Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver


Basic Alpine Climb - Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

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  • Thu, Jul 3, 2014 — Sun, Jul 6, 2014
  • Tacoma Branch Climbing Program
  • Climbing
  • Basic Alpine
  • Adults
  • Basic Glacier Climb
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 33.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 8,200 ft

Trail head, 8am

Approach:Take the Mountain Loop Highway from either Darrington or Granite Falls to Forest Service Road 49, about 7 miles south of Barlow Pass. Travel 6.5 miles on this road until reaching Sloan Creek Campground (Pit toilet available). The elevation here is about 2100'.


From Sloan Creek Campground, follow Trail 649 along the North Fork Sauk River. After 5.5 miles, reach the Mackinaw Shelter. Camping is possible here, but not recommended for a 3 day climb. Continue on trail 649, which soon begins switch backing for about 2500 feet gain. Some water may be available here from snowmelt in numerous spots. Continue on the trail which does a rising traverse to White Pass, intersecting the PCT just prior to the pass. Early season you may need to break your own trail here.


At White Pass look for the Foam Creek trail and follow it as it does an ascending traverse under White Mountain to below the eastern-most col along the ridge above you on climber's left. Leave the trail and head up to the col at about 6600'.


At the col you will get your first views of Glacier Peak. Head down the slope about 400 feet traversing to the right. Continue onto low angle terrain up to the edge of the White Chuck Glacier at about 6700'. Numerous campsites are available here on flat snow and among rock islands. Look for possible nearby water sources.


Climbing RouteTraverse northward across the White Chuck Glacier for some time on low-angled terrain. If you camped on climber's right of the glacier, you are likely to ascent just above glacial lakes on your left. You can either follow low angle terrain that arcs slowly to the right, or you can find steeper snow/rock bands (loose, class 2) that will get you to a col adjoining the edge of the Suiattle Glacier (7300'). From here descend about 100 feet or so to flat ground and cross it to the nose of the Disappointment Cleaver. When melted out there is an obvious climber's trail on the right side of the cleaver. Ascend it until you get close to where it steepens, and drop to the snow (about 8600'). Make a rising traverse on the glacier to the right under Disappointment Peak, avoiding obvious rock fall in this area, then arc up and left to steepening snow slopes to the col adjoining the Cool Glacier at 9100 feet. Ascend the Cool Glacier to the 9600' col above Disappointment Peak. Continue NNW on snow or pumice slopes up and left until an obvious, moderate slope that leads N straight up to the summit ridge (final 200-300 feet).



Leg of TripElevationDistanceTime
Seattle to TH 2.5h TH to Camp +5000',-400' 10.5mi 7-10h Camp to Summit: +3800' 6.5mi 5-7h Summit to Camp -3800' 6.5mi 4-5h Camp to TH +400',-5000' 10.5mi 6-7h

Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

  • USGS Glacier Peak West

    USGS Glacier Peak East

    USGS Sloan Peak

    Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX

    Green Trails Glacier Peak No. 112

    Trails Illustrated Glacier Peak Wilderness
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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