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Josh Lewis

[TR] Mount Baker - Easton Glacier 8/1/2009

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Trip: Mount Baker - Easton Glacier

 

Date: 8/1/2009

 

Trip Report:

Trip Time: 43 Hours (July 31-August 2)

 

Elevation Gain: 7,600 Feet

 

(Note most of this was written before my Mount Rainier Attempt 2 and was written around Mid august which I've had some changes since in my attitude. I posted this on nwhikers as well.)

 

Click here to Download a Google Earth KML File of my Route

 

Perhaps this climb was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, not just because of the distance but also the troubles that came into play during this trip. After attempting Mount Rainier I started to loose passion for climbing and thought perhaps it's not worth it. I felt badly hurt and some what broken in spirit, I felt as though anything I would try to do would end up getting me into more trouble. In a sense it felt like I was loosing, I felt betrayed by my friends and I felt an ever growing void. One of the reasons my friend Mark was upset at me was because I did not show enough appreciation for his dad giving me a car ride home. I showed this when I said on a trip report "Mark's dad picks us up and he did not expect me, and it's almost ironic that Dan charges gas money for going home, but the climbers who I did not know did not charge me" which at first when he told me it was bad I did not think much of it, but it kept coming back to me over and over again and I wanted to realize what was so wrong about what I said. At Lakeside Bible Camp when serving the tables it took a long time to get food for a table (I was a person serving the tables) and after I finally got food someone said "took you long enough" which they said in a jokingly way, but I felt very bad and immediately realized perhaps how Dan must have felt. I did thank him after the ride, but he took the time to go all the way from his home to pick Mark and me up plus the gas money which I should have appreciated more. I apologize for that, and thank you for letting me know what I did, I certainly changed from that.

 

I tried to organize a Mount Rainier trip which as I look back on it wasn't exactly a good idea considering I did not know at the time everything about crevasse rescue but now know a whole lot more. Good thing too, in a sense some good came out of the Mount Rainier attempt, the lessons made it all worth while to me, although people may look down on me for that. On Friday someone wanted to climb Mount Baker, which I been wanting to get out and have my first climb on glaciers. I wanted to get past what people tell me that I'm not ready and can't do it, it gets frustrating. People tell me do more hikes, mabe scrambles which would help a little but I have already been doing that for many years which still would not get me acually ready for glaciers. If they are right, it's even more frustrating because I feel limited in my ability, but a guy like me doesn't always believe that. The sky is the limit! But I will admit, I have gained a more responsible sense after this trip and after attempting Rainier a second time. So in a sense I took a leap of faith on this trip, believing I could do it, and get back safely, fortunately I was right.

 

I called Dan (The guy I climbed Mount Baker with) and got everything arranged which at first I was worried I would have to take a bus to Mount Vernon, but my brother stopped in and said he would drive me, Dan said he would take me home which was a mighty generous offer. At first we were thinking about taking the Coleman Glacier route which is on the Northwest side of Mount Baker and was said to be the easiest (from what I've heard) but it was washed out which we would have to ride a bike up the road, but Dan did not have a very good bike for this kind of road. The Easton Glacier was another idea (Special Thanks to Gimpilator's SP page to provide info about the route and it's map) which seemed to be our best choice, the road gets pretty close to Mount Baker and the climb seemed do able for me. Ealier the trip almost got canceled or we almost decided perhaps on Eldorado Peak which I was unsure about which is why I liked the Easton Glacier idea. Although it ended up getting my self a little over my head. On Friday night at about 7:15ish I make haste and pack up all my nessisary gear , unfortunatly my friend Sean had one of my good gloves for some goofy act so I ended up having to settle for my ripped pair! After I had all my gear packed I hurried my brother and told him "we have to go, lets hurry! We did not want to miss the climber guy we were meeting". We left around 8:15ish P.M. and as we were going to Sedral Wolly the excitement just kept getting to me although it did occur to me that mabe this was a bad idea. It would be just Dan and me on a rope team and any other teams that would be on the mountain. I knew a bit about roping up and knots but did not officially know "crevasse rescue". It was sorta suttle that I ended up more and more in a situation. I believe I told Dan I have no crevasse rescue skills but know a bit about knots and he said we could practice near base camp. I thought we would have left Saturday for Mount Baker which would have let me have more time to study crevasse rescue which I borrowed from the Libary "Freedom of the Hills 7th Edition" which was a mountaineers book, which I ended up not having much time to study.

