Ascent of Glacier Peak on 2014-08-02

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Date:Saturday, August 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Glacier Peak
    Elevation:10520 ft / 3206 m

Ascent Trip Report

Left Seattle 1300 Friday. After some stops, traffic, and getting lost, left N Fork Sauk TH at 1810 Friday. On the switchbacks up to White Pass, I looked up and suddenly saw large porcupine blocking the trail! As he slowly lumbered up the trail and scrambled to dig out my camera, but it was too late. Truly a treat to see the cute little guy.

Camped ~1.5-2 miles past White Pass (at saddle where trail/path first loses elevation) at approx 2300. Smoke filled the air from some nearby fires, evidently.

Awoke at about 0500, thankful that the smoke has much lessened. Packed up. I didn't see the path continuing down, and I was semi-following a GPS track from Peakbagger, so I followed the ridge up to a minor summit and then made a right to follow another ridge. (On the way back I semi-contoured below this summit, following the path). Reached Glacier Gap at 0745. Left some stuff there. As I didn't bring ropes or climbing partners, I avoided the glacier by scrambling directly up the ridge up Disappointment Peak. Loose but not as bad as, say, recent Washington (in OR) or Thomson. One slightly tricky Class 3 / not-too-exposed Class 4 move (easy to downclimb). Rest was mostly loose class 2 / low class 3. Overall not too bad. Glad I didn't have to bring a rope, harness, pickets, etc. No one else today seemed to go the ridge route, though, apparently preferring to lug several pounds of climbing gear 15 miles back and 7000' up. That was probably just as well, though, as I didn't have to worry about rockfall danger from or for other climbers.

Was hesitant to summit because thunderclouds were forming, but I continued and summitted at 1020. Those last few steps were really tough.... hard to breathe after putting in such an effort. The storm seemed to blow further south of me and I breathed a little easier. Nonetheless I spent only 15 minutes or so at the summit. Back down past Glacier Gap, dark thunderclouds threatened again. Twice I debated hunkering down and waiting it out, but the first time there was limited shelter, and the second time I sensed correctly that the storm was beginning to end. Nonetheless I did have to wear my Gatewood Cape. I brought no rain jacket as the weather report for Darrington said 0% chance of rain for Saturday-Sunday.

Reached White Pass at about 1445 and decided to keep moving, partly because I had taken a half-day off of work on Friday and wanted to get home to get some work done Sunday, and because I didn't feel like stopping and camping so early. Back to the car at 1825 Saturday, 24 hours and 15 minutes after I started. (I failed to make it less than 24 hours...) Exhausted -- quite a trip! I really need to take a more leisurely, actually enjoyable trip soon.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:900 ft / 274 m
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:900 ft / 274 m
    Start Trailhead:9620 ft / 2932 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Glacier Peak (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Disappointment Peak2014-08-028000 ft / 2438 m
2Glacier Peak2014-08-02900 ft / 274 m
Total Trip Gain: 8900 ft / 2712 m

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