Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Squak Glacier

A one-day climb of Mount Baker via the Squak Glacier.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • FR 13 was blocked by snow about 0.7 miles short of the trailhead.

    The Squak Glacier is in good shape, with easily bypassed crevasses. The Roman Wall on the Deming Glacier is also in good condition although the surface is a bit chopped up.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

Last year I attempted to climb Sherman Peak, a sub-summit of Mount Baker, but it was too late in the year and the route was melted out. As a consolation we climbed the main summit (Grant Peak). This year I did the exact same thing, except two months earlier. The recent warm weather has been tough on the snow. And I have a lousy memory.

Our party of four set out at 3:15 a.m. We headed up the Scott Paul trail on intermittent snow and dirt until about 4600 ft where the snow became continuous and we headed out cross-country. Near the point labeled Crag View (on USGS maps) we roped up and got onto the Squak Glacier.


The weather was lovely: cloudless, pleasant temperatures, and a light breeze. Since this was a mid-week climb there were very few other parties on the mountain.

The downside of the nice weather is that the snow seems to be melting fast. We followed last year's GPS track to gain the west ridge of Sherman Peak and found that the route to the summit was out. The crumbly dirt and scree on the ridge was soft enough that I could plant my ice axe nearly to its head.

We huddled up and discussed our options. Our early start gave us plenty of time. From below it looked like it might be possible to climb Sherman from the other side going up a long, steep snow ramp, though that also ended short of the actual summit. We decided to climb Baker (Grant Peak), the sure bet, since none of the other climbers had been to that summit, and all needed glacier climb credit.

We crossed over to the Deming Glacier, slogged up the Roman Wall, and reached the summit around 12:45 p.m.


The views were tremendous everywhere. We had the summit all to ourselves. The summit was slightly breezy so we dropped down off of the bump and fueled up for the long trek out. By this time the snow was nice and soft so the descent was easy, if tedious.

GaiaGPS stats: 14.6 mi, 7,617 ft gain, 15:18 car-to-car.