(2), White Chuck/Gerdine/Cool Glaciers 9/2/2012, Astonishing Journey through the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Glacier Peak via N. Fork Sauk River, Cool Glacier, Glacier Peak - White Chuck / Cool Glacier route, Glacier Peak - Spectacular Beauty (minus the crazy fog), Glacier Peak, White Mountain, and Portal Peak, "Skamania Pinnacle" (West Ridge of Adams), 8.2 miles hike one way to White Pass (~5 miles due south of Glacier Peak Summit). The guidebook said this route is known for its “camp raiding black bears” and it is easy to see why it’s such a heavily populated bear area—there are berries galore! Alex and I first attempted this loop in 2017, but we vastly underestimated the road to the trailhead. For the Cool Glacier (Standard Route from the South) be sure to bring: It is advised that you know basic crevasse rescue including z-pulley and self rescue with prusiks or ascenders. There is camping at the trail head, Mackinaw Shelter, near White Pass, Glacier Basin, and even on Glacier Peak itself. My exhaustion had fully set in so I decided to nap before dinner.
In late August/early September I spent 9 days backpacking a 95-mile loop route around Glacier Peak, a volcano in the central Cascades of Washington. . With its picturesque view of Glacier Peak from across the valley, Image Lake is a popular destination with many backpackers.
This peak goes unnoticed by much of the people of the Northwest due to it being so far in the crest of the Cascades, its distance from the nearest town, and the fact that its access roads have been washed out making all the approaches to its base a long hike in. We had arrived on a perfectly clear afternoon, but could see the smoke was blowing in our direction. About an hour later, the bright blue Jeep Wrangler pulled into the parking lot.
Of all the destinations I had planned for this trek, this was the one I was most excited about, and so I was thrilled and feeling super lucky to make it out here during decent weather, especially considering the rainy weather just the night before. My feet were throbbing in pain and I wanted nothing more than to crawl into my fluffy sleeping bag. One of my favorite things about these places (besides their beauty), is the people we meet along the way and the stories they share.
It would remain an issue throughout the trek, always narrowing down my potential hang options since I could only use the smaller trees. I’d sprayed my outerwear, pack and screen on tent in advance with. For example, the If you ever do this loop, be prepared for more climbing than you expect up to Pilot Ridge. This was the first spot where I really felt that the hammock camping was paying off bigtime, as there would have been no way to camp anywhere nearby here with a tent, given the lack of any flat ground. The next morning Damon and I couldn’t believe how strongly the wind picked up overnight. There are a few extremely scenic campsites situated with a perfectly framed view of Glacier Peak, not surprisingly, those were already occupied. The view of Glacier Peak and Image Lake was well worth the side trip from the official loop. Despite cloudy, humid conditions that threatened a bit of drizzle from time to time, our late start worked and we enjoyed a cool, dry day.
A fantastic hammock camp with a mega view of Glacier Peak. We hiked back to White Pass, waving at the trail crew along the way, and took a lunch break with a group of backpackers who most likely represented 3 generations of family, all out to enjoy the weekend. We woke up for sunrise and watched a spectacular show as the first rays of light painted the surrounding peaks in orange. There are two options, one to the east that has a few tangled logs and a single log marked with cairns that is wide and sturdy. It was delightful! We explored up the trail and found a large flat campsite in the trees with considerably less mosquitoes.
It’s a bit brushy and obviously less frequently used and the descent to Little Blue Lake does seem never ending. Since I do most of my backpacks solo, I sure didn’t mind the company. Looking up at Glacier Peak (10541 ft / 3213 m) above Kennedy Ridge. The trail junction sits right between two lakes – Lower Merced Pass Lake and Upper Merced Pass Lake.
REI / We enjoyed another leisurely morning, eating breakfast, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoying the simplicity and solitude of waking up in the mountains. I didn’t sleep well. We planned to complete a four day hike in the Glacier Peak Wilderness that we have been dreaming of doing for years—the Spider Gap - Buck Creek Loop. There was little shade along the way and we took breaks in the few spots we could find, relishing each shadow and the intermittent cool breeze that gave us respite from the unrelenting heat. We found a nice bare area with enough room for two tents and set up camp. We found a spot for our two tents and set up.
Preparing for the Unexpected, 2020 – A Decade of Lessons Learned . A few days before the trip I reconnected with an old acquaintance from my trail running days who was super interested in the loop I had planned. Can you imagine the glacier that raced through here carving these great walls? Glacier Peak is one of the five volcanoes of the state of Washington, and is the highest mountain in Snohomish county. This turned out to be one of the most amazing and adventurous treks I've done! Hanging out in my hammock at a high meadow with a big view of Glacier Peak. Eats Drinks and More, CA – Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Parks Creek Trailhead . On our way to Suiattle Pass we saw our first views of Glacier Peak and it energized us. Day 5 would be hiking down, down, down, from my high point on Grassy Ridge all the way down to the depths of the Suiattle River, the giant river that oddly wraps halfway around Glacier Peak from its southwest side to its northwest.
