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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

11 climbers (3 rope leads and 8 basic students) departed Heliotrope Ridge trailhead at 8:20am on 5/28. Continuous snow covered the trail after about a mile, but well-established boot-pack made way-finding easy. A partially melted snow bridge across Kulshan Creek made the crossing somewhat challenging. The party made camp near the saddle ESE of point 7242 of Heliotrope Ridge in the early afternoon. We spent the afternoon building a kitchen with a view, acquiring water, lounging and practicing avy companion rescue. During dinner we reviewed our plans for the climb. Rope teams were ready to move at 3:15am on 5/29. Conditions were perfect: clear skies, not too cool (and not too hot, until the sun was well up), snow hard enough for crampons but not too hard or icy. We had to step across one small exposed crevasse on the Coleman Glacier. Reached the Colfax/Baker saddle at 5:20am. Roman Wall had plenty of snow, so it wasn't too steep. We placed one picket on the way up, mostly to practice clipping. Reached the summit plateau at 7:30am. Clear blue skies gave excellent views in all directions. After 20 minutes at the top, and with a special appearance by SpongeBob SquarePants, we headed back down, reaching camp without incident at 11:00am. We took a break, broke camp, and headed out. The party opted to glissade where possible. While glissading down a slope from 6600 feet to 6200 feet, the first climber down glissaded over a narrow crevasse opening. He signaled the other climbers to stop their glissades immediately. All had agreed the slope looked safe from above, and none remembered the crevasse being evident on the ascent the day before. It had been a warm few days. Snow must have been melting very quickly. The rest of the descent was uneventful. The party reached the trailhead in the early afternoon.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • See above.

  • Red Marker
    48.805507, -121.897388
    48.8055067665 -121.897387505
  • Red Marker
    48.777343, -121.813201
    48.7773426 -121.8132008

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