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Trip Report    

Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver

Liana Robertshaw was the mentored lead. Her trip report below.

Left on Thursday night to car camp at the North Fork Sauk TH. Began the hike in with a party of 5 at 645am Friday. Easy 6.5mi with 1000 ft gain (clear, dry trail) to Mackinaw Shelter. Filtered water here, which was unnecessary as there were water sources up the switchbacks (last one at 5500 above switchbacks). Snow begins at 5600 where you cross a few mostly melted out snow bridges. Trail continues traversing up and around the mountains, getting muddy at times. Stopped to pull out gaiters before heading up White Pass and traversing around White Mountain through snow to reach the saddle. Hiked through soft (not
slushy) snow to reach camp on a rock island above two small tarns (filtered water here). Day 1=14mi.
Saturday morning had low local visibility with a socked in summit so we waited until 6 to leave camp. We used our ice axes and some used crampons to climb the White Chuck Glacier. Roped up on Suiattle Glacier, no crevasses spotted. Cool Glacier had a few larger crevasses. If snow is soft, you may want to unrope at the higher portion of the glacier as you begin post-holing. We walked up a somewhat slippery pumice ridge in very windy conditions. White out on ascent up snow field to summit, post-holing all the way up to the top.
Snow deep and sloppy in many spots making for a slippery and wet descent. We heard rockfall coming off Cool Glacier on the descent.
Began raining on the way down, creating more slushy conditions that were becoming icy in spots on the top col adjoining Suiattle Glacier.
Watch out for rockfall from Disappointment Cleaver. Day 2=5.5mi Sunday morning awoke to rain, left camp to hike out in whiteout conditions at 730am. Used map, compass and GPS to get bearings from camp up to the saddle. Snow bridges were broken and melted due to the rain, use caution when crossing. Plenty of wild flowers and marmots.
Trail muddy in some spots, water available all along trail. Day 3=14mi.

Key points: Mosquitoes are swarming at the trailhead and Mackinaw Shelter. You can filter water at Mackinaw Shelter 6.5 mi in. Water is readily available at the top of the switchbacks to 5500ft. Use caution when crossing snow bridges, many are melted out. Rock island above Glacier Gap had plenty of water sources available and was a great campsite. Use caution when ascending Windy Gap, class 2 scramble can be wet and slippery. Glacier glasses/sunglasses a must, second pair of socks recommended to have a dry pair if you are post-holing!