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2012 Backcountry Trip Reports => May 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: runningclouds on 05/23/12, 06:58 PM



Title: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: runningclouds on 05/23/12, 06:58 PM
NF-49: snow free between start and mile 7, currently closed to motorized traffic for culvert replacement and maintenance until this summer according to Darrington Park Rangers. Walk, bike or ride your horse.

North Fork Sauk River Trail #649: patchy snow starts around 1/2 mile mark, continuous snow starts at 1350 m, about 1 mile past Mackinaw Shelter. There are some longer sections of very dirty and cupped snow in the forest, generally it was easier and faster to walk rather than to skin.

The plan was to take 4 days and ski Sitkum Glacier from Baekos Creek. After seeing the terrain from the ridge between White Mountain and Portal Peak and realizing we would be bushwhacking part of the way we changed our minds. The fast approaching front sped up our decision making too. We would have enough time to deal with the bushwhack from Pacific Crest Trail to snow line but would not be able to escape the almost certain rain on Monday.

We skied the N side of White Mountain then skinned up toward Glacier Gap via White Chuck Glacier. Set up camp just below the Gap, had a great afternoon in the sun watching the wall of clouds approaching slowly.

Woke up at 4 AM, left the camp at 4:45 and made the summit at 8:30 (after a slightly off turn on Cool Glacier which resulted in unplanned bagging of Disappointment Peak). We skinned to 9,600 ft then switched to boot crampons. Both summits were in cold and wet condition and in a near zero visibility, which was the real disappointment. We saw remnants of a skin track above 9,500 ft, it looked few days old.

The ski down was not too great but we got to practice skiing in whiteout. Am I going up, am I going down? We escaped the clouds once we were off Cool Glacier. The ski along the ridge below Disappointment Peak was  pretty good. 15 minutes before we reached our camp the snow started. Packed up and skied out via White Pass back to Mackinaw Shelter.

Picked up our hiking boots, cooked food and decided to get the long wet hike out done in one go.

Summiting was nice but next year I hope to get the views as well.

Slideshow (with Google Earth map and a screenshot of the forecast):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/sets/72157629838439678/with/7251401034/


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: runningclouds on 05/23/12, 06:59 PM
[img width=800]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7233/7257797970_b28b37c325_c.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7071/7257821346_fefdb383d0_c.jpg[/img]

[img width=600 height=800]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7215/7257852938_39132010df_c.jpg[/img]


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: niko on 05/23/12, 08:50 PM
Congratulations on an epic effort--from marching the extra 14 miles with full load to beating the whiteout at the summit. N


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Atraslin on 05/23/12, 10:19 PM
Nice one, quite the slog in but well worth the effort.
Remote feel so close to home.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Jeff Huber on 05/23/12, 10:48 PM
Nice! Like the bent pole too.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: hedonaut on 05/24/12, 12:42 PM
Great effort, and nice pics!


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Splitboard Graham on 05/24/12, 03:45 PM
nice work! almost did the same trip! thanks for the TR.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: runningclouds on 05/24/12, 05:20 PM
Thank you all! I appreciate your comments.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Mtraslin on 05/25/12, 11:15 AM
Good one! Thanks for sharing.... Great to sneak the weather window. I think that is why I went in August a while back, to make sure after all that walking I had a better chance.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Scottk on 05/25/12, 12:20 PM
Huge effort in 3 days given the extra road miles.  That last day must have been brutal.  Congratulations!


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: Splitboard Graham on 05/25/12, 04:41 PM
Quote from: Scottk on 05/25/12, 12:20 PM
Huge effort in 3 days given the extra road miles.


Hoping to press my kids bike trailer into service if I get to this trip this year to make those extra miles less brutal :)


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: hyak_erik on 05/25/12, 09:29 PM
Great pictures and an epic adventure!


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: mikerolfs on 05/29/12, 07:46 PM
Nice one.  Inspiring.


Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: runningclouds on 06/09/12, 08:06 PM
Quote from: Splitboard Graham on 05/25/12, 04:41 PM
Hoping to press my kids bike trailer into service if I get to this trip this year to make those extra miles less brutal :)


There was another group that we caught up with on our way out. They started a day later and made it a little bit past the shelter. Anyway we met them around mile 4, they were fixing one of their bikes. They passed us a little while later but we caught them at the trailhead, they took almost 1 hour to load their 3 bikes and 3 trailers on, I think, Subaru Impreza. I wish I took a picture of their set up: a ski box, 3 bikes, 3 trailers. Very impressive but time consuming.

The walk was long so I kept thinking about bikes too, but somehow I am not sold on the idea.

I did not mind the walk but the backpack with the skis was heavy. I was thinking about little push/pull cart. Something like the sleds on flat glaciers. Still thinking about it.





Title: Re: 18-20 May 2012, Glacier Peak
Post by: JPH on 06/13/12, 11:46 PM
Don't give up on the trailer just yet, it's not very time consuming if you have something bigger than a Subaru...  Also, it can be a fun afternoon project turning an old kid trailer into a gear trailer.

(not from a ski trip, just a bike camping trip)


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