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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Despite the smoke, hot weather, and horrendous bugs we had a great climb

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Hot weather as we started our ascent to White Pass made for tough travel. Recommend starting early if the weather is predicted to be very warm. Between the heat and bugs it made for difficult hiking. The bugs were especially bad -- one group of backpackers turned around near white pass because of them. Mosquitoes at the TH, and aggressive black flies on the trail... Thankfully, most of the bugs were gone once we dropped in the basin near the campsites.

    Route itself is well traveled and easy to follow


Great trip to Glacier peak. With the smoke and all of the advisories, I let the group know that we had a high likelihood of turning around. We had one late cancellation due to this, the rest opted to give it a shot. I'm glad that we did!

Photo of the day we arrived and the next day after we came back from the summit. The air quality improved each day -- another climb said the day before we arrived that they could not see the mountain from here.


We met at the TH 9:15 AM and hit the trail by 10:00 AM. The first 5 miles to the cabin before the switchbacks went great as we were in the cool shade. Around the start of the switchbacks many black flies started to follow and nibble on us whenever we stopped for a break. This continued until we got to where the PCT and our trail merged.  We arrived at White Pass after about 6 hours of travel.

We dropped over the pass and took the Foam Creek trail until we dropped over the basin and into the camping area. It took us about 8 hours TH to camp.

Due to the heat which had taken a toll on us the previous day, we opted for an early wake up call of 2 AM, leaving camp by about 2:30 AM. We hit the trail in the dark and had little route finding issues except below the high camp area where we got a little turned around but this  was not a problem as we easily regained the trail.


Picture a little before we arrived to the rope up location of 8K feet. After we roped and enjoyed an amazing sunrise, we made the rising traverse to the gap in the glacier before taking the west turn to get to the base of disappointment peak where we unroped.


Looking back to disappointment peak partially up the pumice field to the true summit. You can see the smokeline pretty clearly here... It took us about 8 hours camp to summit.

After enjoying some time on the summit and trying to fly the kite in the summit register (not enough wind to make it fly....), we started to head back down. The snowfield was baking by this point in the later morning as we transitioned to noon.

We made out way back  down to camp in about  4 -5 hours from summit where our sun exposed camp left us all very hot. We tried to find shade as best as we could next to the large boulders. The temperature finally started to fall in the early evening and we were able to enjoy some dinner and watch the sunset.

Our group woke up at about 5:30AM for day 3 and were on the trail a little after 6:30 AM. The long slog was much better in the morning temperatures, and the bugs were even slightly less. We made good time back to the trailhead at just before noon for a 5.5 hour hike out.


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Nikki Milonas
Nikki Milonas says:
Aug 08, 2017 07:17 AM

Great trip report. Congratulations! Did you need bikes to get to the TH or is the road open? I heard the road is washed out this year and they were going to blockade it. Or maybe you started at a different trailhead?