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esugi

[TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 8/4/2008

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Trip: Mt. Baker - North Ridge

 

Date: 8/4/2008

 

Trip Report:

Looking to do some alpine ice, I headed back to Baker again to do the North Ridge for the second time. This time with Lukic. We camped on the bare rock area just above and to the climbers left above "Hogsback". Left camp at 4:30am and navigated through the Coleman without too much difficulty. There's a good boot track. Glacier is still in good shape.

 

Direct approach (right entrance gully approach) below the icefall did not look good. There's two gaping bergschrunds to contend with at the bottom and also bare rock that spans the entire slope at the top of this steep gully. So, we contoured around the base of the ridge proper (climbers left) and used the left ramp approach.

 

Couple of steep slopes to get onto the ridge proper but they were nice neve ice. The actual crux was in good shape though it was becoming little mushy once the sun hit....and higher up, we used the "secret passage" through the huge body of seracs to gain the summit plateau.

 

The route should still be in good shape for little longer.

I'll post pics a little later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by esugi

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Beautiful Day...8 hours camp to summit. On the way down, we ran into a rescue in progress...a guy broke his ankle on a glissading accident somewhere on the C-D route. Helped drag him down to camp. Hope they made it out ok....

 

Coleman Glacier conditions

Coleman_conditions.jpg

 

Lukic looking confident

Lukic_on_ice.jpg

 

Me leading P1

Icefall_P11.jpg

 

 

Above crux ice...on ridge

On_Ridge1.jpg

 

Looking down on the ridge...second team coming up

Above_crux.jpg

 

Slogging on the ridge....very tiring!

Team_behind_us.jpg

 

Coming up to the huge body of seracs...our route through the "secret passage"

Secret_Passage_Edit.jpg

 

Me approaching the "secret passage"

Secret_Passage.jpg

 

Looking across the summit plateau...second team almost topping out.

Second_team_through_Secret_Passage.jpg

 

Beautiful Shuksan from the summit

Shuksan_from_Summit.jpg

 

Cheasy (sp?) summit shot.

Cheesy_Summit_Shot.jpg

 

Edited by esugi

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Great Pics. My friend Dylan and I were the late comers. Turned around at 8500 and ran into the ankle buster on the way down. Set up a system to hall him down, made it about 50 ft before a navy chopper landed and hauled him out just before dark. By the way, the rescue team promoted there FREE services if anyone is in serious trouble up there. Congrats on summiting on such a beautiful day!

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So the "ankle buster" was planning on heading down that Monday evening? Lukic and I ended up calling 911 and Bellingham SAR to let them know of the situation. I figured they would not get any rescue going till Tuesday morning...

 

So that raises a question, rescue via helicopter is FREE? Out of about 10 people helping this guy that day, nobody knew exactly what the financial remification would be of a rescue/ride out. Especially for a Canadian without US insurance.

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So that raises a question, rescue via helicopter is FREE? Out of about 10 people helping this guy that day, nobody knew exactly what the financial remification would be of a rescue/ride out. Especially for a Canadian without US insurance.

 

My understanding from being involved in two helocopter rescues, is that if the aircraft is US military, they do not charge, even foreigners. A number of years ago my partner and I hauled a Canadian mother/daughter out of a moat on Mt Baker. A US Navy helo winched them out. They said the received no bill for the military flight.

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Rides on choppers operated by government agencies of various sorts are generally free regardless of nationality. This would apply to the military, county SAR groups and helos under contract to the NPS.

 

Where financial ramifications kick in is when you switch to something like LifeFlight or some other air ambulance. Those you pay for, and dearly. When we did SAR in Yosemite, the NPS chopper would do the extraction, deposit the subject in the valley, and a LifeFlight chopper would take over from there. The NPS helo did not transport the subject to definitive medical care as it was too far and it was needed for other possible emergencies.

 

Here it is a little different, as the military will fly people to Madigan AFB or Harborview.

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Looks like an awesome climb! Good to see Lukic on the summit of Baker again. After doing a few volcanoes this summer I must say that Baker was a real treat and a major highlight of my summer. This looks like a route I would really enjoy.

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