Forum Index > Trail Talk > Glacier Peak Glacier Route vs Scramble Route?
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
peter707
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2022
Posts: 27 | TRs | Pics
peter707
Member
PostWed Jan 04, 2023 10:43 pm 
Hi everyone, Happy New Year! I'm planning to hike / run / climb glacier peak in summer 2023. My friend wants to go fast & light, and prefers to go in 1 day since he doesn't enjoy camping. Leaving aside the implausibility of a 34-mile 11k vert day (I might get a head start the night before...), I was curious if anyone had any experience on the 'scramble' route over Disappointment Peak vs the 'glacier' route over the Cool Glacier. I see a mix of different routes: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/evening-hike-at-glacier-peak-6832a7b - scramble both ways https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/afternoon-hike-at-glacier-peak-77ab786 - glacier up and scramble down https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/snohomish-county-hiking-1bc2029 - glacier up and glacier down https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/activity-september-26-2022-795c7a7 - scramble up and scramble down https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/glacier-peak-46e0eae - glacier up and glacier down I'm curious: 1) How crevasse-ridden is the glacier route? 2) How much exposure is there on the scramble route over disappointment peak? Class 2/3? How complex is route finding? I am hoping to minimize the gear required, so if it's class 2 I was hoping to do it in trailrunners, and save the pack space for food / bivy gear. If it's class 3 I might bring climbing shoes in case it rains. Thanks! Edit: Attached a photo of the exact spot where the scramble route diverges.
Edit2: Here's the summitpost page, that says the scramble route is class 4.
Quote:
As the cleaver steepens, choose to ascend directly over Disappointment Peak (4th class), or slip past it by climbing the upper edges of the Gerdine and Cool glaciers. Descend ~150' from the summit of Disappointment Peak (9755') or traverse from the glaciers to a continuation of the cleaver/ridge (~9600). Trudge up ~3/4mi of pumice sand/scree to steeper blocks and/or a snow chute to reach the summit caldera (10541').
Here's a trail report that says it's exposed class 3:
Quote:
We headed for the summit at 5 am, and the cloud inversion in the valleys below combined with the steepness of the hike was just breathtaking. We weren't carrying harnesses and crampons, only microspikes, ice axes and helmets, so we headed directly for Disappointment Peak rather then hiking over the snow and ice. If you go this route, there is really only one snow field on a slope to cross at this time of year, the rest of the way is all snow-free. The scramble up to DP was difficult and a little scary at times, getting steeper with every step. We put the poles away and relied fully on our hands at feet near the top. Do-able for sure, though maybe not comfortable for everyone. Class three moves with no-fall zones up until the top of DP. After reaching DP, the rest of the way up to Glacier Peak was a straight shot over loose rock and scree. We joined up with the many groups that had gone the glacier route, and had a beautiful but windy time at the summit. We weren't going particularly fast, and it took us about 5 hours from High Camp to the summit of Glacier Peak. We made it back to the car, tired, at about 7:30 pm, 24 miles and 14 hours on the trail for the day.
this has a few shots of the disappointment peak scramble. Which looks eyebrow-raising but plausible for our level. I'll bring some rock climbing shoes. Edit3: mountaineers.org claims it's 'loose class 2'
Quote:
ASCENT ROUTE Glacier Peak/Disappointment Peak Cleaver (10,520 ft) 33 miles round trip with 8,200 feet of elevation gain Traverse northward across the White Chuck Glacier for some time on low-angled terrain. If camped on climber's right of the glacier, ascend just above glacial lakes on the left. Follow low angle terrain that arcs slowly to the right or climb steeper snow and rock bands (loose Class 2) that ascend to a col adjoining the edge of the Suiattle Glacier (7,300 ft). From here descend about ~100 feet to flat ground and cross it to the nose of the Disappointment Cleaver. When melted out there is an obvious climber's trail on the right side of the cleaver. Ascend it until it steepens, and then descend to the snow (~8,600 ft). Climb a rising traverse on the glacier to the right under Disappointment Peak, avoiding rock fall in this area, then in an arc up and left to steepening snow slopes to the col adjoining the Cool Glacier at 9,100 ft. Ascend the Cool Glacier to the 9,600 ft col above Disappointment Peak. Continue north-northwest on snow or pumice slopes up and left until an obvious, moderate slope that leads north straight up to the summit ridge, a final 200-300 feet of climbing.
Edit4: https://caltopo.com/m/LF01
https://www.strava.com/heatmap#13.73/-121.11967/48.09694/hot/all

