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Georgy

Route suggestions for Mt. Baker in late September?

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Hi all

Me and my friend are coming to Washington in late September (weekend of 22nd). We are in mid-30s, fit, relatively experienced (Rainier,  Shasta, Whitney, Hood, Mt. Blanc, Yosemite high sierra peaks etc) and want to climb Mt Baker. We are looking for a route that is the safest, fun, relatively easy and doesn't involve vertical rock climbing (we are fine using crampons/ice axe etc, but are NOT looking for technical rock climbing routes). We have experience of navigating through the glaciers.

Hoping to get the wisdom of the group:

1. What route would you recommend for us to take this late season?

2. Is there any other mountain that you recommend us climbing instead? We figured that after Rainier, Mt. Baker is the next iconic WA peak to climb but if we missed something we'd appreciate the insights.

 

Thanks!

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Mount Shuksan!  Way more iconic than Baker.  Sulphide in late season....

Permits can be an issue, however, on Shuksan.  Late season on Baker this year you'll probably be left with Easton.  Sounds like Coleman went out early with crevasse shenanigans.

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the coleman deming side has a large end to end crevasse.  you can pass it on either side but you will have a brief exposure to hanger ice cliffs above.  whether you are willing to expose yourself to objective hazard is the question.

the easton side is getting complicated with much of the snowpack gone and you are dealing with erratic crevasse patterns down low and large crevasses opening up high.  I think there was even another large end to end crack on the upper headwall.

which one is easier is a crap shoot right now, especially later on this month. 

 

sulphide glacier on shuksan should be in better shape as the bedrock has less undulations and therefore less cracks.  but the real summit is got some 4th class scrambling that you may want to bring rock gear for.

 

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1 minute ago, genepires said:

but the real summit is got some 4th class scrambling

Good point to bring up.  It is pretty solid though, with all the parties that go up and down the summit gully. 

Agreed that late season on Baker is often less than fun.  Well, all the volcanoes really.

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Shuksan is a great late season suggestion and IMHO one of the most iconic mountains in the Cascades. While you cannot summit Shuksan without some rock climbing, the last time I climbed it we found an easy 3/4 class route that was more solid than the usual gully system and easier than either of the 5th class ridges.  I personally prefer the Fisher Chimneys route to the Sulphide, however, you would be well advised to bring a second ice tool and a couple of ice screws for FC if you decide to climb that route.  Sulphide has no steep climbing on it, other than the summit pyramid.

On Baker, the Easton, Boulder, and Park Glacier Headwall (in order of difficulty) are all good late season climbs.  Or used to be, have not been on that side for a few years.

Personally, September in the Cascades means alpine rock, not volcanoes, but it is your trip.  If you are mainly interested in glaciers, perhaps Eldorado would turn your crank and would be in good shape.  The elegant snow arete summit is really quite unique,  and the climbing pretty straight forward. 

Edited by DPS

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