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Don_Serl

[TR] Baker Seracs- 10/21/2006

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Climb: Baker Seracs

Date of Climb: 10/21/2006

 

Trip Report:

Ryan, Graham, and I spent the day on the seracs on Saturday, beneath fine sunny skies. There was fun to be had, but I have to say there was less climbable terrain than I've ever experienced down there. The glacier seems to have 'gone mellow', and most of the walls are low and/or not very steep. The very few STEEP things were thin and unstable looking, so we stayed away from them - there is rubble in the trenches under a couple of likely candidates. But the one decent wall we did find was worthwhile...

 

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/505/674baker-IMG_0841-GR-80pc.jpg

 

Be forewarned - kinda limited this fall...

 

cheers, don

Edited by Don_Serl

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I've always had good results going below Mirkwood and TRing inside the crevasses near the toe of the glacier. There are some pretty deep ones with lots of vertical.

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Another acces point is above Mirkwood and the viewpoint. A faint trail crosses scree slopes to access the glacier. There was some nice climbing to be had there in September.

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Was anyone on Baker this last weekend (oct 28/29)? What were the conditions like? I am a rookie who's potentially heading out there next weekend - can you recommend nice areas for a rookie to learn on?

Thanks.

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I was there yesterday and it was pretty fun, the blizzard certainly added to the atmosphere. If you go via the Heliotrope ridge trail to the glacier lookout there are some nice slabby walls right where you hop onto the glacier. As a rookie myself I thought they were ideal. Supposed to rain all week so probably going to be another dump of snow up there.

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Hey Gertlush I was part of the group of three that swapped ropes with you. (I think that was you)

 

I just wanted to add that it seemed as though the south faces of the seracs were a lot more friendly to climb on. The north facing ones just shattered in big dinner plates with every swing.

It was pretty up there after getting the new snow.

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Yup, that was my buddy & I hacking away. Thanks for sharing your rope with us.

 

IMG_0154_4_2_1.JPG

 

IMG_0151_3_2_1.JPG

 

 

 

Fun Fun Fun! laugh.gif

Edited by gertlush

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Climb: Baker Seracs

Date of Climb: 10/21/2006

 

Trip Report:

Ryan, Graham, and I spent the day on the seracs on Saturday, beneath fine sunny skies. There was fun to be had, but I have to say there was less climbable terrain than I've ever experienced down there. The glacier seems to have 'gone mellow', and most of the walls are low and/or not very steep. The very few STEEP things were thin and unstable looking, so we stayed away from them - there is rubble in the trenches under a couple of likely candidates. But the one decent wall we did find was worthwhile..

 

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/505/674baker-IMG_0841-GR-80pc.jpg

 

Be forewarned - kinda limited this fall...

 

cheers, don

 

I agree, I have been going to the coleman for over 6 years, and I Was there about 3 weeks ago, and I noticed that there was not as many large crevasses to climb as usual! darn. sucks

 

T

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I haven't been up there this year but I remember some very deep crevasses low down below Mirkwood on the flat area of the glacier before it drops off into the valley. Are these gone as well? If so, just remember -no such thing as global warming-.

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nice! Any photos of Colfax?

 

I've got some here from saturday. This is a new page, so most links are dead. Enjoy. baker fun

 

Here are a few of them with colfax:

 

DSC_0181.jpg

 

DSC_0185.jpg

Edited by AllYouCanEat

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At home maybe, but not that I put up on the net. As a conciliation, here's one of Lincoln smile.gif

 

DSC_0217.jpg

Edited by AllYouCanEat

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Re: Conditions.

Saturday and Sunday were very different. Saturday was warm and sunny with rather plastic ice. Some dinner plates, but not the monsters that seem to show up late in the fall. Essentially zero snow on the glacier.

 

Sunday was quite a bit cooler (-5C). Ice firmed up noticably overnight to the point that it often required a firm kick to get a bomber platform with M10s. The ice was dinner plating, but still nothing huge. Perhaps 4 inches of snow fell during the day then got moved around by wind. Navigation through complex areas got problematic by mid-afternoon. Stable weather condition now should improve the latter. Rain would help. Snow of course will make things more awkward.

 

If the snow remains it will tend to draw moisture out of the ice increasing dinner plates. Minor amounts of rain will add heat to the ice and make conditions easier.

 

The big slots below Mirkwood haven't really materialized in a manner like 2001. That year, it was possible to drop a rope 40m over a vertical to overhanging wall. Such slots might be there, but access to them is blocked by smaller, less steep units. At least that was the case in mid-August.

 

While there is talk that there is less to choose from this year, some quality terrain exists. I've been swinging sticks down there for over 10 years and one of my favorite routes of the whole period is just sitting in front of people's eyes as they walk past.

 

As mentioned above, terrain in the sun will be in better shape under this weather. All summer long the key is to pursue the shade, but as temps crash and the plates get really big, go higher.

 

GB

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The season ends when the snow gets too deep to be practical. At around that time the ice becomes very hard and brittle and quality becomes an issue anyway.

 

Usually the end of the serac season is roughly the first day of the BC ski season (not counting skiing super-high or on old snow). So climbing is a go until the first big storm of the fall. I think of each weekend of climbing in November as a bonus. Climbing beyond the 15th is very rare.

 

Getting to the parking lot late in the season will often require a 4X4 or at least chains. The road got snow below 2000 feet Sunday, so in the least I would expect some sections to be icy. The parking lot is something like 3400 feet.

 

Note that one of the joys of the Baker thing is that the seracs in question are below the firn (snow) line. Travel in late summer and early fall is dead easy - slots are open and hazards are easily assessed. Add a bit of fresh snow and the situation changes remarkably. Some of the best areas are accessed through areas of micro-slots and long stemming sessions over slots and features. Fresh snow covers small slots and accumulates in the bottom of features hiding what may in fact be a very serious hole.

 

Another somewhat unique problem is frozen puddles. Rain last week combined with frozen drainage systems produced a number of big puddles on the glacier. Some are over 6 feet deep and at least one must be close to 15 feet across. They started to freeze over Sunday, so any blowing or fresh snow will hide their relatively thin shell of ice. Beware of unusually flat spots on the glacier, especially in slots.

 

GB

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I didn't notice any ice on the N face of Colfax on Saturday, but I might have been focused on the skiing gnar, rather than ice climbing gnar...

 

climbnsparky: I've found fun ice bouldering even with up to a foot of snow in the seracs, but deeper than that and it starts getting a little sketchy. Should rain up to the serac-bouldering elevation this week/weekend though, that might clear off the new snow...

Edited by philfort

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Isn't it pretty cold up there? I always remembered those creeks freezing up and forming some rambly ice climbs.

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Ask Layton about those frozen creeks sometime...

You mean that time I almost died when I slid down the frozen stream where you're talking about and butterflyed my hand on a piece of rock?

 

136colfax_bloody_hand.jpg

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