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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Sloan Peak/Corkscrew Route

Great climb with sun, clouds, river fords, steep forest, crevasses and a super fun scramble!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Based on some great beta from Stephen Sugiyama, we took the Sauk approach. The first river ford was mid to upper thigh, the second we forded as well but you can cross on logs. The trail is in good condition although it gets a little jungle-y up higher. There are several nice camp spots. We took the high route on the glacier because the mid route had a snow bridge that is starting to get a little thin. This led us to a fairly exposed traverse above a crevasse that we protected to get off the glacier. Scramble was straightforward and very fun.

What a fantastic climb! A little bit of everything including great company. Although we kept it as a two day trip, we decided to go for a summit attempt on Saturday. From the trailhead, we made it over the first river fairly easily, although "thigh high" water means different things to different people. We beat around a bit in the bushes, and since we were already wet, we just crossed the river again although there was a log boom within sight. After that, we sweated our way uphill, over some downed trees, across a log at the waterfall, to camp. We set up tents, rested, and then tackled the rest of the climb. After some heather and slabby rock, we got onto the glacier around 3. We were joined by two intermediates on a private climb and kept with them for the rest of the route. We opted for the high route after giving a thinning snow bridge over a big crevasse the thumbs down, which led us to a longish exposed  traverse. A few pickets and what seemed a little daunting was quickly crossed. The rest was a super fun scramble on mostly solid rock with great texture. Clouds billowed over the summit, so our views were more of their formations that the skyline but we did have a quick sun break. We were down to camp by 8:30. The bugs were out at a few different times on the trip, so pick your poison. The next morning we had a cheerful walk out and were eating burgers a little past noon in Arlington.

It was a good decision to summit on Saturday, given the weather that was rolling in Sunday morning. I think you still could have summited Sunday morning, but it was sure nice to be back in Seattle in the early afternoon!