FKT: Nate Hough-Snee - Glacier Peak Circumnavigation (WA) - 2020-08-30

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
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Finish date
Total time
1d 8h 7m 0s
GPS track(s)

This run is dedicated to the memory of Matthew Bunker who perished on Mount Rainier in 2020. Matt was an explorer and endurance athlete whose bright future was cut short in a ski accident on Liberty Ridge. May we all aspire to Matt's adventurous spirit and kind nature.

On Saturday, 29 August 2020, I left the Little Giant Trailhead at 0730 and traveled clockwise around Glacier Peak via the Napeequa, White River, and Indian Creek valleys before connecting to the northbound Pacific Crest Trail at Indian Creek and eventually the Suiattle, Cloudy Pass, Upper Lyman Lake Trail, exiting via Spider Gap to Phelps Creek and then finally out the Phelps Creek and Chiwawa River Roads to end back at Little Giant Pass Trailhead. I ended back at Little Giant pass Trailhead at 15:37 on Sunday, 30 August 2020.

I was solo and unsupported. In addition to the distance and vert, I faced challenging overnight cold and wet brush but had great temps and great stargazing. I also had a health scare around 0700 deep in the Suiattle Valley, briefly passing out before deciding to have some instant coffee and try to walk it off.

This is a scenic tour of the Glacier Peak Wilderness's eastern and western ecosystems, including tall peaks, old-growth forest, a large volcano, abundant rivers, wetlands, and streams, all in about 107 miles and, depending on who you ask, 27,500-30,000' of gain and loss. It was a privilege to complete this route in a single push and to experience this remarkable area yet again.