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spionin

[TR] mt baker - seracs 8/29/2010

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Trip: mt baker - seracs

 

Date: 8/29/2010

 

Trip Report:

a mini-ice climbing stoke for august!

 

doug (cbcbd), troy (t_rutl), and i went out for a day of tool whacking at the seracs. noaa predicted "mostly sunny in town of glacier, 40% chance of rain at the western flanks of baker after 11:00, and fresh snow at the summit of baker". surprisingly, it was about right.

 

seracs

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little glacier tarns

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in summary, we hiked out from the heliotrope ridge trailhead around 10:00, and took about 90 minutes to get up to the edge of the glacier. after some scrambling around, we were roping up an hour later. by the time we headed out at 17:00, we had led 4 routes, and lapped them and nearby lines a few times.

 

approach

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i won the toss-up for the first lead

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troy

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doug leads the cove-shaped 2nd route. although the start was slightly overhanging, it was total hero snice: single-swing sticks at every go.

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then we came to an overhanging wall with a large tarn underneath. doug led a stout line on it and we all lapped it. warning: ice climbing is a treacherous sport with serious objective danger!

tarnshark.jpg

 

to practice clearing overhanging bulges we explored a line that contained three egg-shaped coves, which we named "the hatchery".

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while belaying, somehow one of my tethered tools managed to escape, slid down the icy slope, and ended up at the bottom of the tarn! here's troy, ice fishing for it with his tool. amazingly, after about 6 throws, he got it!

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as forecasted, it started to rain and hail around noon, and by the end of the day we were quite soaked. following a brief whiteout, we saw a fresh dusting of snow on top of nearby peaks. great day ice cragging with some of my favorite partners.

rainbow on the hike out

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Approach Notes:

heliotrope ridge trail -> glacier vista branch

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Awesome - Veronika & Co.!

 

Thanks for the stoke. The summer is finally over and it's just about time to sharpen the tools.

 

Where is your illustrious Figure 4s on those overhangs?

 

N

 

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send the shark shot to a climbing mag. fishing for ice tools is too funny. maybe the shark could have got it or maybe caught the shark with the tool hook.

 

I don't want summer to be over. nice tr.

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Inspiring pics, but I've gotta admit I'm not ready for summer to be over!

 

How do you like your Fusions? Did you get a chance to compare them to Nomics? Curious if the spike noticeably changes your swing...

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The old glacial shark strikes again.

 

For what its worth mr. dreamer, in my experience last december, I thought the fusions performed poorly on hard and less than vertical ice. But as the BD reps said, "thats expected, but they climb rock great."

Edited by kevino

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the shark was totally after troy. that's why he kicked ass sprinting up that overhang!

 

i have no review on fusions yet. this was my first time using them on "ice". i took off the fusion pick and switched to the laser pick for this trip.

 

next time i'll try them in tandem with the nomics. i found it a little easier to climb very steep ice with them than with aztars, how's that? :)

Edited by spionin

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Shark sightings, ice tool fishing, and rainbows...definitely the best Baker serac TR I've read. :brew: I wonder if the shark has any relation to the red squiggly crevasse monster spotted on Baker earlier this year?

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thanks all!

 

TRing in August? Nerds. :grlaf::laf:;)

stoke doesn't happen by itself you know. gotta bring it!

 

I wonder if the shark has any relation to the red squiggly crevasse monster spotted on Baker earlier this year?

i'm almost certain of it. baker's crazy like that. doug was saying something about packs of wild mountain poodles that attack bears, too. be careful out there!

 

I wish I was along!

well, we'll definitely be going out - only getting closer to ice season!

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Mountainmandoug and I were out on the seracs that day too. Strange that we didn't see you. We found an area tall enough for a full pitch and a little more. So much fun! Wasn't the ice just perfect that day? I meant to post a TR but the batteries in my camera were completely dead, and a TR without photos would have been a bit dull. Glad you posted one.

 

Climb on!

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awesome time out veronika and doug!!

 

glad to have dodged the shark attack!

 

stoked for the season although i have to admit...i'd still like to get some more time on warm rock before freezing my ass off the ice...

 

gotta get out again soon!!

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They way I read you pic with the shark was great. The bottom part of the screen was cut off, I read your little description and then scrolled down..

 

hah.

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Comment on an old TR YEAH!

 

Shark aside - you gentleman/ladies of the North are lucky bastards. This looks like a blast.

 

Only put screws in water ice so far, how much comfort does the glacial ice give with protection? Seems like you could just push them in, but I speak from lack of experience. Similar hold?

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Only put screws in water ice so far, how much comfort does the glacial ice give with protection? Seems like you could just push them in, but I speak from lack of experience. Similar hold?

 

thanks, burchey!

 

indeed, the quality of the screws matters, b/c that's how you have to make the anchor on top of the glacier - no trees to rap off of :)

 

the surface tends to be quite baked and ends up getting covered with graupel-y, rough ice chunks. here's a representative picture from mt baker in august:

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but the ice underneath is incredibly dense (sometimes you have dig deep to get to it). if you ever climb glaciers at higher altitudes you see very hard, bulletproof stuff. like this:

IMG_4318.JPGIMG_4322.JPG

 

b/c of how it forms, it doesn't tend to dinnerplate like some WI. so even on the solid stuff you'll get pretty localized fracturing.

 

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Keenwesh, I don't consider it a good run unless I take at least one lead fall. Maybe two if I'm feeling froggy.

 

Spionin, thanks for the info - I've been lucky to find clean ice on most of my leads - I'm pretty green, but I've been on a couple leads where I've had to bash to find the hidden goodies underneath. I'll be heading to Shasta and further north this season to hopefully get some more time on the glaciers - snow covered everything on the Kautz when I was there, carried a couple screws for nada.

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