Finally, a good weekend forecast. With the nice weather, I had to get out and climb Mt. Logan. I left the Easy Pass TH at 8am Saturday after getting my backcountry permit in Marblemount. I quickly hit snow and lost the trail through the forest. I thought it would have been a good idea to stay to the right and be in the forest as soon as I hit brush. That wasn't the best idea but I eventually made it up to some nice snowy slopes below the pass and followed it up. At the pass, I could see my destination way off in the distance. I wondered if I was actually going to make it happen.
I went right for a couple hundred feet and found the trail that heads down the pass to Fischer Cr. There was snow it spots but mostly clear since it's south facing. The glacier lilies were everywhere making the ground yellow. After reaching the valley bottom, I still had about 3 miles to go on the trail before crossing Fischer Cr to follow the creek that drains from the Douglas glacier.
The creek crossing went very smooth, there were many logs to choose from but I was now off trail going into this small valley that has a reputation of being brushy. The first mile was pretty good, only down logs to go around while staying around 100' on the left side of the creek. Then the brush started, it started to become thick and I found myself next to the creek. I wanted to get rid of some weight and find a place to set camp. I found a sandy spot and through my tent and other things down before continuing on. I had hoped to camp closer to the basin but I was happy to lose the weight and not have to fight the brush with it on.
I made my way through and old avalanche zone and walked on top of down trees where I could to avoid the new growth below. It took me a while to go the next half mile to where I would hit continuous snow near the creek. I had to be careful walking on the snow with the creek roaring below, I stayed to the side as much as I could. At the basin, I had a couple options to choose from. I could go around to the left and take easy slopes and then wrap around towards Logan, or I could try to find a way up near some of the many waterfalls directly to the Douglas glacier. I chose the direct route and used many veggie belays to get me up the steep rock to better ground.
Once at the glacier, I stayed to its far right side to avoid crevasses near the middle. I slowly gained elevation as more views opened up. Near 8000' there was a big crevasse/shrund that almost went the entire width of the glacier. Luckily, a recent slide from above filled a section of it in so I could walk right across. As I neared the Douglas/Banded col, I saw a huge snow wall ahead. It was steep but I found a reasonable way up it by staying to the right. From there, the rest of the route was in view.
Near the top, I dropped my crampons and climbed up to find out it was the false summit. Not a big deal, I down climbed and made my way over to the real one and it was easy 3/4th class scrambling. I found the register placed by Franklin last year in a plastic bag. I was the 3rd party to sign in this year.
I hit the summit at 5:15pm, 9 hrs and 15 min after leaving the TH. I was a little tired but it was down hill from there. The views from the top were great. Buckner to Boston to Forbidden to Eldorado and so on. The ice cap area looked amazing. Too bad I had bad lighting when I was on the summit so my pics didn't do it justice.
On my way down, I knew I wouldn't be able to down climb near the waterfalls, so I went the long way around and got a close up view of a big slab that partially released below Pincer Pk. The rest of the way to camp was uneventful as I was happy to get the bushwhack over with. I reached my camp at 7:30pm and ate dinner and quickly fell asleep.
I woke early, had a quick bite and was hiking 10 minutes later by 5:30am. I was kind of dreading having to go back up to Easy Pass, but it wasn't so bad. The flowers and the views allowed me to stop often and enjoy the sights. It took me 3 hours to get to the pass and I took a break and one last look at the area. As I was thinking, I realized that I probably had that whole valley to myself yesterday. It wasn't until I reached to TH at 9:30am that I found 2 guys there. One of them was off to a 6 day trip, looks like a good time to do it. Good luck to him!
10800' elevation gain-8000' day 1 and 2800' day 2
2 days-11.5hrs day 1 and 4hrs day 2
glad you made it happen. pretty short first day compared to what i thought you'd be dealing with. i'd be interested to see the pics of the snow filling the crevasse as well as what it was like walking on the avi debris.
-------------- "the trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine whether or not they're genuine." - abraham lincoln
pretty short first day compared to what i thought you'd be dealing with. i'd be interested to see the pics of the snow filling the crevasse as well as what it was like walking on the avi debris.
That first mile off trail is really tame, but that brush a little further up will be worse in a few years. Manageable now but will need snow cover in years to come to make it easier. A mid June trip would be ideal.
As for walking on the small slide area on the glacier, it was just like the rest of the snow. Ankle deep and firm below that, I'd say it was at least 2-3 days old by the way it was melted. I didn't get a good picture of the filled in crevasse but it was actually mounded up a bit at that spot. The filled in part was about 5' wide and as the slide rounded the corner, it was maybe 15' wide. It definitely helped me out or else I would have had to try the left side of the glacier and travel above the crevasse in limited room. The location of this is where the Douglas glacier narrows at around 8000'. The route might become impassible soon
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