Here's where you peruse WACer trip reports and post your own for everyone to see. Remember: Never let the truth interfere with a good story!
|GuideBook||Rocks & Roots|
|Weather||Warm, partly cloudy|
|Mailed to WacList||09/03/2007|
Glacier Peak via Jardine and Cool Glaciers|
Photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/frslater/200708GlacierPeak
Approach to Glacier Gap
Large trees and brush were cut by FS contractors on the North Fork Sauk River Trail #649 during the week of August 20. The trail is unobstructed to White Pass, and a footpath continues northeast at 6000 feet for ¾ mile where the ridge can be crossed northwards into the White Chuck Glacier valley. More than half of the White Chuck Glacier shown on the USGS maps is gone, with several new lakes in its place. Stay to the east above 6500 feet and cross the remaining tongue of the White Chuck to avoid the muddy, rutted center of the valley. Turn right at the end of the valley and ascend to Glacier Gap at 7200 feet. Numerous tent sites and snowmelt water are available.
Ascend 100 feet from Glacier Gap, then descend to the dry ridge alongside the Jardine Glacier. Follow the ridge to 8000 feet, then transition onto the glacier and ascend to a broken intersection with the Cool Glacier at 9200 feet. Turn west to attain the pumice ridge at 9600 feet and walk north to the summit. We carried a ropes and harnesses, but did not use them.
There are numerous ice caves in the melting White Chuck, but amazingly, there is also a 30-meter ice tunnel. We discovered the entrance at the base of what is left of the White Chuck Glacier, about 1 mile from Glacier Gap. We walked in one end, and out the other, while gazing up at ice that must have been hundreds or thousands of years old. The cross-section of the ice was striped by each season’s surface dust, much like age rings inside a tree trunk. Jonathan could not resist the temptation to taste the aged water… For those of you with GPS, the ice tunnel is located at NAD-27 UTM 10 0640510E 5325455N, elevation 6670 feet.
The Cinder Cone
Near Red Pass is a naked pile of volcanic ash called the Cinder Cone. We scaled the cone through brush growing on the east face and came out on the bare top. Washington is unique in its opportunity to scale such unusual volcanic features.
We scrambled down the west side of the Cinder Cone, across the PCT, and up the east side of Portal Peak. The summit of Portal Peak offered great views and is capped with a bizarre quadrahedral hunk of quartzite. We found a summit register in a slot in the side of the rock.
There is much to see and do in the Glacier Peak Wilderness besides scaling the highest peak. In many ways, scrambling the valleys near the White Chuck and noodling the ridges near Red Pass was more rewarding than the summit. My advice: go for the summit, but also plan some extra time to explore the area!