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[TR] 1912 -2012 Loomis/Welsh Centennial Expedition - Loomis Creek/South Face 9/16/2012

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Trip: 1912 -2012 Loomis/Welsh Centennial Expedition - Loomis Creek/South Face


Date: 9/16/2012


Trip Report:

On September 16, 2012, I joined with six other intrepid climbers on the 1912-2012 Loomis/Welsh Centennial Expedition, to ascend Loomis Mountain and re-create a historic photograph of Mount Baker taken in 1912. This photograph, taken by an enigmatic photographer named E.D. Welsh, hung on the wall of the Koma Kulshan Guard Station for many years, until it was moved to the Mount Baker Ranger District office in Sedro Woolley.


The original Welsh photograph:




Our centennial re-creation photograph obtained on September 16:




Dave Tucker, renowned Mount Baker expert and Spiritual Leader of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center, has posted a detailed account of the expedition at this link, 2012 Loomis-Welsh Centennial Expedition


Thanks to the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center and North Cascades Institute for sponsoring our adventure. We also offer thanks to both Birdsview Brewery and the Train Wreck Tavern in Burlington for providing great venues for post-expedition review and lie-telling. I'm sure many of you who climb anywhere in the Skagit watershed will agree that these two establishments are fine places to re-hydrate after doing battle with the classic mountain landscapes of the North Cascades.


Gear Notes:

Gloves are desirable. Wear clothing that you don't care if it gets ripped to shreds. A sense of humor is mandatory. This is a non-technical climb unless you find yourself on a cliff in dense forest, needing some technical equipment. If it were a rainy day I'd skip this route entirely and head straight to the tavern.


Approach Notes:

Walk the old Loomis Creek road to 3200' before heading upstream in steep forest and meadow. The route features classic & nasty North Cascades brush of every flavor. At some point on this route you will be thankful you had Devil's Club to hang on to. Loomis has a summit register fashioned from an empty Jack Daniels bottle.

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Cool stuff. I even like your signature on the photo. Besides the glacier, interesting to see vegetation making upward progress on Railroad Grade.... Was there a fire or diseased trees on Survey Point recently?

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Was there a fire or diseased trees on Survey Point recently?


I seem to recall that burning about fifteen or more years ago. As I recall, it was a lightning-caused fire that the FS did not fight.


We saw your name in the "register", which unfortunately was very wet inside, even though the JD bottle was capped and upside down in the cairn. We got the paper out and dried it, then replaced it into triple ziplock bags, since we didn't have a proper register, then buried it all in the cairn. If someone goes up there again it would be nice to take a proper container along. It looked to me like Loomis gets about one ascent per year..or less. It really is a fantastic viewpoint of the south side of Baker, and brush aside, I recommend it. From our aerial recon, I'd say the W side of Loomis is formidable at the very least....many huge cliffs and towers, all very ugly looking.

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poor bear


yep, we sure wondered bout that. It was an amazing discovery only made because we were trying to navigate through steep rocky timber just below the E ridge.. it seemed recent, based on its condition, though there was no fur or other remnants nearby..the two images I posted of it - Here and Here


One of the MBVRC blog readers today has likely tracked down Welsh through ancestry research.. Seems his name was Emil, he died in 1962 - Welsh Grave Marker - and is buried in Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham. He may have worked for the predecessor to Diehl Ford back in the teens and twenties; they are searching their old files for more information. And today I visited the original image hanging on the wall in the USFS office in Sedro Woolley - the frame made from old USFS guard station canned goods packing crates from long ago.. Welsh Image In Sedro Woolley

Edited by John_Scurlock

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I've done Loomis in the winter. Great fun climb... if there is snow. Unfortunately all the snow melted before we climbed it and was stuck with steep, dead hellebore that was frozen stiff.


Fun times included rappelling the vertical forest by headlamp. Great views of Baker from there.

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