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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Picture perfect summit day with grand views in every direction.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Route is in great shape. Just a few cracks visible in the glacier - no real crevasse navigation required at this time.

    Upcoming trail closure posted online and at trailhead sign board: "The North Fork Sauk trail will be CLOSED between Mackinaw Shelter and the Pacific Crest Trail junction July 27 through August 3, 2016. Trail will re-open to hikers August 4."

Day 1: Road is open all the way to the Sloan Creek CG.  Departed from the trailhead at 8:30 AM.  Hiked at a very moderate pace with short, regular breaks. Trail to White Pass is in good condition and easily hiked in approach shoes. We switched to mountaineering boots for a couple snow patches just before White Pass. Turnoff to Foam Creek trail is signed.  Clouds moved in after this point and visibility dropped.  SE side of White Mountain is still mostly under snow with water flowing everywhere.  A bit of GPS navigation to make our way into the 6300'+ basin 0.5 miles south of the 6433' lake. As soon as we dropped into the basin we could hear lots of water coming off of rocks. At 6:30 PM we setup camp a short distance from this water source.  Several other teams soon followed. Clouds cleared and blue sky just in time for sunset.

Day 2: Left camp at 5:30 AM. Firm snow made for easy cramponing to Gerdine Ridge.  Followed pumice trail along Gerdine Ridge to about 8400' where we roped up for glacier travel. By this time the snow had softened and some trail breaking was required to reach the 9100'+ notch and ascend the Cool Glacier. From the pumice saddle between Glacier Peak and Disappointment Peak (9600'+) we walked in coils up the pumice boot path to about 10,000'. At this point we could see the rest of the route was an easy snow scramble with a safe run out so we left the ropes here and scrambled to the summit. We were on the summit from about 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM enjoying the warm, clear weather and grand views for miles in each direction.  Many teams were headed up for the final summit scramble as we were headed down. We found a friendly snow slope to skiers right of the pumice ridge and plunge stepped down that, almost all the way to the Glacier Peak/ Disappointment Peak saddle (9600'+)  where we roped up. We arrived at camp at 6:30 PM.


Day 3: Leisurely hike back to TH with many long breaks for food, water, foot care and other needs.