Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Logan – July 22, 2022 (100th Bulger!)
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Roald
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Roald
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 10:54 pm 
We were 10 miles down the Thunder Creek trail with another nine to go – about the time you begin to think, “Oh man, this was supposed to be the easy part of the trip” – when Mick said it for the first time: “I’m just saying – it’s your fault.” Fair enough. It was my fault we were on this slog. Mount Logan was on my list, not Mick’s. Mick was along because … well, why was he there? I’m just saying. Logan was on my list because I had climbed the other 99 Bulgers and this was #100. 100 Bulgers. You might not appreciate the craziness of this situation. You see, I am a piker of a climber. And old. I did not even learn about the Bulgers until I was turning 50 years old, noted I had already climbed 23 of them, and decided to visit another 27 for my “50 at 50” project. That was 15 years ago. I posted trip reports of some of those climbs and was encouraged by the welcoming reception of the nwhikers community – some of whom, I hope, are still around. Since then, I stopped and started on the list a few times. More kids entered the picture, I took a bad fall and got hurt, and had a couple zero (Bulger) years. Three years ago I decided to get back on the horse and visit the last 11 peaks – relying on friends to join me, especially Mick and Eric. Logan was the culmination of that journey. On this trip, I was joined by Mick, Maggie, Kalin, and Nick – to whom I am ever grateful. Pictures below are from all five of us. Fairyland I saved Logan for #100 partly because no one previously had finished the Bulgers on Logan, and mostly because Logan is supposed to be a wonderful climb. On that score, it did not disappoint. We parked cars at the Colonial Creek campground and ambled south toward Park Creek Pass. The trail weaves through a lush garden tended by magic fairies. Talk about greenery. These photos do not do it justice, but there is no green more intense than in old forests blanketed by moss. You might even call it … forest green.
Highway
Highway
Greenery
Greenery
Falls
Falls
Critter home
Critter home
Humans try to replicate such spaces in our gardens, sometimes to great effect. But gardens suffer when compared to the real thing. I once visited an elaborate “Naturepark” in Kassel, Germany. In addition to a huge Kassel (castle) and an M.C. Escher-like watercourse of falls, spinning wheels, and fountains, it has a replica of a natural stream that meanders through the park. The stream was engineered to have pleasing bends, with ripples over rocks that are placed with great care. It is pretty, but also sad, because it comes nowhere close to a natural stream. The rock placements are too perfect, the water flow too even, the muddy spots too clean, and the erosion not apparent. Rather than replicating nature, the Naturepark demonstrated a futulity in even trying. National Park trees The trail enters North Cascades National Park after a few miles and passes several established camping areas along Thunder and Fisher Creeks. And get this: there are no blowdowns! Maybe I have spent too much time thwacking through brush, because I could not believe our good fortune in having such a well-maintained trail. I concluded that, in national parks, trees do not fall onto the trails. How else do you explain the complete absence of any downed trees to climb over, scoot under, or thwack around? Ok, there is another theory. Maybe National Park Trees are well-trained trees. If they must fall, they cleave in just the right places to avoid obstructing the trail. Here is an example of the many well-trained trees we passed by:
Notice the well-trained National Park Trees thoughtfully not blocking the trail
Notice the well-trained National Park Trees thoughtfully not blocking the trail
Even National Park Trees have exceptions, however, and we did encounter a few rebels that obstructed the trail.
A poorly-trained tree
A poorly-trained tree
But I’m sure that, shown a little metal, that tree will train right up. Even the rebels eventually succumb to the saw (alas). Flowers At about 14 miles the forest gradually gives way to avalanche slopes and wildflowers.
Columbine
Columbine
Sitka valerian
Sitka valerian
Red, white, blue
Red, white, blue
Not a flower
Not a flower
Then it crosses Thunder Creek – the first big water without a bridge – providing an opportunity to scour out any lingering navel lint:
Thunder Creek
Thunder Creek
Crossing Thunder Creek
Crossing Thunder Creek
(On the return, we found a more gentle place to cross the creek about 200 feet downstream.) Ironman We turned off the trail just north of Park Creek Pass and camped in the basin to the east at 6450 feet, 19.3 miles from the car with an elevation gain of 6700 feet for the day. If we had more energy we might have climbed higher to escape the mosquitos, which were voracious. Instead, we ate dinner, snapped a zillion pictures of the west flanks of Mt. Buckner as it loomed above in the setting sun, and settled down for a welcome night of sleep.
Early views of Buckner
Early views of Buckner
More Buckner
More Buckner
Buckner, from higher up
Buckner, from higher up
Park Creek Pass
Park Creek Pass
Near Park Creek Pass
Near Park Creek Pass
Above the trees
Above the trees
Nearing camp
Nearing camp
Camp area
Camp area
Nick's amazing photo of the night sky over Buckner
Nick's amazing photo of the night sky over Buckner
… until Kalin walked into camp at 3:30 am. I left out a detail: Although we were a party of five, it was more like 4.5 because Kalin joined us late and left early. We left the car at 9:40 am and reached camp before sundown, but Kalin left his car at 5:30 pm. Then, after climbing Logan on Day 2, just as we nestled into our bags for the night, he ran back to his car in the dark to get to a family outing. That is commitment. Summit day On Day 2, we took the normal route that traverses toward the Fremont Glacier at about 7000 feet, hopping dozens of streams.
Buckner, ever present
Buckner, ever present
Forbidden in the background
Forbidden in the background
Fun travel
Fun travel
Kalin
Kalin
Sidehilling
Sidehilling
Wildlife
Wildlife
Waterfowl
Waterfowl
We took advantage of snow when we could until we reached the glacier:
Since we carried the rope, we pulled it out for the glacier walk. By now, a marine layer that had been forecast for later that night began to roll in, changing the bluebird sky into an occasional fog bank.
Transition to rock
Transition to rock
Transition to the rock scramble
Transition to the rock scramble
The snow exited easily onto the rock. And despite route descriptions suggesting that the ridge scramble was tedious, we found it fun and way too short.
Scrambling
Scrambling
Gully near false summit
Gully near false summit
Rasslin' the rock
Rasslin' the rock
Phlox
Phlox
Splash of color
Splash of color
Flat spot
Flat spot
Phacelia
Phacelia
Above the clouds
Above the clouds
Near the top
Near the top
As I mentioned, the scramble ended too quickly.
Views from the top
Views from the top
Ducky
Ducky
Lounging at the top
Lounging at the top
Goode's NE Buttress, [url=https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7985816]the route I sometimes mention[/url] when asked about my favorite Bulger climbs
Goode's NE Buttress, the route I sometimes mention when asked about my favorite Bulger climbs
Another shot of Goode's NE Buttress, the ridge line from center left to center top
Another shot of Goode's NE Buttress, the ridge line from center left to center top
Forbidden and the Boston glacier
Forbidden and the Boston glacier
Summit selfie
Summit selfie
There was no rush to leave this Valhalla. To celebrate the occasion, I brought chocolate and whiskey. The whiskey leaked along the way and my pack smelled like I imbibed too much. Mick and Kalin also brought chocolate. I have always thought chocolate was one of the four main food groups. But up there, surrounded by chocolate, all I really wanted was Mick's potato chips. Potatoes are good vehicles for fat and salt, and I eyed those chips with jealousy. Noticing my crazed look, Mick simply offered me the chips. We lounged at the top and took time getting down, even stopping to sleep after exiting the glacier.
Downclimbing
Downclimbing
View back to the summit from the false summit
View back to the summit from the false summit
Mick with Maggie
Mick with Maggie
Glacier art
Glacier art
Swale near the top of the glacier
Swale near the top of the glacier
Pt. 8248
Pt. 8248
A ridge that one of us (not saying who) suggested we go over as a shortcut back to camp.
A ridge that one of us (not saying who) suggested we go over as a shortcut back to camp.
Primus, Tricouni, and Snowfield
Primus, Tricouni, and Snowfield
Buckner and Ducky
Buckner and Ducky
Napping
Napping
Penstemon
Penstemon
Alpine speedwell
Alpine speedwell
National Park birds It’s not only the trees that are well-behaved in national parks. It’s also the birds. Walking back to the car on Day 3, we were serenaded by Hermit thrushes at about 4500 feet elevation. I do not think there is a sweeter bird song out there. I’ve heard Hermit thrushes in movies set in places that these hardy little birds would never populate. I guess when a director wants a gorgeous bird song, they tee up a clip of a Hermit thrush. Descending to about 3000 feet - just where the bird guides say Swainson's thrushes hang out - we heard the Swainson's spiraling upward whistle. Then, right on cue according to the habitat descriptions in bird guides, we heard Varied thrushes at 2000 feet. Again, they were exactly where the books say they should be. This was some kind of bird habitat tutorial. Those National Park birds sure know their places.
Hermit thrush – movie directors’ favorite tweeter
Hermit thrush – movie directors’ favorite tweeter
Swainson's thrush
Swainson's thrush
Varied thrush – the Tuvan throat singers of the bird world
Varied thrush – the Tuvan throat singers of the bird world
(Bird pics cribbed from the web.) Bear migration The NPS warns you about bears and encourages you to use a bear cannister to store food. There was bear poop on the trail, and Mick and Nick saw a bear in the distance, but I never saw a bear the whole trip. When I came home I found out why. It turns out that the bears have been migrating … to Leavenworth. I know this because, at the same time we were on Logan, my wife encountered a bear while walking in Leavenworth’s waterfront park. Bears must prefer bratwurst and polka music over hikers' freeze-dried food. I sure would.
Our food storage, which was unnecessary because the bears had moved to Leavenworth
Our food storage, which was unnecessary because the bears had moved to Leavenworth
A bear in Leavenworth [i:b0df2f06fd][b:b0df2f06fd]at the same time[/b:b0df2f06fd][/i:b0df2f06fd] (not really related to our Logan climb, but this story sort of meanders)
A bear in Leavenworth at the same time (not really related to our Logan climb, but this story sort of meanders)
#86 Somewhere along the way, Maggie and Nick zoomed ahead and beat Mick and me back to the cars by 1.5 hours. Mick and I stopped for much-appreciated breaks along Thunder Creek – there’s no guessing from where that name came! – and took a total of 8.5 hours from camp to the cars. As we rolled in to the parking lot, Nick and Maggie were taking in a lecture by a park ranger at an ampitheater near the trailhead. I’d like to hear how they train the park trees and birds to behave so well.
Thunder Creek along the trail
Thunder Creek along the trail
Cooling off
Cooling off
So I apparently became Bulger finisher #86. 86 is a good number. It is the number worn by Gary Collins. (If you get that reference to the former Cleveland Browns receiver, you are officially old.) My friend Mike and my daughter are making a shirt that reads, “86 > 100”. I have no idea what that means. But it is from them, and it is about a journey involving 100 beautiful peaks, so it is meaningful. It is also meaningful to have shared these trips with such good people. I climbed 19 Bulgers solo, which I enjoyed so much that I plan to visit some of them again. Including re-climbs of some peaks, I visited the other 81 peaks with a total of 46 fellow climbers. At the risk of naming names, the person with whom I shared the most peaks is Eric Wehrly (22 peaks), followed by Don Brooks (12), David Cunningham (11), my daughters Alex (6) and Tesha (10), Russell Cunningham (8), and – last but certainly not least, Mick Pearson (8). Friends flew out to Seattle to join me for an easy peak or two, I made new friends along the way, and my wife Chrystell joined me for two peaks. It was not exactly the athletic feat of Jason Hardrath. Rather, it was a journey of plodding and grunt work, but also connection and exhilarating wilderness, that transforms a person, for the better.

