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Trip Report    

Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

We climbed in a two person team on our first ever Baker summit and first ever long glacier climb. The standard route is direct, safe, and easy to follow. Snow on route is in good shape with numerous crevasses but most snowed in. Large crevasses are obvious along route.

  • Fri, Jul 14, 2017 — Sat, Jul 15, 2017
  • Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road rough but passable
  • A few crevasses on the very beginning of the glacier just above camp with many more appearing on the flat section above that (> 7000 feet).  These are mostly snowed in and easy to step over or go around.  The very worn in bootpack steps over many of these.  There are 3 or 4 much larger crevasses up higher on the route near the saddle that are obvious but cross snow bridges.  These were solid in the early morning hours on our way up (we started at 2 am) but could be weakened with warming temps and more use later in the season.  

We left the car at around 1 pm from Heliotrope ridge trailhead.  We got to camp around 4 pm, set up camp, and slept until 1 am.  We are up, on the rope, and  climbing by 2 am.  We summited at 8 am taking about 6 hours to complete the climb.  The biggest hazard on the way up was extremely strong wind on the Pumice Ridge, Roman Wall, and Summit.  I would guess 60+ mph wind gusts that caused us to lose our balance and made it difficult to keep hands warm.  We made it through and on the way down the wind was a little better.  I'm guessing thermal gradients due to sunrise could have produced such strong wind.  Our decent was a slog as the sun started to bake the glacier and temps rose drastically.  Snow softened up and made the boot pack loose and slippery--we removed cramp-ons which helped some.  4 hours to descend to camp.  As inexperienced mountaineers we found the route to be very easy to follow, doable, and fun!