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Trip Report    

Sloan Peak/Corkscrew Route (via North Fork Sauk trailhead)

Clouds on saturday gave way to a bluebird day on Sunday... Sloan is a great summit for peak-spotting!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The crossings of the various channels of the North Fork Sauk were well-flagged -- the first (and deepest) was knee to thigh deep, and we found our way without difficulty to the actual trail.  The trail was in good (not great) condition, with a half-dozen significant blow-downs and miscellaneous tree litter , but it was generally easy to follow.  The glacier was in very good shape, with a fairly straight-forward high route that featured one dramatic (and large, very solid) snowbridge.  The trail on the corkscrew route is snow-free.

Our party of 9 had a spendid weekend with Sloan giving us a slow reveal...cloudy on Saturday with only fleeting views higher up, but clearing through the evening and then a bluebird Sunday (with some early fog in the lowlands to stunning effect), with the mountain (and, to our surprise, Glacier Peak) showing up for sunrise.

We camped at about 5,300 on heather benches 200 ft off the trail, 1 to 4 climbers to a bench, among spectacular meadows.  We found the larger camps lower down, e.g. the meadow at ~ 4800, to be too marshy, and the few camp spots in-between were too small for a party of 9.  (We were also reluctant to push on to the saddle at 5,800 given at least two small parties ahead of we were not sure there would still be room...and did not want to crowd them even if there was.)

Our times were roughly as follows:

11:00 am - leave trailhead (on FR 49..North Fork Sauk)
4:00 pm - arrive meadow at 4800, scout it out
5:00 pm - after further scouting, arrive at camp at ~5,300 

5:00 am - leave camp
8:30 am - summit, enjoy views until 9:00 
11:30 am -- back at camp
12:30 pm -- leave camp
4:00 pm -- arrive cars