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Sky Hiker
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 1422 | TRs | Pics
Location: outside
Sky Hiker
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 3:58 am 
Find someone willing to camp. Your inviting an accident IMO

pula58, peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
gb
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 6065 | TRs | Pics
gb
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 5:19 am 
I think it would be very foolhardy to do a glacier route on Glacier Peak without boots, an Ice axe, crampons, a rope, and partner. Late season can mean very hard snow and ice. I have skied Glacier Peak in June right of Disappointment Peak, climbed the Sitkum route in September, skied the Kennedy Glacier route in April and June, and climbed the North Ridge route in August.

pula58, peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Waterman
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 516 | TRs | Pics
Location: Big Snow Quadrangle
Waterman
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 5:28 am 
Looking at alltrails website, it seems to be a collection of trails with no information other than very basic information. While it may serve a purpose it leaves out a awful lot. Depending on alltrails for what you suggest is probably not going to end well. Check out Beckys CAG book and put a little more thought into what you purpose.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
flatsqwerl
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 1000 | TRs | Pics
Location: tacoma
flatsqwerl
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 7:04 am 
When I did Glacier peak 2 years ago I was amazed at how many people were doing it in one day. Most were in small groups. The group I spoke with started at 3am and were prepared for night travel upon their return. They were doing the Cool glacier route...briskly trotting across the glacier unroped as it was melting out. This was early August.

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
peter707
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2022
Posts: 27 | TRs | Pics
peter707
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 8:42 am 
Quote:
Find someone willing to camp. Your inviting an accident IMO
I'll consider this. I might set up for a 3-day attempt w/ my girlfriend and her friends, and bring an extra harness. Then our fast friend can hop onto our rope team for the glacier portion on our day 2. We can summit together, and he can run down ahead of us once we are off the glacier. I read this: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13200207200/Climbing-Alone-and-UnropedFall-into-Crevasse-Inadequate-Clothing-and-Equipment-Washington-Glacier-Peak-Sitkum-Glacier
Quote:
Looking at alltrails website, it seems to be a collection of trails with no information other than very basic information. While it may serve a purpose it leaves out a awful lot
Good point. For me the purpose of alltrails is to rip the GPS files off of the submitted activities, to load it on our various gps watches. It's no summitpost or wta or peakbaggers or whatnot where you read the beta.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
peter707
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2022
Posts: 27 | TRs | Pics
peter707
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 9:09 am 
Quote:
I think it would be very foolhardy to do a glacier route on Glacier Peak without boots, an Ice axe, crampons, a rope, and partner. Late season can mean very hard snow and ice. I have skied Glacier Peak in June right of Disappointment Peak, climbed the Sitkum route in September, skied the Kennedy Glacier route in April and June, and climbed the North Ridge route in August.
@gb, have you had a chance to scramble on Disappointment Peak, if so do you agree with "loose class 2 (mountaineers)", "exposed class 3" (WTA trip report), or "class 4" (summitpost)? I'm trying to figure out if I can avoid the glacier entirely.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Riverside Laker
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2745 | TRs | Pics
Riverside Laker
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 9:41 am 
We did the scramble route but I wouldn’t repeat it. There’s significant danger of rockfall from above in that very loose terrain.

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 835 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 9:47 am 
I looked into this last summer and came away with the same questions from you. I never did make the trip, but am looking forward to doing so this summer. From what I understand, Disappointment Peak is extremely chossy. The scrambling isn't necessarily difficult, but you will likely release rocks on your party members below. Some people I've spoke with said that "Once you reach the foot of Disappointment, you'll wish you chose the glacier instead" I think 3 days would honestly be ideal for this trip. Getting to Glacier Gap isn't so bad. But then summiting, returning to camp, and hiking out with backpacking gear the next day would be cumbersome. I know someone who bivvied on top of Glacier Peak which seems to be the best way to do it in 2 days. That being said, I also think a single day approach could be possible. Pretty sure Joel Gartenberg did it in Crocs in one push last year....

