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allthumbs

Solo to top of Baker

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Is it possible for a solo non-climber to get to Baker's summit from the railroad grade approach? I've got the crampons and ice axe and am comfortable on glaciers. But I'm not a climber and wonder if it's nuts to do it alone? I've heard that the crevases are all exposed this year due to light snow.

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Allthumbs,

I dont recommend it but it is possible. I climbed it this way last year in August and it was very broken up. We had a great time. I think I would do it again but not on short notice and it seems I have too many projects this year already frown.gif I hope you find a partner. Trust me bro I would climb it with you man but too busy this year. Good luck!

-Cpt

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If you want to solo glaciers, and you think you can deal with the risks of crevasse falls, the best strategy is to do the beast at night when snow is strongest. Plan on siesta-ing during daylight hours.

And beware the sleep deprivation may cause you to hallucinate aliens lookedat.gif

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Sled-heads do it, so you can too.

In case you're not trolling - I've been on the Easton gl. twice around this time of year in a 'normal' snow year, and it was nasty broken up with sketchy snow bridges.

On skis in early season it would prob. be fine.

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I have soloed both routes, of course on skis it's a different story, but my suggestion would be the North side. The crevasses are obvious, likewise the boot path that is more like a trench this time of year. The Easton has a precarious crevass crossing beneath the roman wall. The Coleman/Deming approach is more direct and quicker by far.

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Allthumbs...

My girlfriend did the Coleman/Deming this weekend with a few friends-- according to her, the route's still in decent shape, but the cracks are definitely opening up fast. Some were noticeably wider on the descent... Good luck, if you go for it!

m

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Yes, it's from Heliotrope. Much better views as well, if you're really in shape, you could do Colfax as well, it's just off to the right from the saddle by which you begin pumice ridge and the roman wall.

Check your in box.

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allthumbs,

When I climbed Baker I told myself that I would rather have been on Colfax since it looked so fun... Seconding what Lisa says and she aint no gaper let me tell you that wink.gif

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Allthumbs,

I've soloed both routes, and done them in one day and the Colman-Deming I think is way safer, more scenic like previous posts mentioned, and faster. The Easton gets a lot of sun, and usually get crappy later in the season. Once you get above Heliotrope ridge stay right until you get to Black Buttes, camping here (I prefer Heliotrope) then turn left, don't pass to close to Colfax as icefall happens here. I agree Colfax is a fun side trip once you get to the saddle around 9000'. I only go on a rope team now days though.

Bill

[This message has been edited by To The Top (edited 07-26-2001).]

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I'd like to see somebody do the complete Deming Glacier, man that thing looks nasty in places.

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Brother All-Thumbs:

Soloing on glaciers is generally foolish. I'm very surprised that some folks here seem to be almost encouraging the practice to someone who claims not to be a climber. Wait until you have one or two or more experienced partners (preferably at least two others at your stage of the game). It doesn't matter how wildly experienced or inexperienced you are, if you punch into a crevasse unroped, there is an excellent chance that it's all over. You'll be famous in 5,000 years when your carcass is discovered by some jackass archaeologist such as myself. Even if some nearby folks happen to see you disappear into the icy depths (and if you're soloing, you can't expect anyone to rescue you - it's a self-reliance thing), you might be dead from the fall, wedged and inextricable, etc. In my opinion, there isn't much of a discussion here. Find some fun buddies who know what to do (including crevasse rescue which you, likewise, should be knowledgable about) and if you can't arrange that this year, the mountain should be there for you next summer.

aloha, Dwayner

[This message has been edited by Dwayner (edited 07-27-2001).]

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Vern Tejas soloed the west butt on Denali by walking in th middle of an aluminum ladder he had hung from his shoulders.

I've done some glacier soloing, but I don't know if I would recommend it.

rotating.gif

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quote:

Originally posted by AlpineK:

Vern Tejas soloed the west butt on Denali by walking in th middle of an aluminum ladder he had hung from his shoulders.

I've done some glacier soloing, but I don't know if I would recommend it.

rotating.gif

I remember what Joe Simpson wrote about some Japanese girl he met at Everest Base Camp walking around with a ladder around her waist..."Does she know how little force it takes to bend one of those? It'll cut her in two!"

ketten.gif

[This message has been edited by Dru (edited 07-27-2001).]

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A friend of mine climbed the Boulder glacier on Mt Baker a couple of years ago. They had the whole place to themselves, except on the way down, they saw this guy coming up, solo, wearing jeans, carrying an alpenstock. The snow was really soft, and everyone was regularly punching through into crevasses.

They said this guy was bitching about Beckey, how his route description said "there wasn't supposed to be any glaciers on this route!".

(I think you can stay on a ridge next to the Boulder for *some* of the way up, but not all the way - this guy was confused. Apparently, he eventually did turn around before the summit, and made it back down to my friends' camp just before they left. He then asked them if he could follow them out, since he didn't know the way back. Back at the parking lot, he asked for my friends' phone numbers in case they wanted to go climbing sometime)

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Just so you guys don't think I'm a total frickin' idiot, I WILL NOT be soloing Baker or any other mountain of that caliber. I appreciate your advice and see the folly of doing shit like this alone. I'll keep my solo summit adventures limited to safer, lower, easier, non-tech. bush league scrambles. Maybe some day I'll do the real deal like you ball-busters, like when my kids are raised and don't need a dad. In the meantime, I'll watch you guys do it and wish I was there.

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An aluminum ladder is better than two shower rods, a-la John Krakauer style. I wonder if there is an international standard for the force necessary to bend an aluminum ladder?

Back to the topic, doesn't Smoot list a way to get up Baker that is non-crevassed? Don't ask Pencil Pusher, he's never been on top of Baker frown.gif

 

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Forget Smoot ( every time I hear that name I ask myself, what about Mump??), check Beckey. It would have to involve following one of the rock ridges I think. maybe the Cockscomb? You still have to cross glaciers approaching & descenfding though?

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