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Trip Report    

Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

August 8 & 9, 2014 –

We left the TH on 8/8 and hiked to the end of the climbers’ trail. From there we roped up and headed directly up to the moraine to 6700’. Most climbers stayed at the lower moraines and took a route out of camp to the left of our ascent to camp. Our route required being roped up as it was very steep (steeper than any other part of the route) and highly crevassed. Once we got to camp, we discovered plenty of spots for tents, though some preferred to camp on snow. There was no running water in camp, so we melted water and filtered.

We left camp at 2:40 am on 8/9. We had a leisurely stroll to the summit, placing four pickets on the headwall. There was a rock band to cross about 85% up the headwall, which required careful traversing on rock to ensure rocks were not kicked down onto ascending climbers. There was no moat around the rock band as I had noted on a previous descent of Baker two weeks prior. It was quick and easy to cross. Once we got to the summit, at 9:10 am, we sat and had 1st lunch for about 45 minutes. There was only a light wind present, perfect blue skies. The snow on the ascent was styrofoam and slush on the descent.

When we got back to camp, we decided to descend back to the lower moraines the same way we came up. Since it was slushy snow, we opted out of crampons. In retrospect, I think crampons would have been a good idea as some of this slope did not have the same snow slush quality as most of the mountain higher up. As it was the steepest section of the climb, had multiple open crevasses, and the snow quality was not what we thought it would be, it would have been the one change I would have made looking back. However, we kicked solid steps and the final descent went smooth.

All in all, it was a great weekend with good folks and perfect weather.

 

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