 

By 9:10ish P.M. We turn onto highway 20 and meet Dan at about 9:15 P.M. At first meeting him he seemed pretty nice (I still think he's a nice guy) and he helped me pack my stuff into his truck. I was going to bring my knot book but he insisted that he had his so I left mine with Michael (my brother). We went to the store and Dan was nice enough to buy me a gaterade, a donut, and some more oat meal which too was mighty generous of him. We headed up the road to the trailhead which it was dark but fortunately we found the right road and ended at a camp ground which was the trailhead. The air felt very fresh and I could faintly make out something that looked like it could be Baker which I think it was, but it's hard to say. Dan made us some pretty sweet Samoln which he caught and veggy dogs which I worried would taste bad, but acually tasted good. After this we set up and go to sleep, I say prayers silently hoping that tommorow we be safe, that perhaps I could have success. I wanted to head up the trail that night but Dan was right, we had tje whole weekend and when going up Mount Baker better take it easy.

 

I would wake up in the night from misquitoes but fortunatly they were not that bad. At morning I can see the False Summit of Mount Baker (Sherman Peak) glowing as if Beckoning me to climb it! The Excitment once again got to me and I could not rest any more and soon Dan wakes up as well. We have some nice strawberry oatmeal and I unpack all the unnessesary gear like extra carribeaners and such and we hit te trail. Dan did not bring his Mountaineers book which I hoped we would bring. It started out nice, we were making awesome time and the woods were nice and shady, exept Dan kept catching all the spider webs as we were going up. The mountain in front of us would have been enough to satisfy me, but Baker I knew if i succeed, I would be happy for a long time. We had to cross a river which at the time was small. Later we break out of the woods and end up on a trail called "the railroad" which the views even from here are wonderful. On the railroad trail your on a ridge which on one side you have a nice meadow which also has a view of the Twin Sisters beyond and on the other you have a rocky valley with Mount Baker with the Easton Glacier, and the Black Buttes.

 

As we go up the ridge more mountains in the distance could be seen although it was very smoggy. By this time of the day it was getting hot, but it was still before 9 a.m. which we made very good time, we almost decided to summit that very day but at the lower part of the base camp a guide said "we could... but it would probably be best to go at night which at first I was thinking "C'mon, we can do it today" but Dan was wise and agreed with him which ended up being the right choice. The guide of the other group also recommended we go camp almost to the glacier, which not only would we not crowd his camp, but it would also save us time and energy on our summit assault. It was hot going through the boulder field are when heading uyp to high camp which was in front of a snow field which was near the Easton Glacier.

 

At Base Camp there were people being tought ice axe arrest training and such with the guides, which I was thinking "WHAT! People are climbing Mount Baker under experienced, but can afford a guide and perhaps are considered more responsible for climbing than me?!" The guide which we spoke to ealier caught up and camped near us which was cool because it kept Dan good company, I'm not saying I wasn't but he had a lot to say about his experience of being a guide and such. After resting we ate a little bit, drank some water and then got ready for a practice climb for the next night which also we would explorer some of the route so that it goes better. The view from Base Camp was so amazing, the West part of Mount Baker (The Black Buttes) which was jaggedy sharp which from the angle I was at looked about as tall as the acual summit. From Camp we could also see a few clouds coming in which worried me slightly but later left, the ice shelf near by looked terribly formidable.

 

As for my crampons, they were not compadible with my boots, even if I adjust tem which I tested before leaving, so I used a one of my classic tactics... DUCK TAPE! Which at first I myself was a bit worried that the idea might fail, I was some what limited due to the last time I used a bit of it on my 140 mile bike ride into the mountains which I used to keep my feet warm. After I was done wrapping my boots with the crampons I was pretty much out, and my electric tape I brought was somehow messed up and fused together which worried me a bit, but fortunatly it was enough, acually a little more than enough! "THATS GETTO!" Dan first said when he saw how I put my crampons together and asked "Is there no other way?! which I told him there was not, I believe I warned him before, but the piece of perlon (cord) I had at the car just in case, he recommended I not bring it which was a good call, but if the duct tape failed, it would have been used.

 

He did not seem too happy which was a turning point in his attitude towards me. As for when we would be done with the test climb I would have to leave the crapons on the boots and walk in my socks (I had this planned out) which because they were small had to stay on me the entire trip which when attempting once to take off started to rip. We headed up the small snowfield whih soon got steep and after this we ended at the bottom of the Easton Glacier. We roped up at this point which I had never known how to tye a figure eight on a bite (which later I found out is acually not the right way to tie in to an end which was the only main mistake I figured out of Dan's, but wasn't much of one) which Dan was not pleased (he was probably used to this method of tying in, which I was acually right with the tye in method I wanted to do). "If you don't even know the basics, how do you expect to goup Mount Baker?!" he said in a disappointed voice. Befofe this I had practiced the figure eight knot to the point were I could do it fast but was told by Dan to do it a diffrent method which was kinda a misuderstanding. But Dan was still nice, even though at the time he seemed a little bit steamed, most other climbers perhaps would have been furious with me which thanks Dan for not getting angryat me, or atleast on the outside. I did though not know how to tie the perlon piecesto the rope in the right fasion which he too helped me with this, and then coiled the rope to shorten it and put it around our heads and shoulders. I will say though at the same time I told him I do not have crevasse rescue skills, perhaps some basic knot knowledge, but he mentioned we would practice up on the mountain.

