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2010 Backcountry Trip Reports => August 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: georg klein on 08/22/10, 05:07 PM

Title: August 21, 2010, Mt. Baker, Squak Glacier
Post by: georg klein on 08/22/10, 05:07 PM
Skiied the Squak glacier on Saturday Aug 21 with Tyler McCoy. Skies were clear overnight and the day started with fine weather, blue skies with only a few thin wisps at altitude, and no wind. By midmorning clouds had begun boiling up from the lowlands and soon everywhere except Mt Baker was covered; this lasted until we got to the crater rim at 2pm, when a slight breeze picked up and the clouds engulfed the mountain. We turned around there and skied down in patches of good visibility. A mild shower was coming down by the time we got back to the car.

Although a number of hikers were enjoying the Scott Paul trail, the upper mountain was pretty deserted: Saw no-one else on the glacier all day, and no climbers on the roman wall. We did meet a party of two skiers planning on skiing the Squak on Sunday.

The route remains in good condition. The crux crevasse system remains easily passable climber's left of the former Isthmi of Andalkar, with a solid 10m of glacier separating the end of that crevasse from the next. The bergschrund crossing remains as pictured in Amar's trip report from a week ago. The runnels at lower elevations are back but not severe enough to be unpleasant, and suncups only became noticeable in the snow among the moraines. The best turns were on the steeper slope immediately above the moraines.

The only tricky bit is getting to the receding snow. The slog up the moraines was tedious in ski boots and we only got skis on at 6000ft just climber's left of Crag View. On the descent we found it worthwhile to stay well skier's right of Crag View and the glacial ice slope near it, this provides a fun last pitch and a good overview of the exit options. Skis off for me at 5500ft but other gullies might go lower.

Rising clouds chasing us up the hill

Turn-around near the crater rim

Best snow was on the steeper sections

Scouting out an exit through the moraines

Title: Re: August 21, 2010, Mt. Baker, Squak Glacier
Post by: Malachai Constant on 08/22/10, 07:00 PM
I think we saw you heading up the Scott Paul when we were coming down on a family hike, I was jealous. :)

Title: Re: August 21, 2010, Mt. Baker, Squak Glacier
Post by: all mtn on 08/23/10, 03:44 PM
re: the clouds - I saw the same wispy's w/ the halo, the end of June, last yr down here on Mt Lassen. A good day.

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