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Steve Roberts

Mt Baker - North Ridge Questions

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I read a few trip reports from years past and most people seem to climb the north ridge May-June/Early July. Summitpost also mentioned that it's iciest from May-June.

 

Has anyone heard of any recent reports on the North Ridge? Or predictions when it may become prime shape?

 

Thanks in advance!

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The weather has been pretty testy, I've not heard of any reports from Baker yet this year. I think as soon as the weather improves and the snow pack stabilizes you should be good to go.

 

I climbed it in May or June about 20 years ago (my memory fails me as to the exact date) and the 2-3 steep pitches were bare glacial ice.

 

I think the route itself stays in shape as long as the glacier approach remains well bridged. As I recall that seems to be the limiting factor.

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FYI: The North Ridge is often climbed into September, when it's iciest.

 

Personally, I'd give it a month for things to consolidate and melt off a bit before going up there. Otherwise it's a whole lot of slogging for about a rope length of ice climbing...

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I have climbed it in may, june, july and august. in august and september, you should expect that the glacier to the route to get more challenging as well as getting up the initial part of the ridge. Rockfall and bergschrunds make it tough.

 

FWIW, there is some rock walled bivy spots about a pitch or two below the seracs pitch. If there is icefall from the icewall, it should fall away from the bivy spot as it is pretty much on the ridge proper. this makes for a nice day. hike in and do the complex glacier in daylight, get up to the bivy on day one. this leaves plenty of time for summit and hike out on day 2. Of course this involves bringing lightweight bivy gear for the carry over. going from glacier camp to summit and hike out is a big day but the pack would be lighter. your call. the bivy was pretty nice experience.

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Agree with Kurt. This year is a different beast with the late spring and lots of snow still lingering up there (it probably got quite a bit last night). I'd give it another few weeks or so, then it'll resemble May conditions in normal years.

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Excellent info, thanks! It sounds like its a balance between icy conditions and glacier navigation as the dates get closer to the end of summer.

 

Ill keep checking for trip reports as it gets closer to being in prime shape!

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