 

He desired me to take the lead, although he gave me a choice which I never had leaded before so this would be good experience. Even the first couple steps were worrysome to me, there were mini crevases and soon a big icy one which was wet with water constantly running down it. As we were heading up I felt more and more nervous although I was not showing it, nor was I slowing down much because of it, but could tell there was real danger near. Soon I ended up having to probe a little for a crevasse when crossing suspicious territory, it's strange, I almost already knew the feeling of being on a glacier, although I did get a feel for it. It worried me when my ice axe did poke through which meant crevasse which I would let Dan know and make a small leap over it. When being in the lead I indeed felt sorta reponsible for where I went so I tried to look around, feet area as well and sorta have a constant thinking and alertness of crevasses, in a pinch I was worried for my life about falling in a crevasse. At one point it got steep and icy and we had to cross between two crevasses which the snow bridge was a bit thin, perhaps a few feet wide which at this point I felt very nervous, each bottoms of the crevasses could not be seenand it had a chilling feeling I got, but just kept kicking in my steps and headed upwards.

 

After passing the snow bridges there were a few others as well but not as formidible. I start to get thirsty and a bit tired, but I don't say anything because of past experiences of saying something when tired, hungry, or thirsty. Eventually there ends up being a crevasse off the main route which we have to jump a crevasse, which acually wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, although when ever Dan would cross I would be in position to ice axe arrest at any given second incase he did not make the leap. After no luck of finding any good crevasse for practicing we head back to the fork in the route and take a left which is the acual route, the one on the right led around an ice fall or another direction on the Easton glacier off the main route. Later we got a flat zone which we were 1/3 of the way up Mount Baker. I was hoping Dan would say we might as well summit, but we turned around and headed for base camp. We took a little bit of a diffrent way down, going down the snow bridges were not as bad as I expected which as said before on the way up I was a bit terrified. There was literally more crevasses or atleast the parts were there not on the way up ended up having my ice axe sinking though which was caused by the heat of the mid afternoon sun.

 

The Deming glacier (which is Northwest of the Easton Glacier) was insane! Not only was it huge, had way more crevasses but had huge ice falls and crazy steep mountains which it had mini glaciers sticking up almost verticle which I thought of something Joe Simpson would climb, very crazy part of Mount Baker which thank goodness it was way off route. We then headed towards the cool looking cliff which we hoped to get a good view of the Deming glacier which we did. There was a group of people which to my suprise were unroped but seemed pretty experienced with glaciers, one of them mentioned that they were a glacierologist which is someone who studies glaciers, he looked awefully familiar, and mentioned that he studied the North Cascade glaciers for decades. I had heavy suspisions on him that he was the glacierologist I written to on the internet with conversations. I tell him you remind me of a guy with a last name Pelto which he said thats me. At that moment I was very amazed and told him that I was Josh and he said "Oh your Josh Lewis, it's a small world after all" which I hoped to meet him for years to ask questions about glaciers and such. He comes all the way from the Eastern United States to study these glaciers which is part of his job, I expected to see him some day, Dan too spoke to him. It was that guy who which put an interesting spin to my life, or atleast unintentionally was part of the reason I was on Mount Baker! Through him I joined a mountaineering website which through there met Gimpilator which showed me another site called nwhikers and found cascadclimbers after that which Gimpilator gave me some gear, tought me ice axe arrest use, and got inspired from hiking to climbing mountains. Though cascadeclimbers I met Dan and is how I got to Baker. It is amazing what ones small actions can do to the lives of others. I too have been apart of these chains of influencing others. It almost seemed like it was fate, a reason I could not fully explain the whole part of me climbing Mount Baker, but I was pretty sure I would succeed!

 

I hated to have to leave but he had work to do, and we had a climb to do the next early morning. We got down to base camp alright and this I think sorta raised Dan's faith of us summiting (the fact that I was doing good on the glacier).I take off my boots at base camp and crawl a little to the tent, drink a little bit of water and took a nap. I would sorta wake up to hearing a conversation between Dan and the guide we met earlier and I would faintly hear stuff like "he wasn't doing good... is he alright?..." and some other things as well which I was worried they were about me, but I asked later and he said it wasn't about me which relieved me which I believe him.

