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fromsealevelbaby

[TR] Glacier Peak & Mt. Pilchuck from Puget Sound Round Trip in Single Push - Standard from South (N. Sauk) 07/25/2020

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Trip: Glacier Peak & Mt. Pilchuck from Puget Sound Round Trip in Single Push - Standard from South (N. Sauk)

Trip Date: 07/25/2020

Trip Report:

As the "location" description states, this was a "single push", all human powered, sea-to-GP-to-Pilchuck-to-sea, 27 hrs and 44 min.  I reached the Glacier Peak summit from sea (Puget Sound) level in 11 hrs and 7 minutes, starting at 10PM on Fri, 7/25/2020 from a point on the water a few miles west of I-5 and Marysville, after a 60 mile combination paved and unpaved bicycle rides via Barlow Pass, then heading out on foot from the North Sauk River TH.  My time from the TH to the summit was 6 hrs 49 min, and that includes the windy/cold 14 min transition to some different gear (but still minimal/light) and a concentrated downing of food at a lower/base camp on the White Chuck Glacier a bit off from the beaten path because of the great rock to sit on, so it was worth the travel extra time.  I did have a physical problem during the bicycle ride that caused a collective delay for me that was timed as over 12 minutes, so without that snafu my sea to summit time would have been sub-11 hours.  Round trip from the TH to summit was 13 hrs 24 min, including both that 1st 14 min trans and a second 16 minutes one on the way back, and also enjoyed 9 amazing minutes on the summit.  Glacier Gap (high camp) to the summit was 2 hrs 2 min. which included the time to put on Kahtoola light crampons (not their Microspikes, which I did use also but on the lower glaciers, etc.).  So travel time was sub 2 hrs.  I Did a bit of running on the river trail on the way out, but not on the way back because it would have compromised the sizable amount of work I still needed to do after returning to the TH.  This was a supported trip, including my super talented guide, Aaron Mainer,  that I've worked with on these projects over a period of 13 years, who I met up with at the White Chuck Glacier transition point, and he expertly paced me from there to the summit.  Even when I lead on the exposed lower rib scree stretch, he monitored me closely.  Pacing is important, but even more so is the safety aspect.  On ult-high endurance endeavors my wife appreciates that I have a skilled guide to climb with who knows how to maximize safety (as well as speed and fun all at the same time).

Back at the TH, I bicycled back down to the Mountain Loop Biway, then back up to Barlow Pass (tough), then back down again to 1,000 ft before starting up the Mt. Pilchuck road.  Anyone who has been there knows how bad the road up is, but on an off round bicycle you can wind your way through the potholes so it's manageable (and exciting on the way down).  TH at 3,000 ft, and then hiked the remaining 2,300 ft to the fire lookout (5,341 ft).  Summit-to-summit was 12 hrs 12 min.  Sub 12 would have been nice but let me tell you that after almost 24 hrs on the move, one does what they can.  It was at about 9:30 PM and there was a party going on in an around the lookout, with people putting up decorations inside.  This was troubling to me both because I don't know it that's allowed to be taken over, especially during a pandemic (...but whatever...), and also because I was tired and just wanted to enjoy the bit of emotional peace, quiet I was expecting to have, plus solitude (except for Aaron, who hiked out and then drove to the TH to go up with me and make sure I was safe coming down the bouldery/hazardous upper have of the trail when coming down in the dark fairly fast).  People surely wondered why I was wearing a helmet, but I didn't care that they had no idea what I'd done before getting there.  After the wild night ride back to the hwy passing cars along the way, and then back to the start, the total time was 27 hrs and 44 min.

So I finally finished all 5 WA volcanos, round trip single-push from sea level, with extra peaks included for extra challenge.

Before this I did Columbia River (Kalama/Woodlind) to Mt. Adams/St. Helens summits single push and back, in 2018.

