Glacier Peak/Scimitar Glacier
07/04/13 (Thu) - 07/07/13 (Sun)
10,541’, Suiattle Grade II Mountaineering Reference & Data • • • • Jurisdiction: Glacier Peak Wilderness / Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest • Ranger Station: Darrington Ranger Station / 360-436-1155 • Equipment: Standard glacier plus ice gear. • USGS Maps: Glacier Peak E, Glacier Peak W • Beckey: Cascade Alpine Guide II, 2nd Edition, pp 88-89. • Other ref: 100 Hikes in the Glacier Peak Region. • Reference 3: Mountaineers Library Intermediate Trip Reports. Time Elevation gain/loss Mileage • Seattle to TH 3 hrs 2,300’ 97 • TH to Camp 5-8 hrs +3,200’ ~8 • Camp to Summit 7-12 hrs +5,000’ • Summit to Camp 2-4 hrs -5,000’ • Camp to TH 4-5 hrs -3,200’ Approach • • • • • • • • • • • Drive I-5 N to exit 208. Exit to State 530 eastbound and drive 32 miles to Darrington. After signing out at the Darrington Ranger Station, take the Mountain Loop Highway (State 92) south 10.5 miles from the Sauk River bridge to to the White Chuck River Road (#23). Turn left and drive 10.5 miles to the parking area at road end, 2,300’. Hike the White Chuck River Trail to Kennedy Hot Springs. Continue ~2 miles to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Go left on the Crest Trail ~.5 miles to the climber’s path just before the trail crosses Sitkum Creek, 4,100’. Follow the path through boulders, across the creek, then steeply up a wooded ridge of Sitkum Creek. Camps are available in Boulder Basin, 5,600’, or higher near lower Sitkum Glacier at 6,900’. Climbing Route • • • • • Ascend ENE over Northwest (Sitkum) Ridge, to ~ 7,200’ - 7,400’, then traverse down onto the glacier. Be careful not to ascend beyond 7,400’, as steep cliffs will prevent you from getting onto the glacier this high. (Can also get onto the glacier at ~ 8,200’, but this will bypass a good part of the climb.) Begin the climb on the right side of the glacier, near the cliffs on the right. From here, the route continues upward on the right hand side. Encounter first steep gradient at 8,000’. Then begin to traverse leftwards diagonally across the glacier per route described in CAG II. The second steep gradient is at 9,000’. Exit off to the left. The last steep gradient is getting up and over an ice wall and onto the summit. Follow the ridge of the ice wall to the left where the beginning of the ascent is more gradual, however, be aware that crevasse problems may be hidden by a thin layer of snow in this area. Periodically you will encounter sections of the glacier that involve 45 - 50 degrees, plus possible front pointing on vertical angles. Descent • • • • • • • • • • • Descend via the Sitkum Glacier, basic route. Comments • • • • • • • • • Climb best in May or early June. The glacier can be extremely broken by late June, with significant rock fall. The glacier is very narrow in places, thus passage may not be feasible. There may be some ice climbing. Ice screws, pickets, and a second tool may be needed depending on conditions, which may vary greatly from section to section of the glacier. Makes a nice three day trip due to the long approach.
Priority for Tacoma branch until 6/24/13.
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