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Trip Report    

Mount Baker Lower Coleman Glacier & Seracs

Day-climb of Baker/Coleman Mon, Jul 07, 2014

Left trailhead @4am, reached summit at 1pm later than expected. Spent an hour on the summit before descending at 2pm. Reached cars @ 6pm. 14 hours RT. We were a bit off on time but overall everything went extremely well.

Tried to time the departure so there would be fair light for the hardest of the stream crossings which was flowing pretty good (even more so on the descent!) This worked out well. The approach is mostly trail with patches of snow all the way to the top of the ridge just below the Hogsback. A few muddy spots.

Weather was clear and sunny with high distant clouds. Temps were a generally pleasant made even more so by a nice breeze. Great weather!

Route was in great shape. Snow was firm in the morning and we used crampons on the ascent. There were many crevasses opening up all over the route. There was a widening crevasse near the ridge that leads to the Roman Wall. The Roman Wall was in good shape. Still plenty of snow covering the rocks from the notch leading up to the final summit pitch. It was covered in boot tracks from weekend climbers who, by the looks of it, had experienced a lot of post holing. Snow on the Roman wall much softer on the descent but good for plunge stepping with only occasional post holing. Once off the Roman Wall the snow firmed up and made for enjoyable plunge stepping and a faster descent.

On the approach I noticed I had left my sunglasses in the car when we set out by headlamp. The students both had a spare pair of sunglasses... then when we unpacked them we found that one of the students sunglasses had lost a lens! So despite two sunglasses catastrophes any one of which could have ruined the trip everything went great! We will probably all carry two pair from now on...

Encountered a NOLS group of 7 climbers at the summit who arrived just before us. Also encountered two roped teams of two climbers... separate private parties one pair from Canada. Also encountered two climbers topping out after climbing the N Ridge who had flown in from CO to climb the route.

As we approached the Hogsback we found the area swarming with people practicing snow skills. There was at least one fairly large group all wearing crampons and sporting trekking poles. One of them had lost control on a glissade although she hadn't picked up a lot of speed. She managed to turn around with her trekking pole but in doing so came a little too close for comfort to my leg with her crampons.

The day was made complete with dinner and a beer @ Milano's Restaurant in Glacier. After a hard day a bowl full of hot pasta was super delish! Great trip!