 

Also when I kept waking up there would be buzzing flys un our tent which fortunatly they were wanna bees (Hover Flys). I stayed in the tent to stay out of the sun., I could not find my sun screen which I was a little bit upset at myself about but later found it when it was too late, I was already burnt although I put it on anyways to help prevent it from getting worse. Dan gave me a little bit earlier but he did not have much so he had to conserve it. Dan later had me purify some water which Dan let me borrow his sandals which it was a little tiring for me just to get water, partly because I was tired, sun burnt, and dehydrated. When I came back Dan made dinner which was some indian food and this super wheat which he said was filled with protien, one of the most protien foods in the world. It was tasty, but later ended up regretung exepting the food. Word of advise, never eat some strange food you have never eaten or have ever heard about on a climb up a big mountain, no offense , but it had some effects that made the summit bid one heck of a day. After drinking water and purifying water and doing what we need we went to bed which I could hear the rushing water of the glacier, snowfield and creeks near by as I went to sleep.

 

Dan fell asleep fast, a bee flew into our tent, but fortunatly it went back out. Not to sound mean, but the more Hover flies there were, the more I realized that they can be kinda stupid, they buzz into our tent, cannot fly out or go the way they came in and instead fly upwards and get stuck between the tent and rain fly. There are a few "smart ones" that acually fly out by going out through the big opening. The reason the tent was open was to let out the heat. Eventually after settling my thoughts I am able to sleep. I woke up in the night to hearing a helicopter flying around which at first I thought "oh just a helcopter flying over" but I kept hearing it for a while which then I thought "oh no, is someone getting rescued? At Night?!" which I'm not certain because I was somewhat asleep but I think I said a quick prayer hoping it would be alright and later noises were gone. Unfortunatly Dan's cell phone was pretty much out of power which meant no alarm clock. Fortunatly climbers leaving helped wake us up, plus I happen to wake up and by this point it was about 2:00 a.m. After waking up I grabbed my stuff and headed over to the snow field to put on my boots. "Oh Boy" were my thoughts because I just could not get my boots on, I could not fully untie my boots because the duct tape covered much of the laces, and to take off the duct tape could possibly cost my crampons not fitting, and my crampons not not fitting could mean to summit, AND THAT IS UNEXEPTABLE! I said a prayer that I would be able to put on my boots, it was very very hard but eventually I got them on, I was practically if not literally crying in joy because it was soo hard to get them on, Thank the Lord!

 

After I fully sinch my boots on. I hurried up part of the snowfield to catch up to Dan which he was making breakfast and I was filtering water from a creek which was harder in the dark. From here we could see lights in the hills near by, at first I wondered if they were city lights but Dan told me they were not which he was right. I could smell a little bit of smoke in the air which to my awe was from a forest fire which seemed pretty new, we could see this view the day before which we did not see one. It had the look of orange Christmas lights which in a sense had a beauty to it. Unfortunatly the moon set sometime around midnight so it was mostly black but there was faint light which the snow helped make the summit a dark grey color to it. As for the oat meal. kinda growse which Dan too stopped eating because of it's strange taste which my thought was "oh man, so much for breakfast" but I ate as much as I could until I felt a little sick feeling not because I was full, which I was not even close, but it gave me the desire of not eating, but it was nice of Dan to have boughten it and cooked it.

 

Disaster struck! When we reached the bottom of the Easton Glacier, I felt a terrible diarea feeling, "these complications, they get better and better all the time" I thought to myself which basically means "oh boy, trouble". I didn't want Dan to know because he might cancel our summit chance if I went, plus either way he would not be happy summit or not. I kept quiet for a long time about the situation, perhaps I took Mark's advice on keeping quiet to literally when it comes to communication, although it could have been worse. Roping up this time wasn't much of a problem because we had our rope still coiled, but another problem came. Ealier as I was putting on my boots near there I clipped my perlon piece (friction knot) to my harness wrong and it came undone and didn't get it back until we came back. This worried me, fortunatly I had extra tubbular webbing which Dan was not pleased but said it would work, I got the idea from the mountaineers book. I believe after this Dan probably thinks I'm clumsy. After roping up Dan lets me take the lead again all the way.

