Mount logan - 9087' - Fremont Route Class 3
After day hiking Chiwawa Mountain I drove from Coles Corner to Chelan and got on the fast boat Wednesday morning from Fields Point, arrived in Stehekin at 11am, then took the shuttle bus to High Bridge. I started walking at 12:30pm towards the Park Creek Trailhead. The 4 miles to Bridge Creek went fast, then another 1.5 miles to Park Creek. I hiked these miles in my sandals. Switching to my tennis shoes, I started up the Park Creek Trail, elevation 2300 feet, which was in great condition sans a few blowdowns. The first 1000 feet is a steep ascent to get above the gorge where Park Creek dumps into the Stehekin River, then it flattens out and crosses back to the east side of the creek on a nice bridge. This was the worst part of the approach since it was sooo hot. I jumped in the ice cold creek where the trail crossed.
The next 3 miles are essentially pancake flat, gaining only 640 feet net elevation as the trail weaves up and down, and through the Goode burn area until reaching 5 mile and Buckner camps at 4000 feet near the head of the basin. Views of the SE face of Buckner, and the east face of Booker (aka Park Ridge) are extremely impressive. The trail then climbs steeply once again for 2200 feet to Park Creek Pass at 6200 feet. Amazingly the trail was designed to avoid all the slide alder swaths so none was growing over the trail There was some residual snow in the flat basin at 5750 feet but only a small amount and should be completely gone in a week or so. Park Creek Pass itself is a beautiful, and special spot in the North Cascades. It's certainly remote! A wildlife camera was actually in use at the pass looking for rare carnivores.
I continued beyond the pass and around the corner to the right and found a beautiful flat grassy spot amid some boulders and a small creek at 6000 feet just 10-15 minutes beyond the pass and set up bivy there. I still had 2+ hours of daylight left, so i enjoyed a nice meal and sat in the sun relaxing in solitude taking it all in. This is one of the furthest from any road spots I can think of.
I slept quite well that night under the stars and was up and moving by 5:15am. I began the long ascending traverse northward and crossed over the rib just south of the Fremont Glacier at 7600 feet or so. There was actually a cairn a little higher up that I could only see once I was down and near the glacier, that depicted a route that traversed a ledge to reach the talus/snow slopes on the north side of the rib. Otherwise most of the north side are dirty cliffs. I managed to find a steep gully that cut through the cliffs down about 7350 feet and was able to get through without incident. It's hard to locate when coming from Park Creek Pass because I couldn't see what was below the north side of the rib, but a conscious person should be able to find one of the two ways down. Beyond this obstacle, I continued my ascending traverse across more snow (luckily most of these talus slopes were still mostly snow covered) until I hit the edge of the Fremont Glacier at 8000 feet where it's pretty much flat. Since it was still early I had to throw on my microspikes, and walked quickly north across the glacier. I met up with the multiple tracks coming from Thunder Creek, which led me directly to the proper spot to crest the south ridge of Logan (aka the Hogsback). The snow was in perfect condition and I made it to the start of the Class 4 scramble shortly before 8. I thought this was really only Class 3 up the ~100 feet or so to the ridge crest.
Then cairns marked the route, as it crossed through a small notch and onto the east side, where I immediately felt like I was in an oven. I was glad to be able to do most of the ascend on the shade west side. The route then continued on ledges on the east side up to the false summit, with the true summit a short distance to the north. I dropped my pack and made the easy 30 foot scramble down to the notch between the two and ascended blocky ledges to the highest point, on what I thought was Class 3 terrain. There was no summit register (NPS climbing rangers purposely remove them ) but the views were truly remarkable. Goode and Buckner dominated the skyline but Booker, Forbidden and the entire Inspiration Traverse were also prominent, as was Jack, Hozomeen and the volcanoes. The air was so clear actually that I could make out great detail on Rainier!
I returned back to my pack at the false summit and made quick work traversing back to camp, utilizing the now perfectly softened snow to actually run back, only being forced to traverse loose talus once where I had to re-cross the rib. By 10 I was back at my bivy and dried out my shoes while eating a snack. The remaining hike back to High Bridge was long and hot, but not terrible. I got back to High Bridge just after 4 to chat with a few PCT hikers and a family out on their first camping trip. Bunch of nice people up there.
I caught the 6:15 last shuttle back to Stehekin and ate at the lodge restaurant, while chatting with more PCT hikers. I collected my gear cache that I left in the general store (gear I would need for Tupshin + Devore), and luckily was able to hitchhike a ride 4 miles out to the harlequin bridge where I walked maybe 15 minutes to the Company Creek Trailhead to bivy for the night. It was still so hot at 9:30pm when I set up my bivy just off the road I couldn't even get in my sleeping bag until an hour after dark. I was very lucky to be able to catch that ride, because I don't think I would have been able to walk 4 more flat road miles and if I had to wait until 8:30am the next morning to catch the first shuttle bus, the heat would have already been too unbearable to make the 7000 foot ascent up Devore. See the map below for the track I went. Note I crossed the rib at about 7,450 feet, not 7600 where the map shows, however there is also another way to cross at 7600 feet as I described in the report above.
See my next TR for a detailed account of how I climbed both Devore and Tupshin in a day (well mostly haha).