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Trip Report    

Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Thursday July 3rd- Left Trailhead at 7:30am. 6hrs to White pass, 6hrs to Glacier gap. Very easy pace to prevent fatigue. We had some route finding issues from White pass due to poor visibility while attempting to traverse east below peak 6770’ before crossing over the ridge. However, this turned out to be a good high traverse route to gain the White Chuck glacier without descending into the lower basin. There were no signs of crevasses on the glacier and the route was straight forward. We had glacier gap camp to ourselves until Friday evening when around 30 people moved in. Water was plentiful around camp, however there were obvious signs of waste contamination above and around the snow melt run off. Blue bags seem essential in this high use area.
Friday July 4th- Left camp at 8:30 am. Summit at 1:15pm, Then back down to col for lunch and a quick, 20 min round trip up Disappointment pk. Back to camp by 4:30pm. The ridge route was as clear as the sky and was very easy to navigate on and off the snow where the scree trail was still covered. We roped up at 8400’ and traveled N-E across the Gerdine glacier to the Cool glacier col at 9100’. Turning west and ascending up the Cool glacier we encountered the only open crevasse on our route. A slight jog south got us around the end and up to the disappointment col at 9600’ where we un-roped. Attempting to stay on snow we crossed the ridge and went west farther than necessary and missed a good ridge trail that takes you up to the wide snow gulley and the last 300’ to the summit. The final ascent was steep snow with an icy crust causing deep plunge steps and unpredictable but safe climbing. Once on the summit it was a coin toss to determine which of the three high points should be used for the summit photo. What I was sure of is that was the most incredible place to be on Independence Day with perfect weather, stunning views and great friends. WOW.
The return trip was uneventful except for stepping into a 16” bottomless crevasse with my 15” boot. This was a real eye opener because we had just traveled up the same path with no idea it was there. Now that it’s punched open it should be obvious and an easy step across.
Back at camp we celebrated Americas birthday with a few cocktails and entertained our camp friends with a small fireworks display just as the rain started to fall.
Saturday July 5th-With clearing skies we packed up camp and headed out at 7:30. Back to trail head at 2:45. Craving Mexican food and a real margarita we headed for Playa Bonita in Granite Falls. As usual we had fantastic food and great service. A perfect end to yet another amazing top 100 peak adventure.
I can’t say enough about the mountaineers I climb with. We had three awesome basic students, two solid, new rope leaders and my two best climbing buddies. Each person has contributed to the success and great memories resulting from this trip.