 

Leading on glacier at night at first was frightening and once again a new experience, even the small crevasses scared me out of fear of them being weak and falling through, but Dan said it was alright and to continue. Staying on the thick ice was acually a good move, but eventually we got onto snow which from here on I would have to be more catious about my steps. As we head up in the dark the route becomes hard to tell, there faded boot prints that mislead me, and at times of thick ice the climbing trail is hard to see, which I end up getting slightly off the trail (main boot prints) but fortunatly refind it. At times Dan is yelling at me (so that I can clearly hear him) if we were on trail which sometimes I would say "yes", and at others would tell him "no". We both threw in opinions on where to go, even though I was in the front. At one point I came up to a snow bridge which was freakishly thin, small, icy, steep, and had huge crevasses on either side. I thought perhaps it was the same one as yesterday but way more melted out. I get on my hands and knees trying to get over it, but at almost halfway across I think "Screw This!" and I crawl back down which Dan yells "we have to cross this", but I tell him it's way to thin. Ironically perhaps some 20 feet to the right was the snow bridge we took yesterday which is still worrysome but in comparison way better, the more I think about, the other one could have easily collapsed beneath my feet.

 

After this we took the left route which was the right route this time. As we continue I could smell a sulferish smell which reminds me of EastKing's story of climbing Mount Hood and how there was that notious fumes from the volcanoe. Ahead we could see a wall of black which we both knew was no good... we were near an ice shelf (or ice fall) which is the part of a glacier were ice falls away down the mountain and often seracs are there as well. We headed left (Northwest) which again we got back on the main route which from here was easy to keep track of, from here we went past where we were yesterday onto unfamiliar territory. The diareah feeling kept getting to me as well as the sulfer smell which to be honest smelled like bad gas which the name came to mind "Into Bad Gas". We eventually started to see head lamps up ahead which Dan told me to speak only when nessisary and to be loud, or else it might confuse the other parties (rope teams). As we went up a big hill, we could clearly see them (other climbers) going very slow which in a sense reminds me of the Hillary Step on Mount Everest due to the slope and the slow speed at which climbers travel. Dan was not to excited about the slowness, but there was no going around them, plus we asked and in certain area's they did let us pass.

 

It felt nice going slow, one step, breath, another step, which I thought "wow, mountaineering would be a lot easier if I took that pace all the time". It eventually started to feel normal, going over snow bridges and watching out for crevasses.

later we were able to pass up the slower groups, some thought I was crazy because I was in a T-shirt which I kept warm because of our constant moving, and I am used to colder weather which is why I do not do well or as well in the heat. As we head up this steep spot we start seeing blue of morning which I could start to see the Twin Sisters with an interesting haze lines which was an awesome view. At one point when we neared the top of the hill, there we met a few climbers, they were uncertain were to go. In front of us was a huge ice canyon which looked very interesting but made navigation difficult. We went left which was only worse so the only way we could think of was by going right. As we go around the ice canyon I fear that there be no way to go around, but fortunatly a route was found. By this time I was starting to get hungry and thirsty which I had a little bit of water which gave me horrible diaria feelings which I decided not to eat or drink much until I got back to base camp. As we went past more crevasses it got lighter, which we would zig zag a little from crevasses and slope. It eventually got colder as we went up, so I ended up no longer being Mr. T-Shirt Man and put on a long sleeve shirt.

 

The Sulfer smell returned which I feared as we went up, but this time it would only get more and more intense. I could literally see it rising into the air from the sulfer spring or rock near Sherman Peak (The False Summit) which was at the top of the ridge of near where we were going. By this point I was quite tired and we took a break alongside with another climbing team (also two people). They were nice, one of the girls told us that "snow mobilers in early season stop here, although some go to the summit". which baffled me, "How can this be? I thought to myself "I'm here getting my butt kicked by Mount Baker while some folks get to be lazy and go all the way to the top?!", which i believed her because I've heard it else were too. Although it would be extremely dangerous, not only could there be crevasses, but it's steep and theres avalanche danger is early season. The Sulfer got to the point were I almost threw up, so I had to ignore the bad smell which eventually it went away because we were away and above it.

 

I later became even more tired and some what weak, although the steepness of the slope increased and was icier, but I started to worry, the summit at times seemed close but would keep having more, infact most of the time I couldn't see the summit. I would say prayers and kept having to endure and find ways to keep my spirit high and hopeful. I later even started to sing:

"I'll Fly Away oh Glory, I'll Fly Away, oh halluluh Halleluia by and by, I'll Fly away"

which I at my youth group we sang before, which made me think of flying away to the top we go. As we got closer and closer to what seemed the summit I became fersly tired and my fears were of not making it, but I over came the limits that day of tiredness, of weakness, at the time I felt as though I had the heart of a strong mountaineer, a mountain heart.

