lightweight Bivy/Tarp - handy with a floorless tento Foot Powder GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.o Tentso Stoveso Fuelo Cooking Potso Ropeo Technical Group Gear, VHF radio or SAT phoneo Group 1st Aid Kit