Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: vancouver, bc, Canada.
Mount Baker 09-May-2015
Went with a BCMC group on a day trip to baker, 10 in all 7 on skis and 3 including myself on foot.
A somewhat leisurely pace, border hold-up (one lane) saw us leave the car park area at 9.30am, a little snow on the trail close to where we head up by the creek, the snow wasn't too firm so i lest the crampons and we left the others skinning up, at the top of the first ridge we took a break to check out the glacier, Coleman? This short section of ridge was snow free, the last solid ground we'd see until we got back to it.
Tracks led onwards and up, a couple more ridges climbed and we got our first view of Baker. The skiers we nowhere in sight, i figured they would fly past us on the way back and have a good wait at the cars.
Saw i guy with a dog ahead of us and soon met a group of three on the way back, i thought it was pretty early in the day to have summited, turns out they had been turned back by knee deep snow at around 8500ft. My heart sank a little hearing this, with no snowshoes we would be in the same boat.
With a view of the col we could make out ant sized people on the Wall, started to sink a little more as we headed up, came across a crevasse, tracks led left and right, we chose right as the snow looked much more solid, there was one small hole that one of us pushed a leg thru,other than than the snow was good and solid. Passed by the edge of some icefall and continued up to the Col.
From here it got a bit steeper, a short icy section and we were at the sub peak, chatting with a couple of skiers, they told me the snow was softening up fine, so kept the crampons off, reasonable steps up so i went for it leaving the others behind, straight up the Roman wall, looking down quite a few people were now gathering at the sub-peak, i kept going and soon couldn't see below me, things started to level out and i was on top. Strong smell of sulphur going up the wall, gas could be seen to the south from the peak.
After a bit of a rest and a few pics, i saw a bump in the distance, higher than where i was so i figured i had to go over, saw the guy with the dog coming up from my right, found out this was the skiers route, found out he later needed some help getting his skis out of a crevasse.
Met up with the others that were on foot, still no sign of the skiers as we began the descent, back the same route, kept expecting them to pass us but it didn't happen, beat them back to the cars by over an hour. Made it back by 7pm, 91/2 hours. Luckily one of the cars had been left open so we kept warm until the rest showed up.