 

As the summit comes into view joy flows through me, but at the same time I think "you gotta be kidding me", and we had a little more ways to go before reaching the summit. At this point I can tell Dan is worried and he asks me if I'm too tired to summit which I was terrified beyond believe! I tell him "no" although in my mind it was more like "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I came all these ways!" and we crossed a large flat zone, I offer Dan to summit first, but honorably he let's me which we unroped (the very summit which is 30 or so feet high of rock/gravel). So much joy I have when I summit, it was a long waiting victory! I wanted this for so long, I wanted to over come people telling me I can't, I wanted to over come the void in my mind that says you will never win, I wanted to at last enjoy the summit!

 

After this I lay down for a while and just rest, perhaps drank a little bit of water but not really any food due to the problems as previously described which was a major factor in my weakness. I put on a jacket and look at the smoggy view, I was a bit disappointed about the view, but it was still incredible looking down the mountain and seeing some of the near by ones. Also it's the journey that had it's beauty to it, not the destination. A little while later I crawled to the summit register and signed my name and such. I remember Dan yelling "Are you ok?" which I thought about it and said "yes" partly because I did not want to freak Dan out, but after the rest I still had some energy left, but not a whole lot, if the summit was a thousand feet taller, unless we took breaks, I would not have been able to do it. I did not want to leave tge summit, but we had to, I could see down the mountain were the sulfer was being thrown into the air which worried me a bit. I thought of this place as Hell frozen over. My main focus was getting down the mountain... ALIVE! The way dwon for me was intnese as well.

 

Going down I was very exhausted and hungry. I kept stumbling, even when near a crevasse although that was more uncommon and I would try not to. Dan told me that I looked like a super drunk guy going down the mountain. At this point even though we summited, he was very disappointed in me. "If you are having troubles on this climb, how do you expect to be able to climb Mount Rainier?" he knew of my ambisious goal but I believe he wished me good luck if I was going. He also said even Baker was a bit over my head, but he said you have the ambision, but perhaps need more training. Perhaps I took the quote a little too far "The training is nothing, the will is everything! The Will to act" -Ras al Ghul As we kept going down through the area of bad sulfer fumes I stepped on the rope a few times by accedent which eventually he said "If you keep stepping on hte rope your buying me a new one" which after that I attached the rope to a carribeaner to hold it up to make it less likly to be stepped on. Later I started to really worry about making it down ok, because some times I would likly twist my ancle but catch the wieght with the other foot, and I feared of some how breaking an anckle which I would not want to crawl down the entire mountain. I did not notice at the time but from some of my stumbles I punctured my brothers boots a little, and I ripped up the bottom of my paants from the crampons. I tried hard not to be dizzy, but even when trying to focus my mind would unfocus or my eyes would unfocus which I knew I was in a bit of a situation. It eventually I came into a state of apathy, I was still leading, still observing, but having a hard time. As we pass a great big crevasse I could practically see the bottom of it, I only saw the view for a few seconds because Dan told me it was not safe near the crevasse, but it was one of the scariest things I have ever seen in my life! Some how there was some kind of other hole in it making the inside visible and it must have been 100-200 feet deep, it was hard to tell. Dan too seemed amazed at how big or deep it was.

 

As feeling started to get back into me, I started to feel soar emotion because I felt as though perhaps I should not have climbed Mount Baker. At the same time I did not expect to get caught in a situation that would have caused me lots of trouble, if I did not have the sick felling problems (if you know what I mean) I would have been able to eat, and drink which would have helped a whole lot. Nearing the bottom of the snow field we went a diffrent route and avoided the snow bridges, or atleast the scarier ones, the ice holes did worry me though and I was causious on the ice not knowing how stable it was. After this we were off the glacier and we unroped. Then we finally separated for a little while whihc I finally got to take care of my little problem which as I expected I felt so much better! I was finally able to eat and drink as much as I wanted which after using my crampons to take off the duct tape (it was sealed very very good!) I glassaded down the snow field and went to base camp. At base camp we met up, took a rest, ate, drank which by this point I felt much stronger, if only I had been able to eat above I would have been way stronger. As we leave base camp I take in the view for a final time knowing I would miss it. Dan found my perlon cord where I put on my boots that morning before the climb.

