We approach Glacier Peak or “Dakobed” as known in the Sauk Indian dialect from the South Side standard route via the Gerdine and Cool Glaciers. Glacier Peak stands alone in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area as the most isolated of the five major Washington State volcanoes. The mountain offers a unique and pristine wilderness experience which includes a fourteen-mile hike via a well maintained trail through old-growth forest beginning at the North Fork of the Sauk River Valley. The dense Western Red Cedar forest yields to high alpine meadows as we reach our our first camp near White Pass besides the Pacific Crest Trail. The route heads cross-country via Glacier Gap to our second camp, where we rest up and review skills before summit day. We rope up on summit day, making our way up moderate snow slopes all the way to the summit of Glacier Peak at 10,525 feet. The trip is suitable for strong hikers with no previous mountaineering experience, but is also a great choice for experienced customers looking to visit a remote region of the Cascade range. The four day ascent provides adequate time to summit and our professional guides will introduce the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make the climb.
Climbs begins and ends in Glacier Peak Wilderness
Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.
Day 1 • Hike to Camp • 5900 feet
Gear check and drive to North Fork of Sauk River trailhead (2,300 feet). We hike nine miles to our first camp at White Pass through 700 year old Western Red Cedar forest as it joins the Pacific Crest Trail. Camp offers impressive views of Sloan Peak, the Monte-Cristo area, and the Dakobed Range. (D)
Day 2 • Hike to High Camp • 7300 feet
Hike to high camp at Glacier Gap above the glacier bed of the former White Chuck Glacier. We travel cross-country through challenging alpine terrain traversing above the White River and descending into Glacier Peak Meadows before ascending to camp near the Suiattle Glacier. We prepare dinner and gear for the next mornings alpine start. (B, D)
Day 3 • Summit Day • Glacier Peak • 10,525 feet
Summit day starts early. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields ascending around Disappointment Peak to access the Cool Glacier. We climb the Cool Glacier, traverses a snow and rock arête up to Glacier Peaks icy summit. The summit allows remarkable views of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Mount Baker to the north, and Mount Rainier to the south. We descend to camp, pack gear and head down to our White Pass camp for the evening. (B, D)
Day 4 • Hike to Trailhead
Pack our gear and return to the trailhead. (B)
Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.
NWAG makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Where to Meet
8:00 am, the morning of the climb, we meet in Darrington for equipment check before heading to the trailhead.
We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.
Registration and Payments
$500.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to start date. Please read NW Alpine Guides Reservation/Refund Policy for details.
Guided climb and instruction
Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
Professional mountain guide
Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
Services not included
Trailhead parking fees (NW Forest Pass)
Lunch and snack food
Hotels or lodging
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage