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[TR] North Cascades - North Ridge, Baker 7/2/2009


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Trip: North Cascades - North Ridge, Baker


Date: 7/2/2009


Trip Report:

On July 2 Brandon, Leif, and I (Tyler) climbed the North Ridge. We arrived to Merkwood on the night of the 30th after biking from the washout and then spent the 1st on the seracs before moving camp to Hogsback.


We left camp on the 2nd at 2AM and traversed over the Coleman and a number of large crevasses to the beginning of the apron. By 6AM we were at our first pitch a few hundred ft. below the crux. We chose to protect four pitches with three people and did not start simul-climbing on the upper portion of the ridge until noon. We reached the summit at 2PM and returned to camp at 5PM. A very long and rewarding day.


The traverse over the Coleman to reach the beginning of the route was straightforward and all the crevasses had solid bridges (lots of snow cover on the lower glaciers). The snow and ice conditions were great and even with high temps, the upper part of the route was still pretty firm in the afternoon. We followed a direct line to the summit but protected a few sketchy snow bridges (not sure how much longer that will be feasible).



Views from above Merkwood




Views from Hogsback




Approaching the crux (It looked like you could access an ice pitch from the rock on the right hand side of this photo. I imagine this would shorten the route a bit).




Brandon leading the crux.




Roosevelt Glacier. My heart sunk a few times hearing huge icefall down there mid-climbing.




Brandon traversing below the crest of the ridge before gaining the upper portion of the route.




Approaching the summit after crossing a few bridges that didn't inspire confidence.




Finally reaching the summit area after 12 hours on route.



Leif (to the right) and I on the true summit.




We certainly could have shaved off time by simul-climbing two of our four pitches but I'll chalk that up as a learning experience. Descending the Coleman was a piece of cake as that route is not broken up at all. There had definitely been groups on the route before us and I imagine it will start to get more busy. It was nice to have such a popular mountain all to ourselves.


Thanks to Brandon and Leif for a great trip. Brandon is the climbing ranger on the mountain so say hello the next time you're up there.




Gear Notes:

Picket per person and 12 screws (we were able to make most of our anchors with just screws).


Approach Notes:

Bikes are the way to go but a bit awkward with packs (not a bad idea to have a pump or patch kit handy).

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