I must admit in that this particular sub-peak I had a little reservations. With only 115 of prominence from Gap from Cool Glacier, Disappointment Peak is just a sub-peak of Glacier Peak. In many ways this peak is very similar to Muir Peak located just up Camp Muir on Mount Rainier. But Disappointment Peak is on the tongue of anyone who wants to climb Glacier Peak from the south side. Most who climb Glacier Peak knows of Disappointment Peak and many others have been on Disappointment Peak for another vantage point of the route up Glacier Peak.
Both the Cool Glacier route and the Disappointment Peak Route pass close by this summit in order to get to the summit of Glacier Peak. Some climbers who have already climbed Glacier Peak like to climb this sub-peak for more excellent views . In particular you can see the route up Glacier Peak and the surrounding area. Others might stop at Disappointment Peak if the weather up at Glacier Peak is too dangerous or if the route up to the summit looks somewhat iffy. Disappointment Peak features an excellent 360 degree panorama that is well worth the effort or extra effort.
If you do go for this summit choose the Cool Glacier route up towards Glacier Peak then in order to get to the true top of Disappointment Peak take the simple 115 foot Class 2 boulder scramble up to the summit of Disappointment Peak. Some of the rocks are a little loose but this scramble will take no more than 20 minutes more roundtrip to complete from the gap between the two summits. Be careful though if climbing Disappointment Peak from the south side because the rock in the area is volcanic, hallow and lose.
Map of Routes Up Disappointment Peak
Getting ThereVIA THE NORTH FORK SAUK TRAIL: From Darrington, WA head south on the Mountain Loop Hwy about 17 miles. You will go past the Mount Pugh Trail. At 17 milesyou will want to turn left onto Forest Road 49. Take that road 6 mile to the fairly large and developed trailhead. Though the road is a gravel road the road is in very good shape and doable in a car.
Note: There are other ways to Disappointment Peak but either the road is closed or these routes are on the opposite side of Glacier Peak.
Red TapeAt present only a Northwest Forest Pass is required to climb Glacier Peak. There is also a free wilderness permit which can be filled out at the trailhead.
Legally you can bivy anywhere in the Glacier Peak Wilderness provided you leave no trace. However the two best places to go camping when setting up a climb to Disappointment Peak and/or Glacier Peak is to either setup camp at Glacier Gap four miles to the south, or as White Pass roughly ten miles to the south. There are a couple of other places located in the former White Chuck Glacier, but many these spots are only ideal when there is snow on the ground. There is even one small spot very close to the summit of Glacier Peak, but this spot is only melted out in September.
External LinksUnsuccessful trip up Disappointment Peak
A trip report on a climb that included Glacier Peak and Disappointment Peak
Disappointment Peak Peakbagger Page
A Topozone Link to Disappointment Peak