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Trip Report    

Glacier Climb - Mount Baker/Easton Glacier

Great trip. Not your typical slog up to the top. Since this is late season, there many challenges to enjoy!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The railroad grade approach is snow free all the way up to 6500 feet.

    Smoke was bad until you broke the 9000 feet mark.  Then you can breathe once again.  Stay on the summit as long as possible as you can see what is waiting for you upon your return.

    Camping available at Sandy Camp (5800ft).  We continued on and  camped just below the climb up to the Easton glacier (6500 ft) on either flat snow or rocks with bivy spots.  There is a waterfall nearby for water.  Told of a bear hanging out by the waterfall but did not see it (I sent others to gather the water). The area was packed with private parties and guided groups.

    The step up to the Easton is icy in the morning and mushy in the afternoon.  You will "Z" up past a small waterfall to the glacier. The blue ice section had good footing with crampons. Here is a photo of the upper camp and the step up.

    High Camp.jpg

    For the most part there is a well-established boot path and wands marking the route.  On the lower part there are many small crevasses to step or hop over, or navigate around.  Around 8000 feet it becomes more interesting as you will now encounter navigating through major crevasses and either jumping or crossing snow bridges and  fingers.  There are two "crux" sections.

    1. Navigating a thin bridge between crevasses, then a final jump across to safety right next to a "bottomless" crevasse.  This is holding for now, but if this goes I think the route is done. Or, simply take out that ladder that you strapped to your pack and keep going.  In the picture the 3rd and 4th climbers are slightly below the thin bridge.

    crossing 2.jpg

    2. The ice step.  Two 8 meter sections of ice that must be climbed in a very broken up area.  You can protect with ice screws and belay from the top or just climb it and anchor/belay.  The run out on the top section goes into another large bottomless crevasse.   Guides were telling me that the snow/ice conditions changes on a daily basis, so it may be easier or harder.

    ice step1.jpg

    From then it is more navigating around big crevasses up toward the crater rim.  There is an ice section for 100 feet that with careful foot placement is easy,  then an occasional icy spot throughout all the way to the top.

     Top of the ice section:Ice section.jpgMore crevasse fun:

    crossing 1.jpgThe upper Easton:

    upper part Easton.jpgSherman Peak from below the summit:

    Sherman Peak.jpg

Great team, and everybody took an active role with rope work, anchors, belays, and navigation.  I would have to say that this was one of my more enjoyable Baker climbs given the variety of conditions encountered but I don't think it will last very long this season.