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[TR] Glacier Peak - Car-to-Car 7/18/2010

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Trip: Glacier Peak - Car-to-Car


Date: 7/18/2010


Trip Report:

Inspired by recent CC trip reports promising easy access and good conditions, Erick Johnson, Tommy Unger and I climbed Glacier Peak on Sunday in a fun single push via White Pass and the Disappointment Peak route. Essentially a long hike, the non-technical route is currently in perfect shape for a light-n-fast single-day trek. The beautiful approach trail is mainly snow-free, and once you're on the glacier, a well-established boot path wanders over some nicely varied terrain, including extensive pumice slopes, glacial plains and high ridges. The photographic opportunies are limitless in this stunningly gorgeous region.

There were no real surprises on the trip, which felt pretty much like you'd expect: a long day at altitude ending with a bit of night hiking (actually, we managed to get to within a half hour of the parking lot before it became necessary to flick on the lamps). One thing we didn't expect to encounter was the high level of alpine smugness on the part of the heavily-equipped weekend parties heading down after their multi-day summit adventures. On the approach trail, several people asked us about our plans and when we informed them that we were heading for the top of Glacier, our replies were met with rolled eyes, incredulous gapes, and one "good luck" that was dripping with sarcasm. Had our party violated some sacred precept of mountaineering dogma by daring to enter this place clad only in light boots, running shoes, and day-hiker garb? We just smiled politely and kept moving.

Some stats: We started hiking at 7:48 am, and were on top at 3:30 pm (Erick was apparently feeling his gel packs, because he topped out a few minutes ahead of Tommy and I). We were back down at White Pass at around 6:30 pm, and, after a liesurly evening meal and photo-snapping session, we left for the parking lot a little after 7:00 pm, arriving at the car at 10:20 pm. We weren't trying to speed climb, but were mainly interested in evaluating the C2C feasibility of the route.

Some snaps....


White Pass, and our first glimpse of the target.



If you squint, you can just make out Tommy and Erick in center frame, moving up along the left-slanting boot path.



Disappointment Peak



Moving up toward the rightward traverse below the false summit...



Erick on the Pumice Highway just below the final summit slog...



Summit shot. Choosing to climb on a Sunday, we had the peak to ourselves.



Rime-encrusted sub-summit...



Booting back down below the cloud layer...



EJ and Tommy on a glacial plain below the summit of Dissapointment Peak...



A hikeout snap...



And another...



Glacial meltwater pond...



Back at White Pass, preparing for the final leg.



Erick turned around and snapped me and Tommy as we started down from White Pass.

...A very nice day in the hills!


Edited by zoroastr

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beautiful trips and great TR thanks for sharing, I've always wanted to do a climb on that side and actaully get away from Shuksan/Baker.... made by day over here in FL at the end of a 99 degree Florida summer day with 3-4' surfing


BTW loved the "dayhiker" comment.. nothing like a daypack with a ton of water and 10 GU gels :)

Edited by surferclimber

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i applaud your effort .. well done .. but i also sense a bit of smugness in your tr towards those of us who can't do it your way .. or maybe i'm just jealous of your young legs? .. in any case great beta and pix .. nice work

Edited by silence

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Very nice! I remember doing Glacier in a long day years ago when the once proud White Chuck River Road was still pasable.


I didn't sense smugness from him at all. Quite to the contrary, I have noticed the same smugness from others he mentioned on occasion when doing an easy/moderate mountaineering route and they give you "where is your rope" or "you know you need gear" or some such hassle. Some times it is fun to go fast, some times it is fun to go slow - both have their merits.

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As a heavily-equipped weekend hiker who saw you on the trail on the way down on Sunday, I was more shocked that your equipment indicated you were about to do a really long route in one day, especially considering how tired I was at that point. I do not believe we had more coversation than "Good morning, how are you?" The weekend had quite the lovely weather in this serene location. Congrats on a car to car summit. That is quite the endurance trip.

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approx 34 miles, 9000-10,000ft of total gain/loss.


nice job on the one-day jaunt! i think we might've seen y'all sunday afternoon...we were skiing out across the whitechuck basin and saw some folks moving along pretty fast with sneakers.


nice weather that weekend and running water at glacier gap let us go rather light on the camping gear and made a 2-day trip carrying ski gear pretty reasonable.



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Question for anyone who has been up here recently: are there any significant hazards (crevasses, etc) on this approach? Trying to decide whether or not to take a rope...

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This seems nutty, but it is very tempting to bring skate skis and see how far they'd get me up and down glacier...

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Did you guys access White Pass from the North Sauk trail? We mistakenly tried this route via the White River trail on the east side this weekend and didn't even make it to White Pass on account of the truly awful bugs, junglewhacking and exciting creek crossings. Not recommended!

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