Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber


      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  

[TR] A bit of Disappointment on Glacier Peak - Standard-South Ridge Cool and Gerdine Glaciers 6/7/2013

Recommended Posts

Trip: A bit of Disappointment on Glacier Peak - Standard-South Ridge Cool and Gerdine Glaciers


Date: 6/7/2013


Trip Report:

Joe, Brad, Yessi, Sprinkles and I decided to take advantage of the high pressure system last weekend and make a summit bid on Glacier Peak via the North Fork Sauk River trail. After a rendezvous at my place in Marblemount on Thursday night to sort gear and go over the plan we drove to the trailhead and got started around 8:30. We were the only two cars there. This was my first time on this trail and all the stories I had heard about the spectacular old growth were immediately validated in the first mile of hiking. Beautiful displays of trillium, skunk cabbage and other forest flowers lined the trail and gave us something to look at on the long approach up river. We stopped at the Mackinaw shelter for an early lunch before starting our steady climb to White Pass. Some thin Altostratus made our ascent up the switchbacks a little easier than if we had done it in full sun. We hit snow around 4400' and followed our intuition and the odd piece of orange flagging tape to White Pass. Joe and Brad found a patch of bare dirt in some trees to set up base camp. After eating some dinner and speculating on the next day's weather and what time to get started we went to bed with an alarm set for 3:22AM(don't ask me why). Morning came quickly and we couldn't have asked for better conditions. The sky was clear and the snow had a firm crust on it. We donned crampons to ascend the ridge running East of White Mtn. Yessie stayed in basecamp for the day and worked on her novel. After getting on the North side we kept contouring East and dropping slightly as we went. Rather than maintain elevation the whole way we decided to take a more direct route and descend into the basin heading straight towards the Whitechuck Glacier. Joe's crampon broke on the flats before the glacier so we took a long break to fix it and brew a quick cup of joe in Brad's MSR reactor. After fixing the crampon we hiked NE between the toe of the receding Whitechuck and the meltwater lake. Here we gained some elevation and eventually got onto the upper part of the Whitechuck on our way to Glacier Gap. Rather than climb to the gap we chose to go up and over a steep snow slope just to the west. Once there our objective was obvious. The lower part of the South Ridge was melted out and we made up some time on this chunk of rocky trail. We stopped for lunch right before the ridge walking ended, then roped up for the section across the Cool Glacier. There were no visible cracks until we reached the gap between Cool and Gerdine. Brad punched through at one point and felt his feet dangling over a chasm before pulling himself out. As we headed up towards the saddle between Disappointment and Glacier the wind got gnarly and the clouds began to drop steadily and obscure the summit. Upon reaching the saddle we were exhausted from the long approach and the white out conditions on Glacier convinced us to summit Disappointment instead as it was still clear on top of it. Brad flew the tu-tu flag and after a couple pictures we started the long slog down towards base camp. The snow conditions went to $#!+ on our way back and we kept switching between snowshoes and boots. I developed a dry cough around 8500 feet and am still convinced it was a minor case of HAPE. I was also having trouble keeping up which isn't normal. Our total distance covered on summit day was 14 miles and the time it took from base camp back to basecamp was 13 hours. Suffice it to say we were dead on our feet. The hike out was uneventful and my cough went away after descending from White Pass. We celebrated with beer and chips at the trailhead and none of us were disappointed with what we had accomplished.





lunch at the mackinaw shelter


base camp


Brad and Yessie holding the tu-tu flag(Chinese version of REI)


strange evening light to the West of White Pass


a look at our route from base camp


on the ridge, objective in sight


morning light on White










Rainier in the distance


summit of Disappointment


Glacier in the background


the beginning of our hellish descent into madness





Gear Notes:

crampons, snowshoes, 60m 8.1mm rope, whiskey

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this