Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Baker, Easton Glacier: June 25-26
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Beer Ranger
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Beer Ranger
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PostWed Jun 29, 2011 7:44 pm 
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One mediocre weather report nearly scared us off, but with things looking good for Sunday, Jessica, Lauren (fourteen410), David (Opus), and I set off for Mt. Baker early Saturday morning.

the ranger-mobile
the ranger-mobile
"before" photo
"before" photo

We certainly weren’t alone at the trailhead, though we were pleased to find that we had only a 3/4-mile snowy road walk to reach the Schriebers Meadow trail.  Temps were nice and cool for the hike in.  We entered whiteout conditions as we ascended Railroad Grade.  After passing a couple camps, we found a suitably flat spot at ~6700’ to set up.


into the whiteout
into the whiteout
setting up in a whiteout
setting up in a whiteout
traditional gender roles
traditional gender roles
rejoicing in the moments of blue sky
rejoicing in the moments of blue sky
lounging
lounging

The sun made a couple abbreviated appearances throughout the afternoon, but mostly it stayed socked in with the occasional snow flurry.  But around sunset time, we got a glimmer of hope as the clouds started to clear.  I awoke from my nap to stick my head out of the tent—whoa, we were indeed on the side of a large mountain, surrounded by a sea of peaks.

sunset, clearing
sunset, clearing

We awoke at 1:30 to crystal clear skies.  Not sure where the time went, but we didn’t start climbing until 3:15.  It was a calm, peaceful morning—one that reminds you why you go through all the effort.  A sliver of a waning moon rose in the east, followed shortly by the sun.  It was incredibly clear—all of the Washington volcanoes visible!

ranger is ready
ranger is ready
the headlamp world
the headlamp world
ascent
ascent
baker + steam shadow at sunrise
baker + steam shadow at sunrise
alpenglow
alpenglow
ugly scenery
ugly scenery
going up
going up
sunrise light on rainier
sunrise light on rainier

The route was straightforward and direct with a well-defined boot track.  There were several obvious crevasses, but snow bridges were intact.  Still, we moved deliberately over a few areas of sagging snow.  Snow on the Roman Wall, the steepest and last real climb, was slightly soft as we ascended around 8:00, and there were still decent steps to be had.  On the “football field” on top, we unroped and joined the throngs on the true summit at about 9:00, soaking in the abundant sunshine and sweet views.


crater
crater
up the roman wall
up the roman wall
reeling 'em in
reeling 'em in
where are the goal posts?
where are the goal posts?
yay team!
yay team!
the ladies
the ladies
looking back up from camp-- deceptively far!
looking back up from camp-- deceptively far!

Snow was softening for sure on the way back to camp, but fortunately nothing too squishy while still on the glacier.  The trek from camp back down to the car was vastly different than the ascent the day before.  We could see more than 50 feet in front of us and we roasted in the sun.  Snowmobiles buzzed around us, showing off their (un)impressive moves.  We were slightly peeved that they obliterated some of the boot tracks that our sleep-deprived selves wanted to follow.  But this female-dominated team was offered a ride back down by some friendly riders (declined).  We trudged on through the super sloppy snow until finally reaching the car.  Glorious glorious food and beer were soon to be had to celebrate our conquest!
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13042 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostWed Jun 29, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Very nice first post Beer-Ranger!  up.gif
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Bernardo
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Joined: 08 Feb 2010
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Location: At 8,400 feet.
Bernardo
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PostWed Jun 29, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Nice report.  I always like smiling before pictures.
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NikonHiker
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Joined: 14 Aug 2007
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Location: Fort Drum, NY
NikonHiker
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PostWed Jun 29, 2011 9:39 pm 
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It looked like an absolute zoo over there. I counted at least 60 climbers that morning and talk about a perfect day to climb...
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Don
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 2016 | TRs | Pics
Location: Fairwood, WA
Don
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 6:12 am 
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Excellent work!  What a slog the Easton can be in hot conditions.  Sounds like snow conditions were enjoyable.  Congratulations, not only on the summit, but the nice weather window that allowed you to enjoy the climb, step by step.  up.gif

Don

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Don Geyer Photography

Photography Blog
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Opus
Wannabe



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
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Location: The big rock candy mountain
Opus
Wannabe
PostThu Jun 30, 2011 6:29 am 
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Once again I was the sole representative of the Y chromosome.  What an awesome trip!  Some mixed weather to put up with Saturday, but waking up to totally clear skies and perfect conditions for the climb made us forget about all that.  And a fun surprise to run into some familiar OSAT faces at the trailhead and on the summit.  Thanks for the steps!


The OSAT team
The OSAT team
Hey sun!  Over here!
Hey sun!  Over here!
In the lounge
In the lounge
Climbing gear
Climbing gear
Getting ready
Getting ready
Heading out of camp
Heading out of camp
Away we go
Away we go
To the summit
To the summit
Team
Team
Rainier
Rainier
Steam
Steam
At the crater
At the crater
Halfway up the Roman Wall
Halfway up the Roman Wall
The "Football Field"
The "Football Field"
Surveying the view
Surveying the view
Me
Me
Jess and Lauren
Jess and Lauren
Summit party!
Summit party!
Sunny day
Sunny day
Big crevasse
Big crevasse
Packed up, going home
Packed up, going home
Zoom
Zoom
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BarbE
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BarbE
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 8:23 am 
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David you sure know how to pick a good looking climbing team! biggrin.gif
Great pics too!  up.gif  Congrats on making the summit  dance.gif
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Don
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Don
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 8:28 am 
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David - love the "At the crater" shot!  up.gif

Don

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Don Geyer Photography

Photography Blog
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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wildernessed
viewbagger
PostThu Jun 30, 2011 8:33 am 
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up.gif Nice !

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Yet
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Yet
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 9:11 am 
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Sweet report!

Beer Ranger wrote:
traditional gender roles
traditional gender roles

lol.gif  up.gif

Beer Ranger wrote:
this female-dominated team was offered a ride back down by some friendly riders (declined).

Ha! Girls rock!  up.gif I'd like to say I would have been as strong, but perhaps I would at least have them carry my pack down.  embarassedlaugh.gif  biggrin.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Baker, Easton Glacier: June 25-26
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