Route: Inspiration Traverse (WA)

Submitted by Jason Hardrath… on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 01:22pm
Washington, US
21 mi
Vertical Gain
14,062 ft

There are different interpretations of the famed "Inspiration Traverse" (depending of if you are climbing or ski'ing) but upon reading multiple reports, for a car-to-car FKT style effort, the following is the most classic, desirable climber's line:

Start from the Eldorado Trailhead and climb the 5 largest peaks of the traverse - Eldorado Peak (8,868')Dorado Needle (8440'), Klawatti Peak (8485'), Austera Peak (8334'), and Primus Peak (8508') - before returning to the car.  (an argument can be made for the point-to-point variation that exits out Thunder Creek, but the usual style for FKTs, especially considering the long car shuttle on this, is to do the car-to-car variations) the order the peaks are climbed is up to the FKT attempter.

This is not a casual trail run. This route route has extensive crevassed glacier travel, steep snow, mid-5th class rock climbing, route finding, and exposed-high-risk terrain. Extensive experience with this skills is highly recommended before attempting. Planning for glacier conditions, weather, and day of the week (to avoid other parties) is a part of the logistics on this FKT. Be sure to read the route descriptions for the 4th/5th class terrain on Dorado, Klawatti, and Austera. You must tag the top of the true summit of each peak for this FKT to count...which on Dorado Needle includes a two move boulder problem that some describe as going at 5.7-5.9yds. Rope is recommended for the glacier travel and climbing.

For those with the experience, fitness, and proper tools, this is perhaps one of the most beautiful and quintessential car-to-car traverse experiences in the state.


Further Research:


Submitted by Jason Hardrath (FKTs)