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Trip Report    

Mount Logan/Banded Glacier

Three-day climb of Mt. Logan via the Banded Glacier. Trip report prepared by Sean Albert.

Day 1 Gain 2880ft. Loss 3020ft.

We met at 65th P and R at 5 am on Friday morning, sorted some gear and headed for the Marblemount ranger station to grab our permit. We drove through Oso, a very sobering scene. Arrived at the ranger station right at 7am and then headed for the Easy Pass TH. We left the TH at 9am and made Easy Pass around noon after losing the trail in the snow and traversing a little to far North. Having never been to the pass we didn't traverse far enough West and didn't pick up the trail until a ways down the Southwest side of the pass. The switchbacks were almost completely snow free and made travel down to Fisher Creek easy. We continued down the trail into the forest and crossed over the creek on a great bridge shortly after Cosho camp. We followed the relatively flat trail down to the old log bridge over a dry creek 3600ft, (creek is slightly West now), this is a great marker for the off trail portion of the route. We had planned to camp at the 5200ft. lake higher up, but opted to bivy near the trail rather than camping on snow and make the second day longer. Arrived at the turn off from the trail around 3 pm.

Day 2 Gain 6500ft. Loss 6500ft.

We started moving at 5am, staying on the East side of the creek, which is a steep waterfall at times. A nice game trail on a ridge led to some blocking cliff bands that we were able to get through pretty easily, via some steep terrain. We were all glad to have day packs on this stretch.
We arrived at the 5200ft. lake around 6 am and put on the pons. From the lake we headed on a mostly Southerly bearing using a great photo from Steph A. and Brian W's TR up towards Christmas Tree col. We weaved through and avoided some steeper rock and ice sections on the ascent, the col is not visible until you are essentially at it. We arrived at the col around 8:30am to spectacular views of Logan and the Banded Glacier/Lake, as well as the 500 ft. we would lose en route to the lake. We took the larger most obvious notch to the West, but on our way down realized the skinny notch to the East had an easier down climb on snow free scree, (no front pointing/face in down climbing on rock hard snow required via the Eastern weakness). We made Banded Lake around 9am which is much larger than the map indicates. We approached and started climbing the glacier taking easy snow slopes on climbers left until we couldn't ascend any further (a cool wind formed snow arete here). We roped up and stayed close to the rock, up and around to the Douglas/Banded col. The glacier was very relaxed, we didn't pass any open cracks. At this time we spotted another party above us approaching the summit ridge, (a Tacoma Mounties party and some friends of ours who approached via the Douglas). We unroped at the rock on the ridge and waited at the false summit as they enjoyed the summit. We soon traded places, chatting along the way. The summit block was 4th class with some serious exposure, making the easy climbing feel a little harder. Summit around noon, to spectacular views into the ice cap, Forbidden, Buckner, Goode, etc. We left the summit around 1pm and headed back to the col. The snow softened up nicely for perfect plunge stepping down the Banded. A slog back up to Christmas Tree col, back to camp at 4:30pm.

Day 3 Gain 3020ft. Loss 2880ft.

Left camp/bivy at 6am and reached the TH just before noon. Started at the TH same time as the Tacoma party and finished the same time! Perfect synchronization. Milkshakes at Cascadian Farms!

Summiting using Cosho Camp as a base is a possibility for strong parties.

Summary Total Data
Elevation Gain: 12407 ft / 3781 m
Ascent Statistics
Elevation Gain: 12407 ft / 3781 m
Extra Loss: 7000 ft / 2133 m
Route: Banded/Easy Pass
Trailhead: 3680 ft / 1121 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip