GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

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retired jerry
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by retired jerry » June 30th, 2019, 12:37 pm

it seems like the "high route" would be anything above the Timberline Trail :)

and it doesn't count to go to the summit, down 10 feet, and then walk around. I forget, isn't there a cliff on the east side?

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by mjirving » June 30th, 2019, 12:46 pm

I agree Jerry. Here’s a pic at the top when I summited a few years ago. It’s a doozy looping around on the Sandy Glacier Headwall. :)
9540317D-2A0E-4CC8-9C6D-D43567B012B8.jpeg

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Chip Down
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by Chip Down » June 30th, 2019, 5:43 pm

My goal for my High Route is to stay above the Timberline Trail and off-trail in general as much as possible while still keeping it reasonable, non-sketchy and fun. Therefore, my route I feel really good about. Having said that, I was torn between my route and the higher route...perhaps dropping into the top of Ladd over the higher saddle. I also see that the area up there is flatter and I'm guessing easier to traverse.
Yeah, the higher route (the one I took a day before you) was actually pretty safe/secure. Your route, as you know, was a long slippery unpleasant traverse. The only thing that made it tolerable was lack of expose (safe runout).
...it's also a fair bit of additional elevation to gain to only lose again once dropping back down to Ladd. I also wasn't sure about the slope degrees getting down to Ladd from the high saddle.
Yeah, it's a bit higher to start, but just barely, and you had to climb that gully anyway. I bet the net difference is negligible, maybe a hundred feet or two. Anyway, from the high saddle, there's no need to drop to Glisan (I assume you meant Glisan). I went up Cathedral a tiny bit and crossed the bottom of that big snow bowl, quite easy, and there's even an amazing level sheltered camp site hidden up there. But really, there's nothing wrong with your route, it works fine. I guess mostly I'm drawn to the aesthetics and "route purity" of my path, with the exception that I love the snow chute you took, stylish alternative to a brute-force ascent of the moraine.
What was holding me up was that Co Rock looked pretty intimidating to me to get by
It sure looked easier on the Sandy side, but I didn't confirm. I didn't descend the Glisan side because there was a bit of a moat making it impossible to cling to Co Rock, and because I couldn't see the whole route (didn't want to drop into the unknown). I did see a guy do it, but I think he came up that way and knew what to expect, and he faced in when he dropped out of sight, which tells me it must have been tricky. I don't think I've ever been that high on ridgecrest before, I think I've stayed left on open snow slopes when I've gone higher on Cathedral.
the north side of the old Eliot washout crossing
Conventionally we speak of the west/east sides. ;)
Have I ever told you about the time I managed the old high Eliot crossing with a broken arm? It's one of my favorite stories, because it makes me sound much more badass than I really am.
Then I followed the trail up Cathedral until coming to the perpendicular ridge that leaves it and is the western boundary of the Glisan (does this ridge have a name?) (this is a few hundred yards below Ho Rock). I followed the ridge line down easily and then had to bushwhack just a bit at the bottom to hit the traversing McNeil Point Trail.
I think that ridge you described is still Cathedral. As you're descending Cathedral, it veers right. If you go left towards the shelter, that's no longer Cathedral, it's a spur. To put it another way, the popular trail actually leaves Cathedral, descends to McN Point, then traverses back over to meet Cathedral Ridge lower.
it doesn't count to go to the summit, down 10 feet, and then walk around
I did that on St Helens once. Not recommended! [no, I didn't]
On Mt Adams, totally doable.

Oh, an afterthought: From Sandy [previous trip, not this report], you joined McN point pretty low. Wasn't that a bit of a tedious slog? I've done it (when visiting the Sandy caves) and absolutely hated it. Maybe better to aim for the obvious gap above Co Rock?
Last edited by Chip Down on June 30th, 2019, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chip Down
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by Chip Down » June 30th, 2019, 6:18 pm

Some pics I didn't share in my TR:
Attachments
20190622_102705.jpg
I considered an even higher route, shown in red. But at that point it's just not practical. That's something you'd try for a day trip, not as part of a circum. I'm actually glad I didn't; it looks more hassle than payback.
20190622_124305.jpg
The campsite I mentioned above. I don't feel guilty revealing it, because nobody's even cleared the rocks in ages, and nobody reading this is going to rush up there and check it out anyway.
20190622_124326.jpg
Arrow shows a nice spot to rest on my higher traverse. Notice the bare rocks look pretty stable and easy to cross. If that gully melts out in late summer, hopefully it's all solid/safe rock.

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by mjirving » June 30th, 2019, 7:45 pm

Cool info...thanks.

Long slippery traverse??? I thought it was great. I don't recall ever saying that. If I did it again I would not go up the chute but just go up the ridge which wouldn't take that long. Having said that, your route looks quite intriguing and possibly much better once the snow is gone.

What do you mean by route purity? What makes that one more pure? (not questioning it...just genuinely curious)

I've heard of that camp before up there...cool to see it. can you fit more than a single one-man tent on it?

I actually did mean Ladd...going the other way that I did.

I always get turned around with my directions on the circular path around the mountain...duly noted on Eliot. :)
(I'll have to hear about this broken arm story)

Makes total sense about Cathedral and the spur now that you mention it...obvious when one thinks about it...which I didn't.

I could aim higher when crossing the Sandy to hit Cathedral and found a place up a bit higher than where I previously joined that looked doable. My recollection is that there's some glacial ice that prevents a direct path maybe? Also, it's a pretty decent climb to hit it that high. I'd rather contour on the off-trail stuff that was brushy on the Sandy side and then go up hill on the easy trail. Perhaps I might go a little higher next time. I have crossed the Sandy lower down previously due to the glacial ice up high and not knowing what's under it...like ice caves with thin ceilings.

Thanks for all the dialog...fun to dissect it further.

Mike

leiavoia
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by leiavoia » June 30th, 2019, 10:09 pm

Thanks for the detailed writeup. I recognized that campsite immediately! I had tromped up there through early autumn snow in 2017 and stopped near Ho Rock. I have always wondered how much further up you could go and would like to go back for a rematch some day.

What is this area like at the top of summer? How much of this melts out? And how much further up Cathedral can you continue to hike?

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mjirving
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by mjirving » July 1st, 2019, 5:14 am

leiavoia wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 10:09 pm
What is this area like at the top of summer? How much of this melts out? And how much further up Cathedral can you continue to hike?
Technically you can hike/climb all the way to the summit depending on your comfort level as this is also a climbing route. I went to just before Co Rock fairly easily. It starts getting more "knifey" after that so you'd have to skirt around Co Rock unless you're really brave and into rock climbing.

If you look at my GPS track on Google Earth in the report you can see how melted out it gets as the Google Earth imagery is from the summer. (bottom line is that most of it melts)

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retired jerry
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Re: GoalTechHikes Glisan Glacier Traverse - 06/23/19

Post by retired jerry » July 1st, 2019, 5:24 am

"I did that on St Helens once. Not recommended! [no, I didn't]"

ha, ha, ha,...

I noticed Gaia has ho rock and co rock identified

I wonder where these names originated, surely not oregonhikers.org (i.e. portlandhikers.com)

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