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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Logan/Banded Glacier

Attempted the Banded Glacier route of Mt Logan. Very strenuous and long climb with a variety of terrain. This area is exceptionally beautiful!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Route conditions are perfect.  TH to easy pass has about 60% snow cover.  Make sure to stay on trail and/or stay hikers left to end up on the snowfield, otherwise could end up in alder.  Lots of water flowing in the streams may have to wade in a few places.  Route down from easy pass to Fisher Creek trail is snow free.  From TH to the creek where you ascend to the lake (5200ft) is about 10.5 miles. We did not camp up at the lake as indicated in other TRs and glad we didn't the lake is much larger than the reports have said and we were unable to pass around the lake on the left side.  Do not climb up on the right side of the creek. No way to get around the lake.  Maybe in a month but not currently. We had to ascend the ridge to the left and follow it up until where the stream was still snow covered.  Then very easy climbing on the snowfield up to Christmas Col. 

We left Seattle at 6:30, stopped at the ranger station in Marblemount at 8;15 to obtain permits. Arrived at TH around 9:30.  Started hiking at 10:15.  We followed a nice trail up to where the snow started and then unfortunately lost the trail pretty easily due to the snow and ended up crossing through some alder back to the trail.  Nice snow field all the way up to easy pass.  Once up at pass stay farther to your right where the snow ends and you will find trail down to Fisher creek. Nice easy switchbacks down to the creek completely snow free.   Once on Fisher creek trail you will pass through Fisher camp and Cosho camp, which are not marked correctly on the map.  About another 2 miles after Cosho camp you will come to a large stream with two newer looking log bridges, one right after the other.   This is the stream you will need to follow up to the lake, which is about 1500 feet up from the bridge.  We arrived here around 5:15 and decided not to go up to the lake to camp.  

The next day we started climbing at 5am. We climbed on the left side of the stream and ended up running into some rock cliffs and class 4 climbing.  Highly recommend you to follow the trail back towards easy pass. On the trail (200 feet from the bridge) you will see an area with a lot of light colored rocks,  just after  the rocks I would head straight up from there. Very steep sections but no rock cliffs.  Climbing to the lake was much more strenuous than I had expected.  We arrived  at the lake at 7:30.  Once at the lake we were unable to skirt around on the left side because everything was flooded. We ended up climbing up the ridge on the left and following it until we saw snow covering the stream.  Climb down and went across the stream.  Found a nice rock to take a break, put our crampons on and then headed up the snowfield all the way to Christmas Col.  You will not see Christmas col until you are right on it.  Follow up the snowfield to an obvious notch. You can cross over here but the "Christmas Col" notch to the left is easier to down climb from.   Once over the notch you will need to down climb about 500 feet towards the banded glacier lake. This is about a  60 degree scree slope with lots and lots of loose rock.  I would not want to go down or up this slope with a large group of people.  

We went down the scree field about half way and at this time it was about 12:15.  We still had to go down a couple hundred feet and then up 2000 feet more to the summit.  We could see the route up and it looked steep from our view point but very doable.  However, we decided to turn around at this point.  We were moving much slower than we should have been and decided that it would take us too long to reach the summit and get back down to camp before dark.  We sat there another half hour admiring the gorgeous views  of the banded glacier and Mt Logan.  Most of the day was cloud covered until about noon so it was so nice to have clear views finally.  At 1:00pm we headed back up to Christmas col  and through the notch.   After crossing the stream we took the ridge again around the lake and followed straight down to Fisher Creek trail.  This is where we discovered to start farther climbers left from the log bridge.  The terrain was steep in some areas but no cliffs to down climb. We got back to camp just around 6pm. 

Next day left camp at 8am and made it back to the car around 3pm.  Overall we traveled about 25 miles and 10,000 feet of elevation gain.