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crank_sloper

Solo Ice Climbing on Mt. Baker

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I was looking to get out and swing the ice tools, and after Slipstream, it left me wanting to do something a little more vertical and interesting. Access to the Coleman Glacier was heard to be quite easy, so I drove out to the Heliotrope TH and expected to run into a few other climbers from the cascadeclimbers.com bulletin board. However, I saw no one - no one at all. I headed up the trail alone, and after about 2 kilometers, you get to a "T" in the trail, and follow the left spur which takes you towards the Coleman Glacier. After crossing a few icy creeks on the trail, I got my first glimpse of the glacier. There were no parties on the glacier, so I headed down and looked for some extreme terrain that would get me to some

good alpine ice soloing. I found a nice wall that I decided to solo. It was Extreme and Very Hard so I sent it leashless. The route was solid, and since it was north facing it never got any sun. After burning out my calves running laps on the inverted portion of the wall, I decided to scout out a little more into the glacier and let the wounded ice recover. I found a sweet south facing wall, and the ice was like Styrofoam, so Ignored it - too easy. It was quite easy, so I decided to scout even more.

 

After scouting, I decided to solo a nice looking line that was north facing, so I cranked it leashless and did a smooth job of it except for dropping a tool. Shit! One tool left on a 45 degreee overhanging ice wall. How do I get down? I can't rappel? So I used both hands on one tool and floundered to the top, then started walking on a knife edge ridge of ice that had large crevasses on both sides, I placed no pro (having none) as I continued on the ridge until I could jump over it and then back down a small slope to where I downclimbed another slope onto a small ridge and then back down to my pack. I looked for my lost tool but it was gone forever into the icy blue depths.

 

As the sun went behind the ridgeline of Heliotrope Ridge it got cold fast. As I left the glacier I noticed just how many other people were up there ice cragging - NONE!!! Solitude is a rare commodity. I was glad to have tested my limits Extreme Ice Cragging. Too bad about the lost tool but my sponsors will give me a new one.

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I went up to the Coleman Glacier today (Sunday) to check it out. There were actually quite a few cars at the trailhead and I ran into several hikers, not to mention a pair of snowboarders. There was also a group of climbers down on the glacier, presumably going to ice climb, I couldn't tell what they were doing from my vantage point. I paralleled the glacier until I could go no further. I didn't do any ice climbing since I was alone and am not that experienced. But a nice area, definitly will go back. Snow was rock hard and there was a fair amount of ice forming on the waterfalls and such, but still running with water. Colfax and Lincoln had a lot of snow and ice on them. [Cool]

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

do you think crank sloper knows g spotter?

From what I've heard he does...

 

Ahh whatever...

 

[ 11-25-2002, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: snoboy ]

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Thanks Lambone,

I didn't get to climb much more anyways, as I sliced my finger open. At least I learned something: ice tools are sharp! I should stick to the gym. [Frown]

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quote:

Originally posted by vegetablebelay:

Where's the
[HORSECOCK]
and the
[sNAFFLEHOUND]
?

just wait till pagetop

[Roll Eyes]

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quote:

Originally posted by bolt clipper:

Thanks Lambone,

I didn't get to climb much more anyways, as I sliced my finger open. At least I learned something: ice tools are sharp! I should stick to the gym.
[Frown]

Better than your forehead!

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quote:

Originally posted by bolt clipper:

I think I might have met you. Were you with the two other guys and a two dogs? I was the dorky-looking kid in the blue and yellow jacket.
[big Drink]

Yeah that was us... We would have offered you guys a ride on our TR, but we had to get our fill in before dark, sorry. Looked like you guys were still havin fun... [smile] Looks like ya got some new tools there!

 

I saw you guys on the tooth a few weeks ago as well.

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quote:

Originally posted by crank_sloper:

Where is the love?
[Confused]

You're TR is extremely hardcore, nice job, but looks like leashless is an expensive hobby!

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