Trip Report    

Glacier Ski/Snowboard - Mount Baker/Boulder Glacier

A beautiful route with a perfect ski summit. The approach trail is a bit of a mess right now, but on the plus side it preserves the solitude that makes this trip so special.

  • Road rough but passable

(I have a GPX track available upon request since I don't know how to embed it into this trip report...)

Our group of 6 met at 9am at the trailhead (well 1/2 mile short of it due to snow on the road) and were hiking by 9:45am. Although we had brought trail runners for the hike, we opted to leave them behind because we did not anticipate a lot of walking on dirt. 

The trail had massive windfall on it, necessitating a sharp eye and perhaps a bit of GPS help to stay on route.  I just picked the last devil's club thorn out of my hand.


The difficulties ended after the first 1.5 miles and we were able to start skinning at mile 2 of the trail. The scramble up to Boulder Ridge was straightforward, and a solid looking hand line was in place. 


We camped at 5900ft on the ridge, most of the tents were on snow but we managed to squeeze one on rock. 


The route itself  was in great shape, with just a few crevasses opening up but not posing any difficulty.


The snow did not really freeze overnight, so we opted for a relatively early start to beat the slush. We skinned out of camp at 5:30am with ski crampons on. We roped up at the top of the Boulder-Park cleaver, dividing into 3 rope teams of 2. One rope team ended up skinning the whole way to the summit, but it was challenging with some icy patches on the upper mountain. The rest of the group transitioned to booting earlier on, and it was soft enough not to need crampons. 



There was a party going on at the summit, with teams showing up from all directions. It took us 6 hours to get there from camp, and we started skiing down at noon. 


The sun was powerful and because we were a bit later coming down than we had hoped, we had to contend with slush on the lower mountain. We had to "clean off" the steeper parts of the lower cleaver by ski cutting at the top and letting wet loose slides ooze their way before we could ski the slope.


On the plus side, the top of the mountain was in good skiing shape and we did find our perfect corn on the upper Boulder-Park cleaver between 8500 and 7500 feet.


We skied out through the glacier valley which was a huge treat, with a wild and remote feeling.

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To add to the joy, we did not have to take our skis off until we were back down on the flat part of the trail. We were back at the cars at 6pm. 


Thanks to Carl Marrs for this amazing photo of the upper 2/3 of our 7500ft (!) ski descent, and Kenji Kawai for the real artist photos (labeled with his name).