My Cascade Climbers post for Shuksan/Baker in 2011 is:

https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/82364-tr-mt-shuksan-and-mt-baker-in-single-push-fisher-chimneys-shuksan-and-park-glacier-baker-8132011/?tab=comments#comment-1026406

And before that in 2008 was Puget Sound/Rainier Summit/Puget Sound in 19 hrs 57 min.  Like all the other things, like video from NWCN, etc. It's all disappeared.  So much for documentation on the internet (frustrating  )  But here is an important remaining reference to me on this site.  Someone gave me credit:https://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/54/mt-rainier-wa

That's it.  Shuksan/Baker made it onto the front page of the Sunday Bellingham Herald with a big picture, but they long ago purged all their old stories because the parent company wanted them to.  I begged them to bring it back, and they did, but then it disappeared again.  Same with Tacoma News Tribune (top 10 adventures of the year article). 

I'd like to get the Seattle Times to pick this up, but we'll see.  I'm generally private about my endeavors, for various reasons you can imagine, but now that I've finished the 5 volcanos (and I'm deep into 57 yrs old now) I want to write out them.  Not a big social media guy, but have considered YouTube, Outside Mag., etc.  Any other ideas? 

-Randall Nordfors, Woodinville WA.  Washington native.  I also go by "Randy" sometimes.

Gear Notes:
Went light. Short pants, Kahtoola microspikes and Kahtoola lightweight crampons. Poles, and light boots with gaitors, minimal pack. No ax or helmet. Knew from experience on GP that it was an okay gear choice on a perfect day (which it was).

Approach Notes:
West of Marysville by bicycle to North Sauk River TH, then standard route from south.
  • Rawk on! 4

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Wow! Congrats on completing your mission!

Reminds me of Goran Kropp. RIP GK.

 

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49 minutes ago, fromsealevelbaby said:

with extra peaks included for extra challenge

wow.  my hat is off to you, sir.  congratulations!

 

 

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(I cleaned up the duplicates of this TR, in case anyone is wondering)

NICE WORK!

  • LMAO 1

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Thank you JasonG!!.  I was having trouble with the site saying that there was an error and would not post.  Not an individual item but rather overall.  So maybe in fact every time it did work.  I used a different computer the final time and that told me it worked.

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Thanks, Rad.  Nice of you to say.  But Mr. Kropp road his bike self supported.....to be fair a really, really long way.,   He's a legend.  I come from a bicycle racing background so I like to ride that way, although before that in 1985 I rode solo and self-supported across the US west to east coast, so carried all my gear.  Of similarity though is that I'm in large part of Swedish descent (hence my last name).

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For the record, I'd like to give great thanks to my support team.  My wife, Debbie, general support manager, including rolling support in SUV and trailhead transition lead.  Jim & Mary Fuenzalida drove the van of bicycles and handled bicycle transitions as well as rolling support for portions.  Erik Hodge was base/low camp transition lead on the White Chuck glacier, and carried half of the supporting gear and a bit of food/water.  And the aforementioned Aaron Mainer carried the other 1/2 of the supporting gear to base camp and helped conduct my transition in addition to his mountain guide role..  I went light, and had a small crew.... but a powerful, experience, generous, and enthusiastic one.

Also, the the rough estimate is 134 cycling (1/4 unpaved) with gross 7,500 ft. climbing , 43 miles hiking with gross roughly 11,500 ft climbing (descending GP to TH has 4 or 5 distinct ups).  So roughly 19,000 ft gross climbing total.

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If you haven't already seen it, you might be interested in a documentary entitled The Mountain Runners (available from Seattle Public Library) about the historic Mt. Baker Marathon, from Bellingham to the top of Baker and back.   The first marathon (in 1911) featured one group of competitors going by train via Glacier and others by car via Deming.  A guy from the Glacier side was in the lead until the returning train hit a bull and derailed, leaving him to return via buggy, horseback, and auto while wearing a bathrobe.  He came in second, and the bull was grilled for the afterparty.  During the third and final marathon in 1913, one competitor spent six hours in a crevasse -- after that the Mt Baker Club decided it was too dangerous.  At any rate if you can get your hands on the DVD it's worth watching.

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Wow. What a wild idea. I love your creativity to challenge in the mtns. Just goes to show you, our biggest mountains reside inside us all. 

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