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Whatcomboy

Baker- North Ridge

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Question for those who have climbed North Ridge route at Baker. How long are the ice pitches? Is a single 60m. doable for a team of three or bring another rope? Two ice tools necesary for the follower?

Edited by waterboy49

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As I recall the ice section was around 450ft. We got to choose between 85 degree bullet-hard ice in the sun or 75 degree rotten ice in the shade, and chose the latter.

 

Follower would probably want two tools, or maybe an alpine axe and second tool if they are used to climbing ice with that combination. I suppose you could break it down into 100' pitches but that sounds slow and annoying.

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The length and steepness of the crux ice pitches vary from year to year. The year I did it we climbed 120 meters of 70 degree plastic, blue ice, preceeded and followed by a bunch of 40 degree neve'. A skilled climber could have followed the pitches with a single axe, but other years the route is steeper. I would personally always bring a second tool for this route. FWIW, I climbed the route with a 60 cm REI (SMC) axe paired with a 50 cm SMC Himalayan Hammer and thought the combo worked beautifully. As for ropes, doubles would be ideal, each follower following on a separate strand. In a pintch you could double the 60 and just climb two more pitches.

Edited by DPS

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In addition to the above comments.

 

typically the steepish parts of the ice are less than 30m. If you own a 60m half rope, you could bring that for the route. Tie into the middle of the rope (bowline on a bight is a great knot for that situation) and your partners on either end. Lead with usual double rope technique. Belay each follower independently while they both climb with a auto locker belay device on the anchor. After the steep bit, you could either pitch it out a couple more times or revert to glacier mode and running belay the rest depending on comfort level.

 

I wouldn't drag a single line up baker. To much glacier to steep ice ratio.

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totally agree with above comments.

we had a party of two last august, and simuled with a 30-m glacier rope (essentially putting the same length of rope between us as a doubled over 60m, as gene suggests), 3 screws.

 

i used two aztar tools, my partner had a quark and a c.a.m.p. corsa nanotech (ultralight axe), and we both loved our respective setups.

 

good luck!

 

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Not to be repetitive but I think numbers add credibility. We also did it with a group of three with one sixty meter rope. One person ties in the middle. Very good for that route as the technical section is so short.

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