Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Tamanos-Banshee Traverse

An extremely interesting (and strenuous) traverse with an intense variety of terrain, plant life, and geology: the hidden valley on the northern aspect of Tamanos, the unique conditions below the stagnant Sarvant Glacier, the brilliant colors around the Cowlitz Chimney peaks, and the expansive meadows west of Banshee (with Summerland as a bonus).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Although intimidating from the summit of Tamanos, the stagnant Sarvant Glacier provided straight forward egress to the col east of Banshee with no moat problems. Crampons were required for a short section of low angle water ice, which included free flowing streams on the surface of the glacier.  Photos showing the current glacial conditions can be seen here.

A gorgeous, interesting, and strenuous traverse for fit parties who are prepared for a wide variety of terrain.  A convenient storm system the preceding day gave us greatly appreciated cool temperatures.  Important route details are to descend meadows on the east side of the north/south trending Tamanos ridge (near the normal descent route for Tamanos), then traverse SW at ~5,800 feet through meadows to reach the 6,000 foot col affording passage to the Wright Creek/Sarvant Glacier valley.  A photo of this traverse can be seen here.  After staging a car at the Summerland trailhead (the exit for our traverse), we left the Owyhigh Lakes trailhead just before 7AM, reached the summit of Tamanos at 10AM, the base of the Sarvant Glacier at 1PM, and the summit of Banshee at 3PM, before returning to our cars on the Wonderland Trail, for a total trip time just under 12 hours.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.