Sloan Peak

August 26, 2001

Dave Svilar, Dan Lawty

It was the time of year when Dan had some time off, so we made plans to climb a peak we had always stared longingly at from other hikes and climbs.  Sloan is impressive from every vantage, especially from the north where some have gone as far as to call it the "Little Matterhorn."  As a long time family friend and minister in my mom's church, Dan and I had laid tracks on a lot of trails in the Mountain Loop region.  Even though I had grown up to be a non-believer, I still valued Dan's company - especially in the mountains.

Almost immediately the trail crossed a creek and then another shortly after that seemed more like a river forcing us to wade through.  After this minor inconvenience we lost the trail after following a misleading trail marker.  Regaining the trail it was straightforward until reaching the glacier.  Recent beta from Mac Bates suggested we could cut straight through the glacier and that we didn't need crampons.  We tried making our way through the glacier, but crevasse bridges were just too thin to feel comfortable trying to cross.  Our last option was to walk directly under the rotten headwall.  Evidence of recent rockfall was abundant, so we didn't waste time.  In one especially rotten portion of the wall a table-sized boulder had fallen and made a crater in the glacier.

After leaving the glacier we could see why the route was called the "Corkscrew" as it wound all the way around the mountain following "goat trails" that took us directly to the summit.  On top we took time to admire views of Glacier Peak and the Monte Cristo Range.  The descent was easy although we could have used crampons on the hardened glacier.  The roundtrip took ten hours, and we made it down in time to catch the end of M's game.

Dan walking on the "goat trails."


Dan on the summit with the Monte Cristo Range in the background.


Dan and I un-roping after exiting the glacier.  Glacier Peak in the distance.

-written January 2003

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