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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mt Baker--who farted?

Last weekend seven of us climbed Baker via the Easton Glacier. We car-camped late Friday night at the trailhead, hiked up to base camp on Saturday, refreshed some skills and checked out some crevasses, and started climbing at about 1am Sunday morning. We had a team of three and a team of four. The four person team summitted at about 8am, with the other group up shortly after. We were the first group to leave camp, and the second group to make summit that day. It was a busy weekend on the mountain. Just thought I'd share a few pictures from the trip.

View from the alpine

The trail up the Railroad Grade to base camp. Walking along this moraine was pretty fun, with sharp drop-offs on the right. On our way down on Sunday we got blasted with some rain, wind, and dust.

Twist that neck.... camp with ice-fall behind.

None of my pics from night/dusk turned out well, but this one shows John, Francoise, and Brandon pausing to view the crazy weather that teased us all weekend. We had it all: wind, rain, snow, and of course sunshine. Some of the people in our party study weather/climate, so it was interesting to listen to their weather jargon.

Approaching the col with a US team in front. We eventually passed them. At the col we met a group who had come up the Coleman-Demming route, as well as a very nasty squall that kept us hunkered down for a few minutes. We later wondered what happened to those guys, as we never saw them on the summit....

Preparing to ascend the Roman Wall.

The Easton Glacier from the crest of the Roman Wall.

John, Francoise, and Brandon taking a short pause after the Roman Wall on the summit dome.

Grant Peak with the day's first team standing atop.

Scenery from above. This is the crater. You can see smoke or fumes near bottom right. Personally, I have to admit that Baker is the smelliest mountain I have ever climbed. Rotten egg sulphury smells... even from camp at times. Of course we all made jokes about who farted...

Our rope team: myself, John, Francoise, and Brandon.

Our two teams with summit register in foreground. In the back: me, Lisa, Geoff, and Peter. In the front: John, Francoise, and Brandon. We were by far the most beautiful people on the mountain... Someone brought coffee and we relaxed atop for over an hour.

Representing the homeland!!

Just below the summit with Baker Lake below.

On the way down Francoise watches as Brandon crosses a crevasse.

I'm sure the others have even better pics. Thanks for the good times guys!! And a raised glass to Geoff for organizing.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 01:34 PM
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Really nice pics and report! Congratulations on making the summit.

Thanks for sharing but, I must say, I wish Baker was in BC but last time I looked it was still south of the border in Washington state! []

Cheers!

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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uhh yaaaa... thanks for that. How could I forget the anxiety at the border! I posted it now in Washington too, but can't seem to delete this one... learnin as I go... apologies.

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quote:Originally posted by Blucruisin

Really nice pics and report! Congratulations on making the summit.

Thanks for sharing but, I must say, I wish Baker was in BC but last time I looked it was still south of the border in Washington state! []

Cheers!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 07:50 AM
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Nice job, Francoise, Clayton, and the rest!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Blucruisin

Really nice pics and report! Congratulations on making the summit.

Thanks for sharing but, I must say, I wish Baker was in BC but last time I looked it was still south of the border in Washington state! []

Cheers!

I had a dream last night where I took a train into Washington, but I didn't have a passport. Somehow that went unchecked, and I had to travel illegally back into Canada :P
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 08:49 AM
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Amazing job Candy Sack! How did you from the route you took? It didn't look very technical judging by the pictures, when it comes to glacier travel.

Hopefully I'll be up there this year too!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 06:27 PM
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Beautiful pictures!
Ive always loved backpacking in that area (winter and summer), and sigh.. one of these days I'll get up to Baker.. one of these days.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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Nice pictures CS! Was there a straight forward trail to follow or were you breaking trail? Were the crevasses easy to cross? Any other comments or advice you can give about the route?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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We were the first out of camp and did our own routefinding, which was considerable, and partly done with another team. When the snow is hard at night, you don't really have to break trail. For the most part the crevasses were easy, but some were huge and the bridges a bit sketchy. On the way down we followed a pretty obvious trail, as well as some wands. No advice other than take a bright headlamp, warm clothes, and keep an eye on eachother around crevasses. Good luck!

-c-

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quote:Originally posted by jimw

Nice pictures CS! Was there a straight forward trail to follow or were you breaking trail? Were the crevasses easy to cross? Any other comments or advice you can give about the route?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 08:39 AM
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Nice trip of one of my favourite areas.

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quote:Personally, I have to admit that Baker is the smelliest mountain I have ever climbed. Rotten egg sulphury smells... even from camp at times. Of course we all made jokes about who farted...
Interesting; an increase in gas emmissions up there lately? I noticed this on the USGS website the other day.

http://www.geophys.washington.edu/SE...errec_eqs.html
Is this more Low frequency activity than usual? Any proffessionals out there care to comment?

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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August 8, 2009
I am responding to the "Who farted" note. I am a volcanologist working at Mount Baker, and affiliated with the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center. Our website is http://mbvrc.wwu.edu.

The rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide, a gaseous component of the fumaroles in Sherman Crater and the Dorr fumaroles. This gas carries downwind. It is formed from a chemical reaction of sulfur dioxide [given off by the magma beneath the volcano] and subsurface water [melting snow and rain] percolating into the rock. Occasionally people report it from as far away as Ptarmigan Ridge or the ski area, sometimes only from the immediate vicinity of Sherman Crater or the Dorr fumaroles. It is a reminder that Mount Baker is an active volcano. If you are interested, a scientific paper discusses this gas at Mount Baker and its significance. You may be able to find it at a University Library. The paper is:

Quiescent hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide degassing from Mount Baker, Washington, by K. McGee and others, 2001, in Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 28, no. 23, pp 4479-82.
This paper is short and pretty easy to read. You can find the abstract online by cutting and pasting the title into a search program. The full paper is not online.

The USGS website reports earthquake signals obtained by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center at University of Washington. There is currently only one seismometer on the mountain, so tiny earthquakes can't be triangulated very accurately. However, they are common, and could be caused by glacial movement in hot weather. There is currently no evidence for magma movements beneath the volcano [which would also make small earthquakes]. http://www.pnsn.org/BAKER/welcome.html

We at MBVRC appreciate and encourage your questions and reports on activity at the volcano, so feel free to do so, and encourage your friends, too. If you want to be on our contact list, contact the website email and we can then notify you of research updates, interesting observations at Mount Baker, presentations, or sell you one of our really cool fundraiser tshirts (we are a nonprofit research outfit).

Enjoy the remaining summer! If you have photos of Baker activity, such as large steam plumes, debris flows on Boulder Glacier, or whatever, you may sent them to us at at the email address on the MBVRC website. We will consider posting them on the website with your permission.

Dave Tucker
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