Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Easton Glacier

A wonderful 2 day climb of Mount Baker via Easton Glacier during a heat advisory. Great conditions on the glacier and summit. The Kitsap Basic climbers sure smiled a lot!

  • Road rough but passable
  • After a bone jarring, kidney assaulting ride over the 'I've never seen a road like this before' Forest Service roads 12 & 13 we met at the trailhead at 0845 to start our adventure. 0900 we were underway for the 2.1 mile walk to the Railroad grade, then an additional 3 miles to our high camp at 6300' el.

    We found the route all the way to the camp to be in very good shape.

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    Bridge was in. A few weeks earlier this required wading.

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    Railroad grade was in decent shape:

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With the exception of the 'Hey we're Northwesterners, not used to this heat' and copious amounts of SaltStick chewable electrolytes and water we set off on a sustainable pace to our high camp above Camp Sandy. 5 miles, 3000' elevation gain, hot with clear skies, wonderful views. Somehow our weekend excursion plans must have gotten out because it was definitely no secret. That being said Koma Kulshan  was large enough to accommodate all who tread upon her.

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Setting up camp and privy site we set up our climbing gear, dinner, and napped in preparation of our 0100 wake up for our 0200 start.

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Roping up and underway at 0200 the climb itself was smooth and steady. We planned on hourly breaks so at the first break one of the basic climbers addressed their feet with moleskin, the second break 2 people addressed their feet. I always believed that Mountaineering boots broke in your feet and not the other way around! With every break we emphasized hydration, electrolytes, and fuel.

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Approaching the caldera.

Seeing the glowing faces of the basic climbers in the Alpine Glow was a sight!

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Approaching the caldera we were conscious of the rockfall potential. Our 3rd break was clear of any sword of Damocles.

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Jordan at the caldera with rockfall on the right.

After our 3rd break we set out to negotiate the Roman Wall up to the summit plateau. I had my early anxieties about the snow conditions during the heat wave. We found that do to the isothermal conditions the snow was rather consolidated. Even more so then when I summited here 2 week prior in freezing conditions. The climb up the wall was enjoyable.

Chris leading us up the Roman Wall.

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At the summit plateau we chilled for a few minutes while the previous climbing group finished hopping up and down in their summit dance.

And obligatory summit photo:

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Downclimb from summit to camp was uneventful and scenic. We departed camp around 1pm arriving back at the trailhead around 4pm.