Ascent of Glacier Peak on 2018-09-05

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Glacier Peak
    Elevation:10520 ft / 3206 m

Ascent Trip Report

September 4-5, 2018

Eric Gilbertson

I got back to the Mt Adams trailhead in the later afternoon on Sept 3 after a day-trip to the summit, and started heading north towards my next objective, Glacier Peak. The fastest route had me driving through Seattle, so I figured I might as well spend a night at home before pushing on. On Sept 4 I slept in and left Seattle around 10:00am.

I passed through Darrington and picked up a bunch of junk food at the IGA. At the Glacier Peak trailhead I scarfed down three enchiladas and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, then started hiking at 2:30pm. It was too late to day-hike Glacier, so I brought a bivy sack and light sleeping bag. My hope was to sleep on the summit, if I could get there before dark.

I had already climbed glacier peak in early April 2016, but needed to reclimb it to tighten by Bulgers finishing time window. The trail up the north fork Sauk River looked a lot different in September when it wasn’t covered in feet of snow!

There were plenty of blueberries to nibble on along the way, and I soon reached White Pass. From there I turned off on an excellent climbers trail and hiked around White Mountain. The trail eventually crossed over the east ridge of White Mountain and I got my first view of Glacier Peak. It looked like the south ridge was completely snow-free, which was good because it might allow me to make better time.

The trail got fainter after cresting the ridge, but I was still able to follow cairns basically the whole way. I reached Glacier Gap as twilight was starting, and saw two other people camping out. I pushed on, putting on crampons for a brief snowpatch beyond the gap. I then reached the south ridge and continued following the climbers trail. By 9pm I needed to put my headlamp on, and realized I would not reach the summit before dark. I passed by one solo climber bivying next to the path, and pushed up as high as possible on the ridge by headlamp. I planned to solo the Cool Glacier route, but that seemed unwise in the dark, so I ended up bivying on the ridge.

Amazingly I hadn’t needed to stop and eat anything the entire hike in. Those enchiladas and ice cream had been burning strong the whole time. I laid out my bivy sack on the ridge, cooked some ramen with some meltwater from a snow patch, and went to sleep.

In the morning I got up with sunrsise, put on crampons, and started across the snowfield south of Disappointment Peak. There was a trench through the snow from all the other climbers over the holiday weekend, so the route was pretty straightforward. On the Cool Glacier I had to climb around a few crevasses, but the boot track was straightforward and safe.

I soon crested the ridge north of Disappointment Peak, and hiked up the scree to the summit. The solo climber I’d seen bivying was already up there enjoying the view. I noticed a lot of smoke burning just to the east of the peak, in a fire I hadn’t heard of. Otherwise the views were amazing, and I would definitely like to camp on that summit sometime in the future.

On the descent I decided to avoid the Cool Glacier in the heat of the day, and found a 3rd class scramble route down the south side of Disappointment Peak. It was loose, but not exposed as long as I went just west of the ridge.

I packed my bivy gear back up, and retraced my route back to the car, arriving by early afternoon.
Link to full trip report and pictures.
Summary Total Data

This page has been served 35 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2019 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service