 

We purified some water for the decent, because Dan's cell was out of power, we did not know the time, Dan had work the next day and has to finish moving. We hurried down the mountain which wasn't too bad, I packed way better than the time I attepted Mount Rainier the first time. At times when on the railroad ridge I would worry about slipping off the side, but that wasn't too bad, everything else down wasn't really dangerous. As I look back at Mount Baker and giving it the classic solute (which I do when leaving a tough mountain), I thought if only we could go down the valley instead, which probably could work, but the trail was the way we took. As we get back into the woods the flys are there which at first I just thought they were annoying, when then one bit me and made me bleed a little bit which later the blood smell attracted more to bite the same spot so I had to keep hurrying down to prevent getting bitten. The trail had a never ending seem to it, when I thought we were close, there would be still more and more distance, kinda like the summit.When we crossed the river it was much bigger than it was when we first came in, which all the hot weather melted the glacier. I tried to look for a way that would not get my boots soaked, but neither me or Dan could find one, the river was muddy and there was so much water that some of it flooded into the trail! After this we endured a while longer and eventually got to the trailhead which at first seemed unreal. We brought over our stuff to the car which after taking a break my legs had horrible cramps which after this I had to walk very slowly to get back to the car, even getting off my boots were painful.

 

As I remember it I believe we started to leave the trailhead at 1:00 p.m. which Dan seemed pleased that we made good time on the way down. I asked if he was ever willing to take me perhaps even for a scable or hike again and he said "yes" and seemed as though if I fully knew my crevasse rescue and got stronger perhaps would be willing to go climbing in the future. I'm not counting on it, but it was nice of him. I soon fell asleep and woke up in Berlington which Dan bought me a 5$ subway sandwich Dan really did not want to take me home which is very much understandable, because he was probably tired and had moving to take care of. Our home phone was out because we could not afford the phone bill and my mom was across the country, so even after attepmting to contact family, Dan was my only way of getting home, although there is always hitch hiking, but doesn't sound like a good idea. It was nice of what all that Dan did for me on this trip, I gave him 5$ which I told him before I left that was all the money I had. I thanked him and he seemed as though he was no longer upset with me as I left. I was sun burnt and was very tired so I talked a little with my family, showered and went to bed for 15 hours which I think is the most I have ever slept. After I woke up my sun burn was mostly gone and my prayers were heard because my brother at first did not want me to go to Lakeside Bible Camp to serve as a TCL for 3 weeeks because of my sun burn. This was an adventure I will keep in my memories forever!

 

Gear Notes:

You know, the basic Glacier Gear and such.

Edited by Josh Lewis

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Where's the photos? It didn't happen if you can't prove it :grin:

 

So again, what did you learn? Write it down, since apparently you have a desire to write.

 

Here's what I see.

 

You def don't want to experiment with strange food too close to summit day. I know you now realize it, I'm just repeating it to enforce the point. Find what works for you and stick with it. Energy gells are the best during the climb but they are expensive.

 

And again, maybe because of the food problem, you didn't hydrate enough.

 

Now this brings up another problem/possibility. You were too worried about what Dan would think so you didn't stop and relieve yourself. You should have just done that, who cares what he would think? If it was me I would have wanted you to do what was best for you to feel better and not be worried what I thought.

 

I don't think Dan was that great of a leader on this trip. And you did all the real leading anyway so kudos. You're still getting away with taking chances around those slots so keep thinking about that and be careful out there. No matter how good you are it's the objective hazards that will kill you.

 

Maybe pick out some goals without the big glaciers until you get hooked up with enough skilled people to make it safe. Stuart is a good one but there's no reason you have to key on summit elevation as a criteria of what makes a climb worthwhile or enjoyable.

 

and again, not that I think you are ignoring this or haven't learned this lesson. A big part of alpine climbing is having your gear in order. First it was the bike brakes, now it's the crampons. This is probably due to your financial condition so that's somewhat excusable, but you need to try your best to gear up as well as possible.

 

Nice TR and nice write-up. Try the Firefox browser, it auto spell checks. And way to persevere through all the adversity to summit Baker. I've tried it 4 times and have never summited, it gets the weather more than any of the other volcanoes.

 

JOSH SUMMITED BAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

YEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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holy cow...anyone have the cliff notes for this?

 

nice work Josh.

 

I was thinking about making a shortened version... would you like me to?

Edited by Josh Lewis

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holy cow...anyone have the cliff notes for this?

 

nice work Josh.

 

glaciers

diarrhea

duct tape

summit

religiosity

once again Josh's partners buy him everything

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a picture's worth a thousand words...hence no pics and a thousand words

 

for real though...ya made it...well done J

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a picture's worth a thousand words...hence no pics and a thousand words

 

for real though...ya made it...well done J

 

It's a little more than that... more like 7328 words. (Used a word count)

My mom was half way across the country and had the camera. I met him through this thread. :)http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/897359/Anyone_interested_in_Mt_Baker_#Post897359

Edited by Josh Lewis

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Dan messed up in a couple ways. A big one was letting the cell battery go dead. Probably left it on in a non reception area. When they're on search mode they suck the battery quick.

