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The Cat's "Meow": Manson Ridge Traverse over Mt Outram
Timestamp Free: 2018.03.20 - 21:17:34
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
Participants: Justin Brown and Nancy Mickelson
Difficulty: 3: Aesthetic ridge rambling with sections of steep, sometimes loose scrambling; some routefinding.
A tale of adventure, beautiful vistas, and a surprise ending. A description of a partial traverse of Manson Ridge starting from the Hope Slide and finishing out the Mount Outram Trail.
It's amazing how a single moment's decision can affect one's life. What started out as a quick pee break at the Hope Slide parking lot, eventually developed into an incredible journey that I'll never forget.
Back in early May, I was returning home along Highway 3 from an overnight solo trip in Manning Park. Passing by Sunshine Valley, I could feel my bladder reaching maximum capacity and decided I would have to duck into the Hope Slide parking lot for a break. This is a place that I hadn't actually stopped at since I was a kid on holidays with the family. I have probably driven past it a hundred times since then but always in anticipation of going somewhere more interesting.
After doing my thing, I sat in my car for a while and gazed at the slide for the first time through the eyes of a grown mountaineer. There appeared to be a bouldery ramp system that looked to offer a decent scramble route toward the top. "What would it would be like to climb up the Hope Slide?" I wondered. I continued home with this on my mind.
A week later I ascended the slide with a friend from work and was quite thrilled with the whole experience. Once we had gained the summit of Johnson Peak, I could see an appealing connecting ridge system zig zagging along Johnson Peak and on to Mounts Manson and then Outram. "What a fun way to go climb Mount Outram", I thought. This was the southeastern portion of Manson Ridge and terrain that I was definitely interested in returning to soon.
So, a few months later, Nancy and I found ourselves having five days off together, two of which we were to be in Manning Park photographing a wedding for some friends of ours. With three days off after the wedding, this would be the time to go explore that interesting looking...
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