Had it been legible and had I bothered to check my map, I would have seen that Blue Lake was 0.2 miles to our east.
We met them while backpacking in the Sierra three years ago and have kept in touch ever since! The first couple miles flew by in an adrenaline-fueled fog, but as darkness settled in I crashed. These Northwest forests are so majestic and enchanting, with the massive trees, moss, and ferns. Change ). This was one of those utterly sublime moments that will be forever etched in my memory, and also it capped this feeling of everything coming together - all the effort of driving out to Washington, all the grueling days of hiking so far, all the hammock learning - all of it had come together to arrive at this one sublime moment.
The blueberries and huckleberries were plentiful along this stretch of trail and we all plucked handfuls of them as we hiked.
Our planned route was 38.5 miles with ~8,300’ of elevation gain and 9,900’ of loss, split up evenly between four days. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. Mount Pugh has a special memory to me, as it was the very first hike I ever did in the Cascades when I moved (briefly) out to Seattle after college back in 2001.
Just before sunset we took a quick walk up trail and found a larger lake, which we thought was Blue Lake, but it didn’t quite compute. We could see the entire route we had taken from Spider Gap toward the Upper and Lower Lyman Lakes and then up into a beautiful meadow. We had hoped to get an early start to our hike, but we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the scene until well after sun had risen. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Even with good bug spray the mosquitoes were relentless, so I enjoyed dinner from the comfort of my tent.
Strong hikers can trek around Glacier Peak in about 4-5 days, but I opted to hike for 9 days because I wanted to incorporate a number of side trips along the way. I was so enamored with the Glacier Peak Wilderness after last year’s overnight to Miner’s Ridge lookout that I couldn’t wait to get back, so I spent three days last weekend backpacking the White Pass/Pilot Ridge loop on Glacier’s south side. Shortly after Dishpan Gap, the loop turns off the PCT and heads west on the Bald Eagle Trail.
Moonset light on Glacier Peak, reflected in Lake Byrne. Unauthorized duplication of any of this website's content, including but not limited to photographs and written word, without the author's explicit permission is strictly prohibited. I couldn’t help but stop and look up to admire the beauty of these fantastic giants towering overhead. As we stood on the ridge, debating what to do, Glacier Peak was enveloped in a haze and the smell became overwhelming. The log straddles a rather deep, but short eroded gully, which honestly is a bitch to climb over or out of, even with an ultralight pack. I mapped out the route, then googled around to find any additional helpful info, eventually stumbling upon RobinB's excellent trip report which provided a helpful dose of reality regarding some of the challenges to expect along the way. I arrived at camp fairly early and had the whole afternoon to dry out damp gear, wander around the lake, and generally just relax and recuperate for once. “Everyone else looks beat.”. Although we had indeed missed Blue Lake, we were extra thankful now for our camp at Little Blue Lake since we had it all to ourselves and were sheltered from the crazy wind! Whew!
Damon and I enjoyed the summit of Portal all to ourselves for over an hour, taking in the views, the solitude, and soaking up Glacier Peak in all its glory. They live in Idaho now, but made the trip out to Seattle to meet us. Water, Water, Water, CA – Mt Shasta Wilderness, South Gate Meadows Trailhead, 2020 – A Decade of Lessons Learned .
This is not the place for an inexperienced hiker/climber.For those who are experienced but need partners be sure to post on Nwhikers.net, CascadeClimbers, or here on SP's Plans and Partners Section. I can only imagine how colorful the meadow looks in the peak of wildflower season or the height of the fall colors! One of the more remote and wild volcanos of the Northwest, Glacier Peak is also unique in that it rises not solitarily but amongst a plethora of other surrounding rugged peaks and ranges in its namesake wilderness area. For much of the traveling the trail remains relatively flat until you are 5 miles from the trailhead which this is where the Mackinaw shelter is. It’s really an animal track and ends on an abrupt cliff. I was wrong.
The traps that have worked best for me are the snap traps loaded with a little peanut butter. This was the first long multiday trek I've done with it - an intensive 8-night crash course in hammock backpacking. This would be their longest backpacking trip yet and we were excited to show them the beautiful mountains in our backyard! Leavenworth is a decent resupply and WiFi location.
From the pass, the trail winds downward to the trail junction of the Illiloutte Creek trail.
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