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Steve Barnett - Personal Communication
Phone conversation, 5 January 2001During our conversation I first verified information I'd gathered from Steve in a previous conversation around 1990:
by Lowell Skoog
1977, May: Attempted Ptarmigan Traverse with Bill Nicolai. They turned back at Mixup Arm due to avalanche danger. 1976-77 was a poor snow year. They attempted the trip after a series of spring storms. In a later conversation, Steve said it was Nicolai who first conceived the idea of skiing the Ptarmigan Traverse.
1978, June: Attempted Ptarmigan Traverse with Dave Kahn and Mark Hutson. They got stuck in bad weather near the South Cascade Glacier. Steve recalls that he could tell it was clear about 1000 feet higher, but it was of no use to them. They bailed out over an obscure route that required some rope work and then spent a day or so at the glacier survey station before continuing out the South Cascade River trail in the rain.
Then I asked for more detail about his successful traverse:
1982, June: Barnett completed the traverse in 6 or 7 days with Spencer Stoddard and Harry Hendon. He didn't remember seeing any tracks on it, but during the conversation we concluded he must have done the trip shortly after my own early June traverse. He didn't remember well where he camped (he found it hard to separate this trip from the others in his memory). They had good weather and they made a ski ascent of Dome Peak near the end of the trip. Steve thought they might have climbed the Chickamin Glacier, but after we discussed it (he didn't have a map on hand during our conversation) we felt they probably crossed the Dana-Dome col and ascended via the Dome Glacier. They experienced slow, pollen-covered snow on their trip, something that my party did not experience earlier in the month. They exited via Cub Lake, Bachelor Creek and Downey Creek.
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