Flickr | Strava

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
flatsqwerl
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 1000 | TRs | Pics
Location: tacoma
flatsqwerl
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 9:47 am 
If one is hell bent on the Cool glacier route unroped, I would do it in late july ( assuming a normal snowpack). The first major crevasse crossing was opening up when we did it and you could see a major hole underneath partially hidden. We did it roped. My son thought it was one big bother being roped up...

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 835 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 9:56 am 
zimmertr wrote:
Pretty sure Joel Gartenberg did it in Crocs in one push last year....
Found it... 😂 https://www.strava.com/activities/7975332516

Flickr | Strava

peter707
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
peter707
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2022
Posts: 27 | TRs | Pics
peter707
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 10:18 am 
Now I'm just confused between 3 conflicting perspectives - these 3 can't all be true, at least not all the time. I guess there's a lot of nuance. a) all unroped glacier travel is inexcusably risky b) class 2 & 3 scrambles are generally fine, especially without people above dropping rocks on you c) people who take this scramble wish they took this glacier? Counterpoint for a) The muir snowfield is generally not considered a glacier. But I'm sure if a person went on October 18th, 2022 they could have found some serious cracks to fall into, and on October 21st, 2022 those would have been covered by a 4 inch thick snowbridge to obscure them from view. Is there a specific flow-rate on a snowfield that makes a glacier a glacier, that the cool glacier could cross over in July, that the Muir snowfield crosses over in October? Or is it a 'you know it when you see it' sort of thing? Counterpoint for b) people fall on class 3 scrambles w/ serious injury all the time, including on stuff like Mt. Si haystack. It's not really true that class 3 scrambles are generally fine. Counterpoint for c) Glaciers don't feel dangerous until one day you are the unlucky 0.01% and end up in the crevasse. Scrambles at least tend to scare people roughly linearly with how scary they are, unlike glaciers. It's possible that the 'feel', where people wish they took the glacier, is not correct. https://alpenflo.com/journal/running-glacier-peak-fastest-known-time this is pretty impressive. Although... he took the glacier ropeless...

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
HikingBex
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Aug 2020
Posts: 99 | TRs | Pics
HikingBex
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 11:14 am 
Something else to consider re: the chossy scramble route is how popular Glacier Peak has gotten. Think not only about your own comfort on choss, but your comfort being below other groups of unknown skill on choss. For me, it's an easy choice to do the glacier route instead (but I like glaciers). The roped vs unroped on glacier debate is an interesting one that I've seen play out in many different ways, and I'm always eager to hear the opinion of more experienced mountaineers. From what I gather, very experienced folks have run into big trouble going unroped on glaciers (including a recent-ish case on Glacier Peak if I'm not mistaken) while relatively unexperienced solo hikers have done absolutely fine (translation: gotten lucky) on pretty crevassed glaciers. One other thing: I've heard (and seen pictures supporting) that the approach to Glacier Peak is absolutely stunning. Is it worth it to do that in the dark just to summit in a day?

Waterman, SpookyKite89
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
peter707
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2022
Posts: 27 | TRs | Pics
peter707
Member
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 1:02 pm 
Worth noting that the crocs ambassador previously referenced took the scramble route instead of the glacier route if the GPS data is correct.

zimmertr
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 835 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Jan 05, 2023 1:24 pm 
peter707 wrote:
Worth noting that the crocs ambassador previously referenced took the scramble route instead of the glacier route if the GPS data is correct.
Probably tough to get a good crampon fit on crocs..... dizzy.gif

Flickr | Strava

gb  HikingBex
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Trail Talk > Glacier Peak Glacier Route vs Scramble Route?
  Happy Birthday geobob, like2thruhike!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum