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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Glacier Creek Road: Almost continuous snow starts at Mile 6.5 or about 10 km on the odometer. Unless it warms up for a spell I doubt the road is going to melt out for at least a couple more weeks or so.

We skied up Baker on a stellar day. There were about 12 inches or more of fresh snow at higher elevations and we had none of the pollen problems encountered last year. The Roman Wall had softened enough by 1 PM that we were able to skin up it all the way, two of us using ski crampons and one without. The descent of the wall was quite good but between seven and nine thousand five hundred feet the skiing just blew us away. Hadn't skied conditions this good all spring. Below that it was still good in the deeper slush. Watching people trudging down the mountain roped up on foot was painful. Why don't they at least use snowshoes? I think skiers are now finally outnumbering the postholers on Baker.

This is by no means scientific but the glacier looks more broken up than ever for June.









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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:53 PM
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I'd be one of the postholers (or snowshoers) if I ever get around to doing this one. In your opinion is it necessary to rope up?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for putting up those shots stoked. Simon - its your call on whether its necessary to rope up but with just boots on you're testing snowbridge integrity quite a bit more then someone on skis.

EDIT - i thought I'd put up some more useful information: most of the slots are above 6k feet. The big ones aren't the ones you have to be worried about. The weird one's are the transverse ones that are thinly bridged and you can't see them. They tend to appear even on the gentle slopes below the headwall.

This year's been a bad one for slots. Some pretty experienced ski tourers have fallen in to slots this year on Rainier, Baker etc.

I roped it up when i climbed it the last time - but that was in July. For myself, I'd almost certainly rope up this time around.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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You know, that's funny. I said at the meeting spot, "Anyone taking an ice axe?", "No.", "Anyone taking a harness?", "No.", Then Tim says, "Anyone taking a shovel?".

I ended up not taking ice axe or harness but we had two short, thin ropes. I took a shovel and beacon but when I turned on the beacon at the TH I only got one signal.

Actually, it looked a bit broken up in places and I agree with Lee, it's the one's you can't see that are the problem. But on skis you're at way less of a risk. I never felt we were in danger. That said, I'd didn't see any postholers making any bottomless holes either. It was a lot better than I thought. I kept thinking of that poor guy that just disappeared.

Go for it Simon. I know MarkT2008 wants to go. I've got a old rope and an old harness if you need it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:08 PM
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My brother andy and i skied mount baker the next day and i agree about how good the skiing was.As far as roping up we both had our harnesses on the glacier,but kept thirty meters of rope in each of our bags.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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Impressed that there is good snow around to ski on still, it makes me want to go skiing!
Whistler I doubt is as good right now, I know it was pretty poor back in April (end of), which told me 'ski season is over.'
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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climbingal, in general, the volcanoes are good ski trips in May and June every year. If you look on turns-all-year.com under Trip Reports, June 2008, last weekend there were great ski conditions reported from Lassen in California and north through all the Cascades volcanoes.

I don't know why skiing crevasse fields on Baker is such an issue. People I know ski the Spearhead, Neve, Anniversary, Jimmy Jimmy etc. without roping up and hardly giving it a second thought. The thing about Baker from Glacier Creek Road is you're travelling a time-honoured, well-trod route. I'm not minimizing the risk but if you choose your day and go in the right conditions, it's probably less dangerous than driving Patullo bridge or Knight Street in Vancouver in rush hour.
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