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[TR] Mt Baker - Coleman Headwall 6/25/2011

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Trip: Mt Baker - Coleman Headwall


Date: 6/25/2011


Trip Report:

I’ve never posted a trip report, but this trip deserves one. I don’t think I’ve ever pushed myself so hard before with such little sleep. Here goes…


Kevin and Chris picked me up around 1:20 am in Fairhaven. Kevo was bright eyed and caffeinated as per usual. Turns out we all got about 1.5 hours of sleep the night before. Kevo got us to the trailhead in about an hour (white-knuckled but alive) and we started the approach at 2:40 am. I think that hike goes faster in the dark. I zoned out. The last time I did a car-to-car Baker climb was last year with Yasso in August. The trail looked totally different with all the avalanche debris and snow rather than dirt, dust, and flowers.


Roped up at the top of heliotrope an hour and a half later. Chris and Kevin are master navigators and thanks to that we made decent time to the base of the climb with only one sketchy snow bridge crossing. At this point the weather was getting fickle. I’d look up and it would be partly sunny, then two minutes later it would be totally overcast. It held steady though.


On the headwall, we did running belays but the first few leads we pitched out and were actually pretty spicy - big “yawners” and fair amount of rock fall potential. We had to move fast through the first two pitches and I was absolutely exhausted. My calves were on fire. The rest of the climb went smoothly. It was mostly snice with a bit of nevee at the top. This was my first time doing alpine ice. Not a whole lot of full on tool swinging. Most of the time I was daggering, which was really friggin' fun. Those guys were super patient and encouraging the whole time... I had to rest often to shake out my legs and catch my breath! We descended via the Coleman Deming and saw a bunch of people heading up in the afternoon sun.


The massive glissade at the bottom was a lifesaver (knee-saver). Despite insulin issues and asthma, I didn’t hit a brick wall until I we were back at heliotrope. Thank dog for black tea, albuterol, and ibuprofen. Thirteen hours car-to-car. Pizza and beer soon followed. A big thanks to Kevo and Chris for making it happen. I had a great time.


I also attempted to climb in Squamish the next day. Needless to say after driving up there and top roping a 10 a couple of times, I was done.


Good weekend all in all.













Edited by DyP

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Damn, there's still a lot of snow up there...you forgot the skis! After this big snow year, heliotrope trail must have been a disaster. Nice work powering through all that.

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Touche, Kevin. Not that savvy with the skiing (yet). That sh!t is steep!

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This was my first time doing alpine ice. ...insulin issues and asthma...Thirteen hours car-to-car.

Wow! That is speedy, especially considering it was your first alpine ice climb and other issues. Rock on!

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