The Broken Top Traverse is a great way to experience backcountry skiing in the Three Sisters Wilderness. It's best done in the spring (late May through June) when the roads are open to Three Creeks Lake and Cascade Lakes Highway. The Traverse requires a car shuttle, since it's usually done as a one-way trip.
The traverse can be done from either the Pole Creek Trailhead or Three Creek Lake Campground; this adventure features the route leading from the Three Creek Campground to the Fall Creek Trail (Green Lakes) Trailhead to the south.
Begin the trip by gaining Tam McArhur Rim and following the rim west and then southwest until it connects with Broken Top. From here, go west of Broken Top and descend the prominent ridge that drops down into Green Lakes. The potential of running water and access to great skiing makes Green Lakes an excellent choice to overnight. Running water isn't a guarantee along the traverse, so be sure to bring plenty of fuel for melting snow.
The trip could be done in a day, but plan on two to three days to truly enjoy the experience. Also, the trip is generally done north to south to maximize the descent.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.