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scottvRoute Climbed: Disappointment Peak Cleaver from White Pass Date Climbed: 7/30/01  Sucess!

scottv

After a rest day ~1km NE of White Pass on a spur of the PCT, started ~2:30am when I awoke to find the persistent rain/mist of the previous day had given way to stars. Eager for her first Washington summit, Mila (the dog) led me enthusiastically through the confusing terrain between White Mountain and the White Chuck Glacier. Beckey's admonition is worth heeding: "advise good visibility." I was very thankful the mist stayed down in the valleys and that the moon lent a bit of light. Spent a lot of time in the dark making unique cairns and putting trios of big rocks in snow fields to mark the way home!



Skirting the lake and the north side of the glacier around 5, dawn gave us enough light to see without the headlamp and we made quick progress. Seemed like the N/NE portion of the glacier was all dirt and rocks and giant melt holes below Glacier Gap. Lots of running water everywhere, but the hiking was fast on frozen mud and rock tops. Didn't have to touch ice, though the central and S portions looked uncrevassed and very good for walking. Three tents in the Gap were all quiet ~6 as the sun rose and sent alpenglow onto the pristine Suiattle Glacier to the S and E. Looked like a great place to sleep!



Saw nobody and barely touched snow all the way along the Cleaver. Totally easy walking with beautiful sunrise and flowers above a sea of mist. Some rockier talus sections were ankle benders, especially on the W side where a patina of frost made flat faces slippery, but staying in the sun we kept up a good pace.



Mila was a total trooper on the steepest blocks leading to the summit of Disappointment Peak. Evidence of a recent avalanche on the adjacent upper Cool Glacier made us both whine a lot. But with 2 little boosts via the collar/leash and we were on top. The final ascent was also snow-free and led to a glorious, albeit hazy panorama.



The hike back was full of good glissading and the antics of white-tailed ptarmigan who appeared worried about what a black and white wolf was doing in the alpine zone. Just barely beat the mist back over the saddle to base camp. Great route on a quiet (Monday) mountain.
Posted Aug 1, 2001 3:37 pm

D SmithRoute Climbed: Sitkum Glacier Date Climbed: 07/08/01  Sucess!

D Smith

With skis on our packs, Scott and I started from the car at 11:00 pm on Friday, hiked to Kennedy Hot Springs. Started out at noon Saturday and reached Boulder Basin that afternoon.



Got up around 3:00 am Sunday. . The route was almost completely snow covered from Boulder Basin all the way up. Crevasse danger was minimal, with only 3-4 small cracks as you roll over onto the upper Sitkum. Some bare ice, too, but easily avoidable. Snow was firm on the Glaciers but too soft on the snowfields. Crampons and rope were just dead weight.



Dropped our skis off 200' below the top and reached the summit just before 9. Clear views to Baker, Rainier, Adams, Puget Sound, and the Olympics.



Enjoyed turn after turn in fine Mid-July corn snow all the way down to Boulder Basin before strapping our skis back on our packs and suffering the 9 knee-pounding miles back to the car.
Posted Jul 9, 2001 9:50 am

chalupa01Route Climbed: Sitkum Glacier Date Climbed: 7/1-7/3  Sucess!
We had a great time on a huge and beautiful mountain. The first day we hiked to boulder basin (10 miles). We camped on a beautiful campsite without a tent under the great stars and bright moon. The next day we climbed with full packs to about 8200 feet at the top of the lower sitkum. We spent the rest of the day here after a 2.5 hour climb and sunbathed on the rocks. We left our tent the next morning at 3:30 for a 2.5 hour climb to the summit. The route is in great condition with ropes optional. The upper sitkum's firn line is becoming exposed and bare ice is growing. The upper scrammble is negotiable, but I would suggest going earlier to get firm snow due to exposure would make this part scary. The view was amazing, we could see Seattle, Puget Sound, the Olympics, Baker, Rainier, Stuart, The whole N. Cascades for that matter. Sunrises on the route are amazing. We hiked out the whole way on the third day, which was a long painful ordeal, but worth it in the end for the great time on the mountain. All in all, one of my most favorite climbs.
Posted Jul 4, 2001 1:26 pm

Bob BoltonRoute Climbed: Disappointment Peak Cleaver, Gerdine and Cool Glaciers variant Date Climbed: July 1994  Sucess!

Bob Bolton

We backpacked the North Fork Sauk River trail to White Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail. Took the trail north to a ridge camp before the White Chuck Glacier. Climbed from this camp. The route crosses the White Chuck Glacier and ascends to Glacier Gap, then along the ridge south of the peak to below Disappointment Peak. We roped up for the Gerdine Glaciers, crossed the high cleaver between this and the Cool Glacier, then ascended the Cool to the "col" between Disappointment Peak and Glacier Peak. Then directly up to the summit. It was a very hot day with temperatures above 95°F (35°C) in Seattle (rare) and around 105°F (40.5°C) east of the Cascades. On the descent there was no breeze and the heat was stifling. Crossing the White Chuck Glacier was like being in an oven with the sun above and the reflected heat below, with no breeze. I was unable to drink enough fluids and became almost unable to keep going. We finally spotted a boulder with a little shade and as we approached it we heard a faint trickle of water under the rocks. We were able to obtain water from that source, and slaked our thirsts and escaped the sun. We pleaded for clouds to cover the face of the sun, but this did not happen. Then when we gained strength, we went on to camp. While preparing dinner I suddenly noticed that the sky was covered with clouds and that the heat was fast dissipating. I studied the clouds and informed the party that we would soon have a massive thunderstorm with drenching downpours. This is the pattern in the Cascades when hot weather breaks with Pacific moisture finally overcoming the high pressure. We had no time to lose, covered everything, grabbed our food and tent needs, and dived into them just in time for the deluge. The storm surrounded us and we experienced its violence for hours. Some lightning strikes had simultaneous ear-splitting cracks of sound. When the lightning passed it rained hard until after sleep finally came. In the morning it was gorgeous with the typical western-valley clouds pouring over White Pass into the drier east-side air of the Cascade rain shadow. We got out of our tents and I told the others that there would be many new fires started by the lightning strikes east of us where rain didn't accompany the lightning. Sure enough we could see some plumes of smoke already. We hiked back to the cars, and discovered from the news reports that indeed many fires were already out of control. This was the summer of never-ending wildfires on the east slopes of the Cascades, and we were in the middle of their cause. We were glad that we could survive ourselves, but the pain of hundreds of thousands of acres of burned forest is still present.
Posted Apr 7, 2001 2:19 pm

climbitRoute Climbed: Kennedy Glacier/Frostbite Ridge/Rabbit Ears Date Climbed: 7/6/97  Sucess!

climbit

Got HAILED off the route right after the Rabbit Ears, by time we returned to the base of the Vista Glacier, visibility was about 5-8 meters and life was interesting. Same thing in May 1998 - only colder - and more wind. My partners returned (without me, the bad weather king) in September of 1998 for a very iced up and crevassed climb.



Great route - i'll put in the info on at ASAP.
Posted Apr 6, 2001 8:23 am

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