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Kameron

[TR] Mt Logan - Fremont Glacier 07/06/2018

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Trip: Mt Logan - Fremont Glacier

Trip Date: 07/06/2018

Trip Report:

Hi everyone, first TR on the site for me. Figured I'd share conditions on this classic, very fun and demanding (in approach) climb.

We climbed Logan via the Thunder valley over a 4-day trip. I liked the itinerary, since it gave us a little more time to make the approach less suffering, and our summit day wasn't too long. The hike in is through beautiful old growth forest. A pair of hikers warned us about a bear ahead near the trail. They had turned back when they saw it. We did our "hey bear" calls as we walked, eventually rounding a corner and it was about 50' away in the brush. We looked at each other for a couple of seconds, then it decided to lumber off into the woods, and we kept on going. 

Our first campsite was at Junction, which is a nice spot that's a little more open than the other campsites which are more forested. There are nice views of Buckner and bits of the Boston Glacier as well as what I guess is Tricouni peak. No fire ban meant we were able to smoke out the mosquitos, which were plentiful. The next day, we followed the trail into Thunder basin. The trail is cleared until a bit past Skagit Queen, so the only blowdowns begin after there. Thunder creek crossing requires a ford, and the spot where the trail crosses (marked by a cairn) was pretty deep, high thigh for me and waist level for some of the others in the group. That may have been the crux of the trip! On the way out we found a better spot about 200' downstream, where the water was much shallower. We continued up-valley and made camp at the terminal moraine of the defunct Wyeth glacier. This spot had great views but puts you 500' above the climbers trail to Logan. It also saved us from the mosquitos of the valley.

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We were confused by conflicting beta about where to go from here. I mistakenly thought we should gain the visible 7600' col to the North, mistaking Pt. 8546 for Pt. 8248. In the morning, we made a rising traverse through heather benches and snow to reach this col and realized our mistake. It wasn't all bad, though, because we got amazing views of filtered morning light in the mountains to the East. 

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We figured out our mistake, but then an incorrect topo I'd pulled from Summitpost led me to think we could just traverse the big SW rib off Pt 8546 at around 7400'. We traversed a bunch of blocky, loose terrain to the rib and again realized we were in the wrong spot. At this point, Dafna made it clear that the GPS track she'd loaded clearly showed the traverse about 1000' lower, so we made our way down there and found the faint trail through the larches. We wasted about an hour in this excursion, which was not too bad, but I don't think anyone was feeling too certain we'd summit at this point.

Now in the basin draining the Fremont, we made quick time to the base of the glacier. Seeing some tracks (which looked no more than a day old), we decided not to rope up on the glacier or for the moat crossing.

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After the loose rock at the start, the scrambling is superb, and it went off without a hitch.

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We were back in camp by early afternoon, and we used the sunny skies to dry our gear and feet as we packed. The skies were threatening rain. We wanted to move camp down valley for a shorter hike out the next day. Soon after descending below treeline, the thunder and rain began. We decided to camp at the Thunder horse camp, where there are a few trees for hanging food.

My tent-mate Meira was cold and wet (she didn't bring rain pants), so I busied myself making dinner and a fire and didn't bother to take off my boots for a few hours. This turned out to be a big mistake. I have had "warm immersion foot" once before (after a long day in boots on Mt. Triumph), and when I finally took my boots off and dried my feet, I recognized the tingling, itching feeling in my feet. I was cursing myself for this mistake the whole way out the next day. Luckily, it was not nearly as painful as the first time I got it. But I think I will have to be more careful in the future. It came on in only a matter of hours, maybe 5 hrs in wet, not too cold, boots. My core did get cold at one point which may have contributed.  I'd be curious to hear about other mountaineers' experience with this problem. I haven't ever had it occur in ski boots, which is weird, because I love spring touring and my feet often end up quite hot and sweaty. Maybe the liner is able to absorb enough water to prevent full immersion?

The hike out was uneventful, besides the many stops for huckleberries, which are just starting to come in, and a long break at Junction for lunch and drying of feet.  I highly recommend this adventure! 

Gear Notes:
Brought rope and crampons and didn't use them. Approach shoes are nice but will be a compromise for the snow up high. I used a goretex lined leather hiker and was very happy with the choice until the foot issues occured.

Approach Notes:
Be ready to hang food or bring a bear can.
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That's quite a lot of effort to go to to get content for your first TR! 

And, strangely enough, I've never gotten any sort of immersion foot in all my years of climbing, despite having  lot of trips like your Logan one sounded like. 

I have gotten the "screaming barfies" when my feet froze in the winter a time or two though.

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