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20140707 TFT Alan R 1024px 4

Alan’s Torment Forbidden Traverse Report

A cou­ple years back I met Gor­don and Thi­a­go in a 6 day glac­i­er moun­taineer­ing course on Mount Shuk­san. They were both intrigued by climb­ing in tech­ni­cal ter­rain and picked it up quick­ly. For this sum­mer the lofty goal of climb­ing the Tor­ment For­bid­den was decid­ed upon. 

Psy­ched to climb the Tor­ment-For­bid­den Traverse!

We took off on July 7 (my 28th birth­day) for four days in Boston Basin. Our first day was spent bat­tling some rare Cas­ca­di­an heat, as we climbed up through forests and open slopes to our home for the first night below the taboo glac­i­er. The next morn­ing we rose with the sun and took off for Tor­ment and beyond. After ascend­ing thru 1000’ of 4th and 5th class ter­rain we were on top of Tor­ment. And man does the tra­verse look intim­i­dat­ing from there. For­tu­nate­ly these two Cana­di­an gents are quite opti­mistic! It was like: Is that for­bid­den out there? Wow, let’s go get it.” After Tor­ment the steep snow tra­vers­es com­mence — which both guys found to be more men­tal­ly chal­leng­ing than the rock por­tions. So, all you aspir­ing Tor­ment-For­bid­den climbers be forewarned! 

Steep snow.

Climb­ing the ice face.

For­tu­nate­ly, a cou­ple of beau­ti­ful bivy spots pre­sent­ed them­selves as we ran out of steam a bit past the ice face. It was a great night except I picked up 4G cell ser­vice just long enough to find out Thi­ago’s home­land (Brazil) had been mas­sa­cred by Ger­many in the World Cup. I had to show him my phone because he thought I was mess­ing with him. For those of you who don’t know they lost 1 – 7, a pos­si­ble record for worst beat­ing in a World Cup match. The rest of the climb he would say I’m hurt­ing, but not as bad as the Brazil­ian team.”

Well-timed and scenic bivouac site.

The fol­low­ing day we con­tin­ued on our mis­sion to the base of For­bid­den’s west ridge. Once we arrived in the notch all the overnight gear came out of our packs, and we ascend­ed and descend­ed the mega clas­sic west ridge with light packs in the heat of the after­noon. That evening we all relaxed and enjoyed our dra­mat­ic posi­tion know­ing we had com­plet­ed the tra­verse and just had to descend the snow couloir the fol­low­ing morning.

Rockin’ the west ridge.

It was a great few days tra­vers­ing an incred­i­bly aes­thet­ic ridge in the heart of the North Cas­cades. Thanks fel­las, and I look for­ward to future adven­tures together.

~MM Guide Alan Rousseau