Now I Fly, GaliWalker, mtn.climber, contour5, Anne Elk, Eric Hansen, raising3hikers, Alden Ryno, dicey, MangyMarmot, wallorcrawl, Mesahchie Mark, LukeHelgeson, RichardJ, Prosit, SeanSullivan86, Theboywhocriedroute, vk, hot.choss, RAW-dad, RichP, rstoddard24, Nancyann, Kascadia, HikingBex, zimmertr, rubywrangler, wyattmullen, Slim, jaysway, Gimpilator, abkoch3, ONELUV1, ozzy, ancient_squirrel, GeoTom, reststep, Matt, Tom  ngie
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Matt
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Matt
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 11:36 pm 
Congratulations on a stylish finish to the list.

“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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HitTheTrail
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 5:28 am 
Congratulations. up.gif It was almost 12 years ago to the day that my son and I got on the N. Cascades Stehekin shuttle to do McGregor and you and your partner were sitting across from us on your way to climb Goode and Storm King. Nice that you decided to circle back and complete the list. Not many people have the T100s as a senior project.

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SpookyKite89
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 8:40 am 
Roald wrote:
Congratulations! What an impressive achievement! Love this particular photo.

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trent
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Joined: 02 Oct 2006
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trent
Suffering fool
PostWed Jul 27, 2022 9:07 am 
Congrats! I guess that there is still some hope for me to finish the list!

It's all downhill from here!
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rstoddard24
BBQWingz



Joined: 30 Dec 2016
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rstoddard24
BBQWingz
PostWed Jul 27, 2022 10:06 am 
Congrats on finishing! Logan is a great peak to finish on, it could be my favorite summit wink.gif

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RichP
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 10:19 am 
Niko Popov photo
Niko Popov photo
Congrats on a magnificent finish. up.gif I also had a memorable encounter with Roald during his quest almost 14 years ago on The North Fk Entiat.

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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 11:45 am 
Way to go! Only a few finishers are added each year indicating that this is still a difficult accomplishment even with more beta available.

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ngie
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ngie
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 3:37 pm 
Congratulations! I'm 34/100 in, so far. You're an awesome inspiration to complete the list! PS What's next smile.gif?

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Roald
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Roald
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 4:12 pm 
Thanks - these are the connections that keep giving. I remember seeing Matt while on a late-season run through the Enchantments, and getting out with him on a winter hike of Dickerman. Matt, your pictures of lake plunges and summit tea are enduring. HitTheTrail, thanks for the reminder of meeting on the bus to High Bridge! I was impressed how you and your son were having an adventure together. And RichP, I remember meeting you and Niko (and his dogs!) on my way out from Saska and Pinnacle. Niko and I got out on a couple outings, and I've enjoyed your trip reports too. ngie, good luck with the list. I'll be going back to some Bulger peaks – every trip is different with different weather and time of year – as well as some new ones.

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Fletcher
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Fletcher
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 4:26 pm 
A rare accomplishment, to finish the list on such a classic trip! Congrats!

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neek
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neek
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 7:53 pm 
It was very special to accompany you; thanks again for the invitation. Can't think of a better peak to close off the list with, but check back with me after I see the remaining 45.

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iron
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iron
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 9:48 pm 
my son (namesake peak) sends his congratulations.

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Mesahchie Mark
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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine
PostThu Jul 28, 2022 7:29 am 
This is the best news I've seen in a while smile.gif Congratulations! Great TR, too!

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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MangyMarmot
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PostThu Jul 28, 2022 12:44 pm 
Congratulations! Good peak to finish on.

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