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Trailcat
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 6:52 pm 
Most climbing reports are tales of success or near-success.  This is a brief tale of miserable failure on Mt. Logan.

Eileen, George, Bob and I attempted to climb the Douglas Glacier route during the height of the heat wave and bug season.  That was only our first mistake.

After spending a too-warm night at Fisher Camp, we hiked 2.5 miles down Fisher Creek until directly across from Douglas Creek Valley.  We easily located a big log across Fisher Creek, then headed up through dense forest on the eastern side of Douglas Creek.

Douglas Glacier On Mt Logan From Fisher Creek Valley
Douglas Glacier On Mt Logan From Fisher Creek Valley
Crossing Fisher Creek On Big Log
Crossing Fisher Creek On Big Log

It took us 2 hours to travel 1 mile through the forest, which had a moderate amount of fallen timber, swampy areas, and light brush.  Overall, it was pretty typical stuff.  Then we came to a huge thicket of brush that occupied the entirety of Lower Douglas Basin.  Yuck!  We took a deep breath and dove in.

Heading Up Forest In Douglas Creek Valley
Heading Up Forest In Douglas Creek Valley
Bob, Eileen & George Surveying Thicket In Lower Douglas Basin
Bob, Eileen & George Surveying Thicket In Lower Douglas Basin

It took us another 2 hours to fight through the slide alder for about 600 yards and work over to some trees on the left side at 4200 feet.  Unfortunately, the forest was a steep mess of fallen (and rotten) logs and rock outcrops.  We estimated another 2 to 3 hours of horrible thrashing to get up to Upper Douglas Basin at 4700 feet.  Then we would need to do it all over on the way out.  We decided to pull the plug here.

Taking a slightly higher route on our retreat, we avoided some of the brush, but it still took 3 hours to get back to Fisher Creek.  We were pretty scratched up, bug-bitten, sun-baked, and frustrated by the whole experience.

I think this route would be OK in early season when the valley is buried in snow.  Otherwise, I could not recommend this approach to Mt. Logan.  However, we are interested in hearing from anyone else who has tried it and failed or succeeded.

For a more complete report, click here:  https://trailcatjim.com/mt-logan-attempt-via-douglas-glacier-2022/

geyer, Bramble_Scramble, awilsondc
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gb
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gb
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 7:18 pm 
Yeah, timing was not so good. That kind of terrain with heat means lots of bugs and no wind. Certainly that is a better route when snow-covered. I've skied it years ago.

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Sepultura
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 7:44 pm 
Nice efforts!
Trent and I climbed Logan via the Douglas Glacier many years ago on an epic tour from Easy Pass and out Cascade Pass, we also got Storm King and Goode on that trip. I recall the most unpleasant part of the trip being the approach to Douglas Glacier. A lot of swearing in brush Hell. We stayed as high as possible above the drainage and encountered a lot of brush boulder hopping, we termed the phrase “scorest”or “scorist” as it was a combination of scree and forest. A term we still use to this day after that trip.
Thanks for the report as it brings back memories of suffering!

awilsondc
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puzzlr
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 9:47 pm 
That last picture is terrifying, at least to anyone that's had the bad luck to dive into that kind of thing.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr

Now I Fly, Bramble_Scramble
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neek
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PostTue Aug 02, 2022 6:49 am 
From the top on 7/22 we saw tracks on the Douglas, so someone made it around then.

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fffej50
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PostTue Aug 02, 2022 9:56 am 
we had a duplicate experience about 5 years ago and it was the first time that any of us collectively threw in the towel..crazy hot,overwhelming steep head high brush and bugs and what looked like no water for 3,000 feet and like you we retreated after a night in the swamp to Cosho camp to lick our wounds. Ethorson had detailed another route that began about a mile down stream from Cosho and went up another drainage .

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dicey
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PostTue Aug 02, 2022 11:08 am 
I've done that approach to Logan on skis, and on foot early season.  Then there was this horrible ending to a otherwise wonderful trip.  This route is a no go without snow!

https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8030307

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Stefan
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PostTue Aug 02, 2022 11:46 am 
Whoa.  I thought we were in a 3 week delay of snow around here!  That picture of your look up the valley looks like a great place to suck up carbon and produce oxygen!

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Art is an adventure.
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Route Loser
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PostWed Aug 03, 2022 6:50 am 
About ten years ago,  my dad and I ran into raising3hikers on his way out from this route.  I thought it sounded like a fine approach, and going solo the following year,  it sure was. The shrubbery was less mature then. A couple years later, I took a friend in there and probably promised a "shortcut to Logan" or "a brush-free route", as you do. We managed to travel through a real boggy area low in the valley, and my partner became mired in some mud with all the qualities of quicksand. It took some time (and a rope) to extract him from hip-deep mud,  and he torqued his knee pretty good in the process. After that, he was nonplussed by the overhead brush ahead.  Same as you, we went up some, then left aways, then threw in the towel and camped on top of one of those massive erratics.

geyer
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Roald
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PostWed Aug 03, 2022 12:13 pm 
The tales of woe in this thread would make a good collection of scary stories.  Like puzzlr, I find that up valley picture of brush to be terrifying.  I once looked up there from Fisher Creek valley and decided on the spot to never try that route late in the season.

Which raises the question:  Which sometimes-traveled valleys offer the worst brush-bashing experiences?  My vote is for the Thunder Basin approach to Luahna.

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Route Loser
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PostWed Aug 03, 2022 3:56 pm 
Roald wrote:
Which sometimes-traveled valleys offer the worst brush-bashing experiences?

The lowland ones full of salmon, Himalayan blackberry and hypodermic needles.

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Zloi
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PostFri Aug 05, 2022 10:34 am 
Let myself get talked into trying this route about 15 years ago, right around this time of year. All went well until we emerged from the woods into roughly the area of your last pic. A snow avalanche--a mix of various-sized trees suspended over concrete-solid snow--blocked the way. Must have been massive, and wasn't going to melt out that year either. Getting through it was pretty awful, and then the brush higher up. We stayed on the right side of the creek going up and it was terrible but somehow we persisted and made it into the basin above treeline. We were hoping to get the climb in in a narrow weather window but next morning we were in clouds and rain, the mountain invisible. Discontent with ourselves ran high. We at least were able to hike out a slightly easier path going down the opposite side of the creek. That route was never on my 'to do' list to begin with. Needless to say, I would recommend any of the other routes up Logan before it.

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Trailcat
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PostFri Aug 05, 2022 10:51 pm 
Roald wrote:
Which raises the question:  Which sometimes-traveled valleys offer the worst brush-bashing experiences?  My vote is for the Thunder Basin approach to Luahna.

My three all-time worst valley bushwhacks (based on the number therapy sessions that I required afterwards):
3. Douglas Creek from Fisher Creek.
2. Thunder Creek from White River.
1. Upper Downey Creek from White Rock Lake col.

However, I suspect that Luna Creek and McMillan Creek make these look like a stroll in the park.

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gb
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gb
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PostSat Aug 06, 2022 6:58 am 
What has yet to have been done, and is certain to make the first person famous, is a girdle circumnavigation of the Pickets at the 4000' level.......

geyer, ree, Zloi
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