Forum Index > Trail Talk > Glacier Peak Glacier Route vs Scramble Route?
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Schroder
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Schroder
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 1:34 pm 
I've gone up the glacier route in July on blue ice so hard I could barely get a crampon point in. Another year I was there in August in soft snow and plunge stepping. You never know until the time comes what conditions you'll find.

peter707, SpookyKite89
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peter707
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peter707
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 2:16 pm 
Quote:
chossy scramble route
I see two different gpx tracks within the scramble route - one that goes directly over disappointment peak, and some other tracks that snake around west of disappointment peak. I wonder if there's a genuine difference there, or if disappointment peak bends GPS data, like a nearby skyscraper. Agreed on people dropping rocks and stuff, that's no fun. I might go on a Tuesday or something.
Quote:
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?
I hope to be fit enough not to finish in the dark on a 16 hour daylight day, but I get what you mean. I don't really get enough time off work for a proper wilderness experience, and there are other competing priorities for that time off. So while I understand where you are coming from... it's this or a treadmill.

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 3:07 pm 
I chickened out at 9000 feet on DC. I was the only one on the ridge that day so no worry about human caused rockfall. It just kept getting steeper and steeper and looser and looser. They weren't small rocks either. I originally wasn't planning on the summit but ran into a trail runner who said it wasn't too bad, I disagree. If I was to do it again I would take the glacier after taking a glacier course. In this picture you can see where I gave up. Right around where the ridge steepens and the boulders get bigger. I think it might get steeper out of view. Doesn't look too bad in the picture but it was too much for me. Definitely the loosest pile of larger rocks I've ever been on, seems to be a trend on volcanoes. They're just rotting apart.

SpookyKite89, peter707
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Randito
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Randito
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 3:07 pm 
Do you and your partner have prior experience with ultra distance activities? I would suggest doing a North Bend Trifeca to first assess how you'll be feeling at the end of 33 mile 11k vft day (e.g. Tenneriffe, Mailbox, Si ) You are a lot less committed after 18 miles to bail and not do the full distance if you feel beat. A one day ascent of Mt Adams via the South Route or North Ridge would be another good test run. Doing the scramble route will have objectively lower risk of a bad outcome. Roped glacier travel with a team of two requires a different set of gear and skills than a team of three and is higher risk. Unroped Glacier travel has additional risk of a bad outcome. If you do mid/later summer the risk of hidden crevasses is reduced , but the risk of an unarrested slide on hard snow is higher.

peter707
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Josh Journey
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Josh Journey
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 5:09 pm 
Just day trip it in early October via the Disappointment ridge. So long as it's not a dry year and you assure there is a foot or so of snow the route is excellent. No glacier, no loose rock, and many miles of gorgeous fall colour! I've climbed Glacier Peak 3 times which this was hands down the best way to do it. Now if you like bonus rounds, bring bivy gear for nearby peaks. Easy class 2 at the crux with the rest being a hike. Ice axe came in handy. I was surprised how much easier it was to climb GP in a day verses 3 days.
One of the dozens of perks of doing it in October
One of the dozens of perks of doing it in October
Treat yourself right
Treat yourself right
Heading down the glacier bypass
Heading down the glacier bypass
Towards White Pass
Towards White Pass
Trail past White Pass
Trail past White Pass
Matt Lemke with Glacier Peak
Matt Lemke with Glacier Peak

uww, zimmertr, HikingBex, Tom, peter707  SpookyKite89
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peter707
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peter707
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PostThu Jan 05, 2023 7:03 pm 
Randito wrote:
Do you and your partner have prior experience with ultra distance activities? I would suggest doing a North Bend Trifeca to first assess how you'll be feeling at the end of 33 mile 11k vft day (e.g. Tenneriffe, Mailbox, Si ) You are a lot less committed after 18 miles to bail and not do the full distance if you feel beat. A one day ascent of Mt Adams via the South Route or North Ridge would be another good test run.
My friend is experienced & fast ultrarunner. I am not as experienced, nor as fast, so I no doubt have some training to do. I will do the route you specified while building for Tiger Claw 25miler this year. Adams south route took me about 7 hours up from car to summit, including all breaks & filtering water. I also did Wonderland Trail (4 days, solo, self-supported, mid-October) so I have some idea of the vertical gain. Fortunately my pack will be a bit lighter on Glacier.
Quote:
Doing the scramble route will have objectively lower risk of a bad outcome. Roped glacier travel with a team of two requires a different set of gear and skills than a team of three and is higher risk. Unroped Glacier travel has additional risk of a bad outcome. If you do mid/later summer the risk of hidden crevasses is reduced , but the risk of an unarrested slide on hard snow is higher.
Thanks for the information!
Quote:
Just day trip it in early October via the Disappointment ridge. So long as it's not a dry year and you assure there is a foot or so of snow the route is excellent. No glacier, no loose rock, and many miles of gorgeous fall colour! I've climbed Glacier Peak 3 times which this was hands down the best way to do it. Now if you like bonus rounds, bring bivy gear for nearby peaks. Overall it was easy class 2 at the crux. Ice axe came in handy. I was surprised how much easier it was to climb GP in a day verses 3 days.
Thanks Josh. I have read your TR's with trepidation, so if you say an Ice Axe came in handy... I'll bring one. Your photos could be a TR by themselves.

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peter707
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peter707
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 9:34 am 
Quote:
Easy class 2 at the crux with the rest being a hike. Ice axe came in handy. I was surprised how much easier it was to climb GP in a day verses 3 days.
Just curious Josh, would you take the red route, or the blue bypass of the disappointment peak scramble route? https://caltopo.com/m/LF01
https://www.strava.com/heatmap#13.73/-121.11967/48.09694/hot/all
Oddly enough, strava global heatmap massively skews towards cool glacier... and those people taking the scramble either diverged in path sufficiently not to be listed... or all turned around and took the glacier...

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Josh Journey
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Josh Journey
a.k.a Josh Lewis
PostFri Jan 06, 2023 10:48 am 
peter707 wrote:
Quote:
Easy class 2 at the crux with the rest being a hike. Ice axe came in handy. I was surprised how much easier it was to climb GP in a day verses 3 days.
Just curious Josh, would you take the red route, or the blue bypass of the disappointment peak scramble route?
Definitely take the blue route on the left. Matt Lemke and I climbed a small bit of class 4 going directly up which had some loose blocks with ice. The blue west line (our descent route) was so much easier, it was trouble free. After getting down it I had to scratch my head thinking "why isn't this variation more popular". Without snow however I could see how it could be troublesome.

peter707
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Bruce Albert
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Bruce Albert
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 12:12 pm 
Josh Lewis wrote:
many miles of gorgeous fall colour!
Beautiful photos. I've never been to White Pass that late in the season, and I regret the omission. Regarding the nature of the trip, I used to do an annual long-loop day trip of some sort, not as long as GP in a day, but plenty long for me. They ended when I realized I was just racing through country I should instead have been savoring.

Josh Journey, flatsqwerl, peter707
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gb
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gb
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 3:37 pm 
peter707 wrote:
Many of those paths terminate on the Cool Glacier; must have fallen into a crevasse.

peter707  KascadeFlat
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peter707
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peter707
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 8:01 pm 
Quote:
Definitely take the blue route on the left. Matt Lemke and I climbed a small bit of class 4 going directly up which had some loose blocks with ice. The blue west line (our descent route) was so much easier, it was trouble free. After getting down it I had to scratch my head thinking "why isn't this variation more popular". Without snow however I could see how it could be troublesome.
Thanks!
Quote:
Regarding the nature of the trip, I used to do an annual long-loop day trip of some sort, not as long as GP in a day, but plenty long for me. They ended when I realized I was just racing through country I should instead have been savoring.
For me, it sort of depends who I go with, trips like this hit the intersection of a) athleticism / peakbagging b) time with friends c) outdoors / wildlife d) style e) nice views & photos f) ease of permit system & minimizing use of time off
Quote:
Many of those paths terminate on the Cool Glacier; must have fallen into a crevasse.
Haha. I think that each line is not an individual? My guess is that there's some algorithm that requires a minimum number of people that have to follow the same line to create one of those small paths. As bootpacks split, lines split & disappear. Then, those lines pop back into existence once some terrain feature forces everyone onto the same line. One example of an individual's line not showing up - once I was camping at crystal creek flats outside the core zone, and took a side route towards Little Annapurna. No line on the global map. My route: Global heatmap:
Caltopo showing where the missing line should be on global heat-map.
Thanks for all of the perspectives & details about the mountain. I have the information necessary to make a decision about route/itinerary. I will send TR if/when I make an attempt in 2023.

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Captain Croc
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Captain Croc
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PostWed Jan 11, 2023 2:05 pm 
Hey this is the guy who did this in crocs! For background, I had no glacier travel experience, minimal scrambling experience and went during a time where there was no snow on the trail. That being said, I run a lot of ultras and have had many 24 hour+ runs under my belt. I did not bring an axe nor helmet and I really wish I had the helmet. I went with a partner with the mindset that if I ever felt too at risk, I would turn around. I took the direct route up disappointment on the way up and the left blue route on the way down. I donít have much scrambling experience and truly pushed my risk tolerance that day. The scariest thing about that disappointment scramble is the loose medium to large sized rocks above you that could pretty much kill you if you make a wrong move. You can minimize the amount of scary overhead big rocks with that blue route and a helmet The blue route is kinda rough too. Itís just a ton of shale and loose rocks. Your ankles will most likely get cut up, and I can not recommend gaiters enough. I was emptying my crocs every 10 steps on the descent. Itís very slow moving but much more attainable. The final push up to the peak is amazing and worth the struggle. After doing the whole push (close to 21hours all hiking, no running, with stops) I understand why the glacier is more popular. It was close to 9 hours of methodical stepping for the disappointment/glacier ascent and descent.

peter707, HikingBex, Josh Journey, Tom  zimmertr  mosey  SpookyKite89
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Riverside Laker
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PostWed Jan 11, 2023 6:22 pm 
OR makes Crocs that keep the debris out of your crocs.

peter707, Captain Croc
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bivouacjack
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PostThu Jan 12, 2023 10:19 am 
I did the scramble route years ago (in August) and found it terrifying coming back down with so many large loose boulders at the top half. Bottom half was fine. I'll go for glacier route if I do it again from that side.

peter707, Bramble_Scramble
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Schroder
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Schroder
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PostThu Jan 12, 2023 10:56 am 
Here's a photo looking back at Disappointment from the summit slope if that's any help

peter707, Bramble_Scramble, SpookyKite89
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