The Ranger at Darrington (360 436-1155) told us there would be an extra 7 miles of road just to get to the North Fork Trail because of a short section of errosion. This would make the entire round trip nearly 40 miles. We packed our bikes, worried about the weather report for the next three days and off we rode. There were numerous trees accross the road, but we were at the trail in about an hour and a half. We thought we'd sneak up the trail on the bikes too, but didn't get far before tree after tree made it impractical to keep the bikes. So we stashed them out of site and moved in the more traditional fashion... We made reasonable time climbing over and around the many downed trees, one tricky stream crossing then into the alpine zone up to the PCT then east around Red Mountain. We were amazed that the snow did not start sooner, but this was south facing slopes with acres of Glacier Lilys. We followed what climber's trail we could, but now the snow covered the slopes. We followed the same route Nick and I came in a couple of years before. We decided to set up tents before droping back into the basin we bivied in before. Water and near level spots for two tents was good to find. The weather kept us anxious. We woke up Saturday to rain and low clouds, but before long, we detected thining clouds so off we went. We made it to Glacier Gap where low, thickening clouds and more rain just made us say it wasn't worth going on. We made very good time on snow both ways from camp to Glacier Gap and back with plenty of water along the way. It's always hard to stop, but the concensous was to come back another day when we can see. No regrets, well some... for sure, in fact I hate turning back... We packed up our tents around 2:00PM and hiked back to a camp in the woods where there was a fire pit. Rain came and went the entire second day. Sunday was a shorter trip out, grab the bikes for a fun ride back to my Van. Burger in Darrington and home for dinner. I hope others summit with good weather. We'll be back I'm sure. It is the last volcanoe for my son to summit in Washington.
Will be going to Glacier on the 27th. Would be great to know first hand about the road as well as glacier conditions, e.g. did you need a rope. Guess we'll take ice axe and crampons unless you didn't need them. Appreciate any beta.