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cgolden123

[TR] Mt. Baker - Coleman-Deming 8/26/2016

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Trip: Mt. Baker - Coleman-Deming

 

Date: 8/26/2016

 

Trip Report:

Didn't think I would be able to squeeze in a Baker climb this season, but when two buddies reached out to me on Wednesday, I couldn't say no. We left Seattle on Thursday night, got to the Heliotrope Ridge TH at 9pm, slept a few hours, and we were heading up the ridge at 1am.

 

Reached the Coleman at about 2:30 - 3am and roped up. We had a hard time finding where the dirt trail meets the snow, so we had some fun route finding for the first few 100 yards until we found the boot path. The route is in late season conditions right now, with multiple crevasse crossings and snow bridges. The snow wasn't even frozen at 3am when we transitioned.

 

With that said, our glacier travel was quick, and we were at the Roman Wall at about 6:30am. As this was my first time on Baker, I did not know what to expect from the Roman wall. While it is some very steep climbing, the boot-path turned into a 3 feet deep trench all the way up. We were at the summit at about 8am. A little windy, but otherwise it was a pretty fantastic day to be on top of Baker. Headed back down, had lunch at the base of the Roman Wall to avoid wind, then we were back at our car at 1PM. 12 hours car to car, and we basically had the entire route to ourselves all day, besides the two guys that passed us right as we arrived on the glacier. There were a lot of groups who were doing the Easton, but only us and two other guys on the Coleman-Deming.

 

Can't stress the danger of this route this time of year. Yes, this trip was smooth, but the crevasse crossings are all sketchy, and the hanging glaciers on Colfax are falling apart. I witnessed my first glacial calving on this trip, as a block of ice the size of a house broke off from the hanging glacier on Colfax. Came to a stop about 30 yards away from the climbers boot path. While it was incredibly awesome, it was also pretty scary. Be careful out there.

 

Gear Notes:

Glacier travel gear, crevasse rescue, all the bells and whistles.

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