Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Easton Glacier

2-Day Climb on Sewn Up Glacier. Stream Crossing Alert: You WILL get wet.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Parked .5 miles from TH due to snow, but more had melted by the time we came back to the cars. We were able to find a good stream crossing on the way in on Saturday upstream that was completely impassible on the way back...the stream crossing required fording thigh-deep rushing water across rocks gripping a long log for dear life. Maybe a bridge will be put in place again soon? Bring a small towel to dry your feet unless you read otherwise. No running water available to filter from about 4k up yet. Crevasses minimal but opening up in the warm sun.  Postholing on the way down was NASTY, snowshoes wouldn't have helped.

First 'good-weather-weekend' in the mountains+Coleman-Deming not being really viable =climbing with about 200 other people from all walks of life...we ran into everyone from guide services to rando newbies who were climbing via Meet Up, and a very irresponsible skier who brought a dog and skied down without it, leaving it zigzagging down the Roman Wall at full-speed across ropes and through rope teams...this could have made for a disasterous situation for the climbers ascending and descending (already difficult given the  sheer amount of people on the route). IMG_9121.JPG

Met at Ash Way P&R @ 7 and went to Sedro-Wooley Ranger Station to self-register but they're not doing that until they're open full-time (no date yet). Left the cars at 10:20a (parked about .5 from TH, no snowshoes needed. Stream crossing was ok on the way there but we had to go wayyyyy upstream to cross, meaning we ended up entering the woods in the snow and having a bit of a bushwhack and a mini-scramble until finally popping out at around 4400'  and headed towards the  Railroad Grade trail (you can still walk in the snow but there was a dry trail at the top of the ridge you could follow until the endThe plus is that we avoided a ton of mud and another pretty sketch stream crossing on the way up since we were already higher on the route and the stream had a solid snowbridge (We were able to find the correct trail on the way down using BC Navigator).IMG_9003.JPGIMG_9012.JPG

We got to camp a little after 4p...just below 6800 right in between the Deming and the Easton Glaciers, sheltered somewhat by a snowy hill. It was a great campspot, well away from all the tent-cities below us (one camp I counted 35 tents, another 15, etc...), the only problem was that it was right off the climbing route meaning that at 12a when the first rope teams walked by, we were rudely awakened by people who had no idea about how mountain etiquette works, literally screaming to each other and yelling "woohoo!" and, "oh!!! more tents!!!" and just being so absolutely obnoxious I had to yell back to tell them to please be quiet, there were people trying to sleep here (that didn't help in the least). Think of it as the equivalent of when you were young and your parent seemed to bang every utensil in the drawer and empty the dishwasher and run the vaccuum at 6am when you just wanted to eke out a little more shuteye on a Saturday morning. Ridiculous. Woke up for real at 215 to leave at 3...a few delays/gear issues and our 3 rope teams ended up walking at 325a.IMG_9106.JPG

Not many crevasses to negotiate, it was a bit icy on the ascent up to the fumaroles. A few party members were feeling the altitude and the slog so we ascended pretty slowly, taking breaks for them to get food and water. We got to the crater at aorund 615a... it was windy and cold as the sun hadn't yet broken the ridge. The Roman Wall was a mess of climbers, most ascending but a few teams already descending. Hit the summit at 8:15, and ALL our climbers made it up there! Hung out and enjoyed for awhile, lounging in the sun and eating lunch at 9am. 


The descent was a post-holing nightmare after the Roman Wall...not even the skiers were having a great time. No floatation would have helped, you were either stepping onto hard ice or sinking knee-deep in slushy snow or slipping on slush-covered ice. The few crevasses we had crossed on the way up were already beginning to open up a bit more across the bootpath with the hot sun. And by hot, I mean, we were like lobsters cooking in a pot under the bluebird skies on top of brilliant white snow. The good news was that our snow walls had melted out when we got back to camp so we didn't have to worry about breaking them down to leave! 

Descent was uneventful but hot, and we headed down the RR Grade trail, mostly in snow, the trail down to the stream was partially in snow/very muddy. Filtered at the first stream we could find since most were out of water, about 2 miles from the TH. Hit the stream and there was no good crossing to be had. With all the snowmelt, the water was rushing like class 3/4 rapids with no bridge. Eventually we decided to just cross at about a 12" diameter, 15' long log, so some of us just went for it, shoes and all, and others opted to remove shoes and socks and wade across, gripping the log for dear life, water rushing high-thigh deep+.  All other parties were doing the same, including the guide services. I was glad to have removed my shoes otherwise the last 1.5 miles would have been absolutely miserable. Hit the cars around 5, lots of snow from the road had also melted in the heat. 

Overally, a great trip with wonderful people, just wish there weren't so many others on the climb!