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[TR] Glacier Peak - Disappointment Peak Cleaver 7/22/2012

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Trip: Glacier Peak - Disappointment Peak Cleaver


Date: 7/21/2012 - 7/23/2012


Trip Report:


Forecast was iffy for this weekend, but after bailing on too many trips already this year, my friends and I opted to cross our fingers and give Glacier Peak a go. We would not be disappointed!


We approached via the N. Fork of the Sauk River trail. At the last minute we were offered a reprieve from the threat of an added 7 miles by mountain bike thanks to some road work finishing up and the road opening one short day before our trip.


We drove in early Saturday morning. There are trail crews working on the trail now and a lot of downed trees are clear for the first 4 miles or so of trail. More work was happening father along as we walked out today.




Along the trail we encountered a lot interesting flora, including numerous overgrown, shoulder-height sections with lots of this guy:




Above the Mackinaw Shelter the trail is mostly clear and in good shape with a few exceptions:




As the rising traverse begins to White Pass there are a few snow patches with bad runout over creek crossings, but these are melting fast. Much of the trail to the PCT junction is clear, and much of the Foam Creek trail is clear too.


Foam Creek Trail:



We camped at the base of the White Chuck glacier at about 6700 feet elevation:



We had a predawn start, moving around 4:30 am. Here's a nice shot of the skies:




The summit was obscured by clouds on and off as we ascended and we were worried the weather would come in before we could summit. The wind was coming in with lines of parallel clouds high above us:





We ascended the cleaver for part of the route then favored more moderate slopes around to climber's right under Disappointment Peak and then onto the Cool Glacier.


Another shot of the sky - this one on the pumice ridge above Disappointment Peak col:



We arrived at the summit around 10 am:



It was quite windy and cold on the summit, so we did not stay long. We descended our climbing route fairly quickly and got to camp by 3 pm. At this point the weather was still holding but we had the dilemma of deciding to move camp or stay put and relax for a long time to sunset and then get up early and get out. One team member had slightly injured his ankle, so we opted to stay. We were all in bed by 7 pm or so, as the weather was coming in. Then at 10... it hit. Big. Rain, wind, and snow pummeled us all night, and nobody got much sleep. Our alarms collectively went off at 4 am, and were collectively ignored.


At 4:45 someone yelled "I have hot water ready". That seemed to motivate the lethargic, sleep-deprived, wet and shivering zombies to life. We miserably broke camp, drank some tea, and retraced our approach in reverse.


Conditions improved the farther away we got from camp and eventually we dropped below clouds to some nice green, wet, and misty views. We went from triple layers and skull cap down to single layer and even shorts.




It took six hours out to the cars today (Monday), where we enjoyed beers at the TH, and then set off for Mexican Food in Granite Falls.




Approach Notes:

Sloan Creek Campground TH open. Crews clearing trail to about as far as Mackinaw Shelter.


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