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Trip Report    

Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

May 13 - 14, 2016. Buddy and I hit the road after work on Friday and slogged through traffic to get to the Heliotrope Ridge trail head by 8pm. I was watching the weather reports from NOAA and mountain forecast all week and came to the conclusion that Fri night/Sat morning would be our chance to get in the climb before the weather rolled in late Saturday. After ditching some gear and sorting out equipment, we started hiking the trail at 8:30pm, with the plan to bivy at 6k for a few hours, then continue climbing around 1:00am for a sunrise summit.

The trail is in good shape up to the old cabin site. A little bit after the cabin site, the snow starts on parts of the climber's trail. The creek crossings were not bad when we came across them. At night, we had some difficulty following the trail with the snow cover, but we made it to our camp in about 2 hours at the base of the Coleman. We bivied there for a few hours before starting to climb. We roped up at 2am and made our way up the Coleman, skirting along the Heliotrope Ridge. There were no open crevasses on the lower part of the glacier, but you could see some cracks developing. At about 8800ft, we ran into an opening crevasse that was easily crossed on a snow bridge. We made our way to the saddle at about 9k and then ascended the pumice ridge and steep snow slope to the summit plateau, summiting just after sunrise. Spent a bit taking in the views, and then we headed down the same way we came. Snow was pretty firm heading up, but started getting soft on the way down making for some not so fun post holing.

We brought the standard glacier rack and some ghetto minimalist bivy gear (just a sleep mat, put on all our layers, and I had a minimalist bivy sack while my buddy used his pack). All in all, great trip with some pretty good conditions!