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kris

mt baker ice climbing

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has any one been up on the colman to play summer iceclimber if so is it opening up good or still filled in

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For the most part the climbing down there is pretty brutal this time of year.

The glacier has opened up enough to navigate relatively easy if coming in from below, but the conventional upper approach to the lower Coleman is problematic (two weeks ago). The big issue however is ice quality. Early in the season (now) most of the ice on the lower Coleman is very flaky and aerated. Even Twiggy could slam a tool in right to the weight kits on her first try. The flaky stuff is too deep to clean for placements so shearing tools is a big concern on steep stuff and blowing crampon placements is a concern everywhere else. The exception (sometimes) to the bad ice rule is very overhung, permanently shaded seracs or slots.

The climbing begins to improve (especially in the morning on shaded problems) in mid August, gets quiet good on cool September days and is exceptional in early October. Late October and November (if snow allows the latter) the ice becomes brittle (far more so than almost any waterfall on the planet).

On a side note, beware of the ravens in the area. In some twisted form of evolution, the local birds (or at least two of them) can and will, open zippers on abandoned packs and spill their contents across the glacier.

GB

 

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quote:

Originally posted by fishstick:

On a side note, beware of the ravens in the area. In some twisted form of evolution, the local birds (or at least two of them) can and will, open zippers on abandoned packs and spill their contents across the glacier.


What - you're saying MEC doesn't make raven-proof zippers?? tongue.gif

 

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Pencil Pusher -

Everything is going to be allright. Kris and I are personal friends. Kris knows who the smartass disguised as Wopper is.

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I think Kris was asking about the ice climbing area low on the glacier where summer and fall bring good conditions for seracing and crevase clmbing, not summit shots.

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It's no bullschmidt about the ravens on Baker as fishstick mentions. We were serac bouldering on the Coleman about 1,000' above camp when the ravens moved in. The winged beasts opened one of the packs that was left at camp, scattering the contents across the glacier. By the time we descended to camp, they had already had their fun.

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