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Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Mount Daniel/Lynch Glacier

Good trip except for issues getting to the Lynch Glacier.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Scatter Creek was about as deep as we dared drive through. Subaru did fine though.

    Campsites at Peggy's Pond were mostly snow free. The mosquitos and flies are starting to get annoying.

    The rising approach to Lynch Glacier suggested in Classic Cascade Climbs didn't go for us. Snow was too steep and exposed and the rock below it did not appear to be scramble terrain. We instead downclimbed a very unpleasant steep loose gully/snow slope that I do not recommend, especially for basic students.

    Lynch Glacier was in excellent shape with just a few visible crevasses.

    The scramble route back to Peggy's Pond is not particularly easy, especially the exposed snow and gravel traverse under the east summit.

Mellow day Saturday hiking up to Peggy's Pond. We were fortunate to get a great group campsite.

Sunday we started walking at first light 4:30am. Went up Hyas Creek basin a short ways and took a right to take the slanting ramp up to the notch at ~6250'. We traversed around the ridge and were presented with a buttress. We discussed whether to go above or below it. One of the GPS tracks we had went above and the map showed the slope on the other side was moderate, so we chose to go above and not lose elevation. The slope on the other side turned out to be steeper than anticipated and left us too high on the slope. It's better to traverse below the buttress.

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Westward approach route from the west

Once we could see the ridge separating the Daniel and Lynch glaciers, we set our sights on a particular notch in the ridge. When we got there we realized at ~7100' we were way too high above the notch we should have targeted at ~6600'. We traversed down the ridge a ways to ~6900' and found a steep rock and snow downclimb to the snow slope where we wanted to be. Looking over at the downclimb we should have done, this one looked better, but after doing it I don't think it was.

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Daniel/Lynch Glacier GPS track

Now on our intended route, we attempted to do the rising traverse to meet the Lynch Glacier as shown by the yellow line in the photo from the Classic Cascade Climbs book. Leigh Ann Wolfe's trip in 2019 did it successfully https://www.mountaineers.org/activities/trip-reports/basic-glacier-climb-mount-daniel-lynch-glacier. Note that what's labeled the "Hyas Creek Glacier" in the photo is what Beckey calls the Daniel Glacier.

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Lynch glacier route photo from Classic Cascade Climbs

The snowfield between us and the glacier was steep and exposed, but we were able to scramble easily on rock below it for a ways before reaching a spot where we didn't want to take students any further. Below us there was what looked like a downclimbable ramp to reach the lake. We went that way, but it was ugly. Each step would loose several rocks and sometimes they were big. We made it, but it took a very long time and I wouldn't want to do it again.

Once near the lake we traversed over to a rock island at the toe of the glacier and roped up. The glacier had few open crevasses and we moved well. It was nearly midday and the snow was soft enough we didn't use crampons. The only difficulty of note was a steep section at the very top, but our assistant leader kicked great steps.

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Top of Lynch Glacier

After tagging the summit, we headed down the scramble route. There was a steep loose section getting to the col between the middle and east summits, but we eventually found a reasonably solid path on skiers right. The traverse below the east summit was steep and exposed, alternating between soft snow and loose gravel, but there was enough of a path for us to do it without incident. Below the east summit scramblers heading up advised us to traverse the beaten track across snow fields of the upper Hyas Glacier basin rather than try to scramble the ridge, so that's what we did.

It was a long day with some challenging route finding, but we were blessed with great people and good weather. It made for a memorable trip.