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Trip Report    

Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier

Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Sat, Jun 13, 2015 Hiked in on Friday, summited on Saturday.

Awesome climb of Baker via the Coleman glacier. Trail is snow free to the top of the moraine which is mostly snow free with lots of running water. Lots of crevasses opening up right from the start but all were easily bypassed. Camped at Heliotrope Ridge which worked out well. Mountain was obscured by clouds most of the afternoon but come morning they had moved out and it was clear skies all day. Many open crevasses leading up to Pumice Ridge, again all easily bypassed. The icefall had dumped a lot of material onto the glacier so move quickly through this section. There is a moat forming on the notch from Pumice Ridge leading up to the Roman Wall. The Roman Wall was in good shape just more like July conditions. There is a moat forming on the rock band near it's top that will require caution. We had quite cold temps and as such the cramponing was brilliant all day. I have never experienced this on Baker and it was awesome.

Just under 2h to the top of the climbers trail. Don't recall how long to get to Heliotrope Ridge but pretty quick. The night before decided to leave camp at 4am instead of 3 as I wasn't feeling well. 8h camp-to-camp for the summit. Back at the cars by 4pm with plenty of time for a team dinner. Pretty much what was planned even with the later than planned start.

Everyone on the team was awesome... well prepared and strong. We had started out with a party of 12 but experienced lots of cancellations including some critical rope lead positions so I had to reduce the size of the party. A list-minute illness of a rope lead almost killed the climb but another Mountaineer volunteer stepped up and changed their weekend climbing plans to help out.

Got a good view of the route up the Easton glacier. Hard to say for sure but the route looks to be in great shape, again with many open crevasses. Looks like no snow on the Railroad Grade up to the usual camp location.

Clear 360 degree views from the summit. Awesome.

Ran into several small parties and a handful of solo skiers but had the summit to ourselves. Back at camp after the climb we saw many parties coming up for a Sunday summit including one Mountaineers group and another very large party shouting (I think loud commands I couldn't make out) as they traversed the flats to reach Heliotrope Ridge. Ran into lots of skiers heading up the mountain on or hike out to the cars. Sunday will be a busy day on the mountain!

There was a Bellingham Mountain Rescue van parked at the parking lot when we arrived there at 4pm. Sounds of what I am pretty sure were two helicopters (one perhaps Navy?) in the area. We didn't run into anyone injured on the hike out. Sure hope everything went OK.

The group had dinner in Glacier at Graham's Restaurant. Great burgers! Milano's looked closed... say it ain't so!

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