 

don't shorten your story, it's fine as is.

 

As far as cravasse rescue, study "Freedom" and then go out in the yard, put your rope up in a tree and practice cravasse rescue. First learn to prusick up and down the rope, then set up a Z pulley system and haul a 150 pound weight up and down.

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problem is buckaroo, is the poor kid has no rope, not enough gear and the gear he has is not adequate (well most). the poor kid has to duct tape his ill fitting crampons to his boots!

 

 

MAYBE you all should invite him to rope up and teach him what he really needs. I just may show up for that. ;-)

 

It take a village to teach josh folks ;-)

Edited by tazz

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No offense Josh, but Dan made one major error: Not doing a search on CC and researching his climbing partner.

 

If he'd done that, he would have known exactly what was in store and should have prepared himself. Then, there would have been no excuse for getting upset.

 

Now, he might not have known about the duct taping of crampons, but he would have known about duct tape in general and the possibility of it showing up!

 

Josh, I think there are plenty of lessons that you can take away from this. Just because you make it to the top, does not mean it should have been done in that fashion.

 

Bad decisions can get people killed. In my opinion, heading up Baker without crampons that fit your boots is a bad decision. Heading up Rainier with a Walmart special tent is a bad decision.

 

Believe me, I know that money can be short and the drive to climb can be strong, but if you apply that same drive to saving a bit of cash for gear, I bet you'll succeed. And, I know I've seen some gear on here that would serve you better than what you've got.

 

Take care of yourself man.

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Josh:

 

Did you know there is scientific evidence that diarrhea is hereditary?

 

I believe that!! My brother gets it with certain foods. So there's foods I have to be careful with. Last attempt on Rainier I was very careful of that which is why I never had to go.

 

problem is buckaroo, is the poor kid has no rope, not enough gear and the gear he has is not adequate (well most). the poor kid has to duct tape his ill fitting crampons to his boots!

 

MAYBE you all should invite him to rope up and teach him what he really needs. I just may show up for that. ;-)

 

It take a village to teach josh folks ;-)

 

I have no climbing rope... BUT have my friend Mark who has a climbing rope and he has broughten it over to practice. The problem is though is that he is focused on teaching me rock climbing. I only have one pully device so practicing the z pully is not quite as practicable as I would want it.

 

Tazz, would you be willing to join if someone else or a few other people were willing to teach crevasse rescue? Now I believe I had someone else willing, plus Mark might if there are other people which would be awesome!

 

I have a sample rope that is like 10 or so feet long and is good for practicing tye in's and such.

Edited by Josh Lewis

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Josh:

 

Did you know there is scientific evidence that diarrhea is hereditary?

 

I believe that!! My brother gets it with certain foods. So there's foods I have to be careful with. Last attempt on Rainier I was very careful of that which is why I never had to go.

 

Diarrhea seems to run in peoples genes (runs in thier jeans, get it?!) Just a little joke. :lmao::laf: You and your brother are not the only people altitude effects that way.

 

Seriously, good job, glad to hear you made it up and down Baker despite the intestinal issues. :tup:

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I have no climbing rope... BUT have my friend Mark who has a climbing rope and he has broughten it over to practice. The problem is though is that he is focused on teaching me rock climbing. I only have one pully device so practicing the z pully is not quite as practicable as I would want it.

 

Tazz, would you be willing to join if someone else or a few other people were willing to teach crevasse rescue? Now I believe I had someone else willing, plus Mark might if there are other people which would be awesome!

 

I have a sample rope that is like 10 or so feet long and is good for practicing tye in's and such.

 

any rope would be fine for working on the mechanics of crevasse rescue.

 

pulley's = extra weight and weight that unusable for other things...sure if you're hauling something every trip you go out they'd be nice...but biners work fine in emergency situations (ie crevasse fall)...and are all you need for working the mechanics...they are also multipurpose...you'll find it's all about efficiency without compromising safety...hell...on route i dont even carry foot prussiks anymore...just an extra double length runner...which can be used for a multitude of other things when not needed...if i gotta lug my ass outa a hole...tie in on a klemheist and use it as a single stirrup to stand in

 

where do you live Josh?

 

edit: as important as crevasse rescue is know and practice Josh...more importantly to know and practice is how to avoid ending up in one

Edited by t_rutl

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Hell yeah. Submit that shit to Alpinist. Better than most of the drivel they publish. And don't let those cocksuckers edit a thing!

 

 

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An enthralling read...the duck tapped crampons/"that's ghetto" was my fav part.

 

Please post another TR on you Rainier attempts.

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