Boulder Glacier - 2017

Boulder Glacier - June 25, 2017

Road Access: Forest Road #1131 is open and clear to Boulder Ridge trailhead.
The rock step below Boulder Ridge is melted out.

Trail Status: Boulder Ridge Trail was clear of snow to the meadow. There were approximately 20 trees down across the trail, and several wet and muddy sections. Brush along the sides of the trail was overgrown and thick in places. The rock step at the base of the ridge was melted out, but water was running down most parts of it. A fixed static line is still present on the rock step.

Snow Level: 4200 feet Snow Observations: Soft corn snow existed on most aspects and elevations. Small sun cups and runnels were beginning to develop below 7500 feet.

Route Observations and Additional Information: The Boulder/Park Cleaver was still navigable this weekend, but warm weather will rapidly change the glacier. We didn’t encounter any major crevasses on the sections of the glacier below the cleaver. There were some minor crevasses intersecting the cleaver itself and we crossed these without much difficulty. The most complex and broken section of the route began at the top of the cleaver where there were several major crevasses that we crossed on solid snow bridges. The crux of the route was at approximately 9800 feet where the base of the rock formation that constitutes Grant Peak rises out of the glacier. There was a large crevasse there that ran across the Park and Boulder glaciers. We crossed it on a small, steep snow bridge on the northerly edge of the rock formation, then traversed southerly on a patch of snow across the rock formation to gain the upper portion of the Boulder Glacier. A few crevasses were beginning to appear on the final wall, but we end ran them without too much meandering. Grant Peak and the summit register were still covered in snow. The snow bridge we used at the base of the rock formation will likely become impassable in the next week or two, at which point it will be necessary to find an alternate route, perhaps by traversing far to the southwest toward Sherman Crater.
Lower section of the glacier below the cleaver.
Upper part of route including crux section below Grant Peak.
Most of the campsites on Boulder Ridge and the cleaver were still covered in snow. Running water was available in the Boulder Ridge area. Please remember to pack out all garbage and human waste using blue bags or another waste removal system. This is a very sensitive and pristine area. Practice strict “Leave No Trace” techniques. Blue bags are available for free from the USFS Service Centers in Glacier and Sedro Woolley. Thanks for helping us preserve this wonderful natural resource. Thanks and happy climbing!

Boulder Glacier - May 27, 2017