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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

Morning whiteout turned into a sunny summit.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The crevasses are starting to open up, but all are easily navigable. Trail to Heliotrope Ridge camp is pretty much snow-free. 

Easy approach on Friday - made it to our camp at 7100' in about 4 hours. Roped up from the top of the railroad grade trail to the camp. There are several crevasses starting to open up along the plateau at 7000.' Beautiful evening at camp. 

Woke up at 2am to find ourselves completely socked in with light rain falling. Given the clear boot pack and the relatively easy start to the climb, we elected to go for it in hopes that it would clear up. Luckily we got a bit of a clearing at the saddle at 9000' and continued up the ridge to the Roman Wall. As always, the ridgeline was cold and windy, and the clouds rolled back in, but we made it up the last 1500' slowly and steadily, and arrived at the summit at 8am. The Roman wall was icy, but crampons and good steps made the ascent very straightforward. There were a few large groups ahead of us, creating some bottlenecks at tricky sections along the ridgeline, but otherwise it was not too crowded on Saturday morning. 

The fog lifted once we were on the summit, and we had clear skies for our descent back to camp. The Roman wall was still icy on the descent, but as soon as we reached the ridge we were able to plunge step the rest of the way down. The snow was very soft after we reached the saddle. There were several groups coming up as we descended, and we were happy to be going down as everyone else was headed up in the soft snow. We made it back to camp around 11:30 and departed at 12:30 to head back to the trailhead. Made it to the trailhead around 3pm. 

Great way to spend a Saturday - a fun group of students and a very solid group of leaders.