Monday, January 3, 2011

Help Clear the Way to the Ptarmigan Traverse!

Hikers and climbers who complete the North Cascades’ Ptarmigan Traverse return home with memories of alpine meadows, colossal glaciers, rugged peaks, and a treacherous slog through the Bachelor Creek trail, the southern approach route from Downey Creek and the Suiattle River Road. If you have ever traveled the Ptarmigan Traverse, or if the route is on your bucket list, your support is needed to add the abandoned Bachelor Creek trail to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Trail System so that the trail can receive well-overdue maintenance.

The Bachelor Creek trail was originally constructed in the 1930’s for response to a wildfire. Although the primitive trail was dropped from Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest’s official inventory after 1990, Bachelor Creek remained an important route for those accessing the Ptarmigan Traverse as well as anglers hiking to alpine lakes in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Slide alder and downed trees mangle the route, but until the trail is officially added back to the National Forest’s trail inventory, the Bachelor Creek trail cannot legally receive attention by eager volunteer trail crews.

The Mountaineers encourages hikers and climbers to submit comments in support of designating the Bachelor Creek trail as a Class 1 Wilderness Trail. Comments in support of the trail will be considered until January 30th, 2011, during the public comment period for the Suiattle Access and Travel Management Plan. Comments may be directed to Peter Forbes, Darrington District Ranger of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, at Use the template below or write your own original letter. With your help, we can reclaim the Bachelor Creek trail and make the entire Ptarmigan Traverse something to look forward to!

Template Letter

Peter Forbes

Darrington District Ranger

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

1405 Emens Street

Darrington, WA 98241-9502

Dear Peter,

I am writing in response to the Suiattle Access and Travel Management Plan. Please consider adding the Bachelor Creek Trail to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Trail System as a Class 1 Wilderness trail. The Bachelor Creek Trail is a critical link from the Downey Creek Trail and the Suiattle River Road to the Ptarmigan Traverse, a nationally-recognized crown jewel of the North Cascades.

The Bachelor Creek Trail is notoriously overgrown but still remains a vital access route to the Glacier Peak Wilderness and the Ptarmigan Traverse. Please add the Bachelor Creek Trail back into the National Forest Trail System with a Class 1 Wilderness Designation so that the trail can be legally cleared of downed logs and overgrown brush.

Thank you,