Glacier Peak 10,541'
Glacier Peak Wilderness

Glacier Peak is the fourth highest mountain in the state (5th if you count Little Tahoma) and the most remote of the Washington State volcanoes. The mountain is hard to get to these days with recent storms having washed out trails and bridges, traditional approaches have been abandoned for now. Even the Pacific Crest Trail has been rerouted around to the east side of the mountain. The pictures here are of a trip that starts on the North Fork of the Sauk River on the south side of the mountain and eventually follows the Cool Glacier to the summit. This route is about 18 miles one way to the top and was done in three days. The approach is beautiful and camp sites very nice depending upon where you stay. The most astonishing site are the receding glaciers and the boulder strewn areas that are still shown on the Topo maps as glaciers. A great climb with an awesome approach.

Reference Cascade Alpine Guides volume II pg 88

Photos

 

Glacier Peak 10,539 ft.
Date of Climb: 8/11 to 8/13/2007
Climb Leader:    Thomas Deml
Elevation Gain:  8439í 

Members of Climb:
Rope Leads:
Martina Guttenberger, Lonny Morrison
Basic Climbers:
Duncan Smith, Chloe Harford, David VanLuvanee, Alex  Byrne, Scott Heinz.
Thomasís Trip Report: (from the Mountaineers)
 

General Activity Notes: (trail, approach, bike route, water route conditions, etc.)
Day 1: Met at the 65th P&R at 5am, drove to Darrington, had breakfast and started at 9am at the Sloan Creek Camp Ground TH (2000ft). It took us 3 hours to the Mackinaw shelter and another 3 hours to Red Pass (6500ft). Many groups do White Pass instead of Red Pass but it's inconceivable to me why I would miss hiking through Glacier Peak Meadows and climbing the White Chuck Cinder Cone. At 5:30pm we made camp in the little valley with the waterfall that you see from Red Pass (5500ft). 11 miles total. The plan for day 2 was to relax and hang out and explore the meadows. The group felt strong however and we decided to attempt the summit.

Day 2: Low clouds - lots of them - visibility 100 to 200 yards. The major waypoints were in my GPS unit however. Left camp at 8am and headed up the right side of the waterfall (found out on the way back that a faint climbers trail goes up all the way to the moraine lake at 6400ft). Arrived at the lake at 9:30am. Skirted around the lake and headed straight to our next way point: Glacier Gap. We should have reached White Chuck Glacier according to the map but there is only rock. Instead we ran in to another lake that we had to go around. We reached Glacier Gap (7200ft) at 11am without stepping on or seeing a single piece of ice.- White Chuck Glacier shown on maps is pretty much gone. Visibility still zero. From Glacier Gap we headed straight north up the ridge. Easy going. At 8500ft we roped up and traversed the Geradine Glacier, staying high, going around Disappointment Peak (note: Glacier travel can be avoided completely if one scrambles Disappointment Peak - nasty scree however). The terrain steepened a bit towards the little ice fall separating the Geradine and Cool Glacier. We got above the clouds as we reached Cool Glacier and we saw the summit for the first time. Regained the ridge at 2:30pm, unroped and summitted at 3:30pm. Descent uneventful. Back in camp by 8:15pm. 13 miles total.

Day 3: The sun is back. Long breakfast. Hike out takes us 6 1/2 hours for 11 miles. General note: I had a very strong group and we were able to make it in three days. The climb is best done in 4 days however. Glacier Peak Meadows are incredibly beautiful. It's worth spending some time there. The next time I would do it like this: Day 1: Hike in via Red Pass and camp somewhere in the Glacier Peak Meadows. Square miles of awesome camp spots. Day 2: Late start, leisurely hike up to Glacier Gap and camp there. Day 3: Summit day. After summit hike back to meadows and camp. Day 4: Hike out.

 

Problem(s) found: 
Bugs

Overall route condition: Great

Route conditions: (for climbs, scrambles, snowshoe trips, etc.)
White Chuck Glacier pretty much gone. Glacier travel can be avoided if Disappointment Peak is scrambled. 

Permits required? No

Driving / parking notes:
Road conditions report for FR49 on FS web-sites still says that you need 4x4 or high clearance vehicle. The road was fixed recently however. All 6.6 miles are in great condition now. (blocked again in 2008).

Camping notes: (for backpacks, overnight scrambles, climbs, etc.)
Mosquitoes, black flies in

Equipment notes:
Minimal glacier gear is enough for the south route. Geradine and Cool Glaciers are very gentle. We had to cross two minor (only a few inches wide) crevasses.

Required skills notes:
Be in the shape of your life

Flora / fauna notes:

Weather notes:
Summited in a complete white out by relying on our two GPS units.