Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Putting it all together to ski Glacier Peak over Memorial Day weekend!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The road to the N. Sauk River TH is heavily potholed but should be fine for most vehicles.  There is a (widely reported) stream crossing the road .5 miles from the trailhead but it was fine to drive through.

    The N. Sauk River Trail has some blowdowns and a few creek crossings but nothing terrible.


    The primary route beta is that the "winter route" to the north of White Mountain, skiing through White Chuck Basin, is snow-free all the way to the ridge above the basin making for a substantial carry with skis on the packs.  Most parties are now taking the "summer route" on the south side of White Mountain.IMG_1663.JPEG

Our party of 6 took off from the N. Fork Sauk River TH at 7:30 and despite the blowdowns and creek crossings made good time to the Mackinaw Shelter site 5 miles in before turning uphill for the never ending switch backs to converge with the PCT.IMG_1650.JPEG

Upon getting above treeline we observed that the snow was largely melted up to the ridge separately the river valley from the White Chuck Basin, our intended ski route into our planned camp close to Glacier Gap.IMG_1750.JPEG

On day 2 we skinned out of camp, across the White Chuck Glacier and navigated our way up to Glacier Gap.  From there we got a great look at our route along the left margin of the Suiattle Glacier, across it to the east of Disappointment Peak (where we would gain the Cool Glacier).  After largely following a nice skin track onto the Cool and across it to the pumice ridge leading to 500' below the summit, the team carried skis to the final snow slope and summited around 1:00.



The skiing back to Glacier Gap was extremely pleasant with 3" of corn over a firm base and the only crevasses that required careful management were those at the Cool/Suiattle crossing.  We were back in camp by 4:00 and with the long daylight conditions made the decision to move camp to the base of the White Chuck Basin to shorten our day 3 deproach and get access to running water instead of melting snow.IMG_1867.JPEG

Day 3 we skinned back up the White Chuck Glacier that we had skied down on day 1.


And with a wee boot out, were ready to walk back down the N. Fork Sauk River Trail carrying out skis back to the cars and on to Burger Barn.IMG_1942.JPEG

A little bit of everything on this trip and the high snow level surprised us all and added considerably to the work required to ski Glacier Peak.  We had a great group and everyone did an awesome job rolling with the challenges three days on a substantial peak like this entails.