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Author Topic: Baker summit by Easton 7/19  (Read 7382 times)
James Wells
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Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« on: 07/20/08, 11:27 AM »

We set out in two waves: Dan (DanEngle), Chris(Mosetick), and I met just before 3 PM, loaded up what seemed like absurdly heavy packs for the hike, and headed on up.  About an hour later we spoke on radio with Mack (Telemack) and Chris (Skierlyles) who had arrived and were on their way.  With all warm weather and sun over the last few weeks, I was concerned that we might be hiking a long way, but we got to skinnable snow after 1200 vf so it was bliss from there up to camp at the top of the Railroad Grade.

There is a certain optimal window for this tour where it is possible to drive to or near the trailhead, but there is still skinnable snow low in Schreiber’s Meadow and up into the valley east of the Railroad Grade (then no need for the summer trail).  As an added bonus, the best trip day would be just after the snowmobiles are shut out.  This perfect time would have been around July 1 this year, and is presumably some time in mid June most years.  But, 1200 vf was not so bad and we were pleased.

It was a party at camp, with about two dozen people in various groups.  It was a popular weekend – about 20 people summited by Easton on Saturday and we saw about that many heading up the Roman Wall from CD.  And no wonder – the weather was just perfect.  Mack and Chris joined us presently and we tried to get some sleep under the full moon, stellar skies, and the Baker summit looking down at us.

At 2:00 Chris M, Dan, and I got up, and after too much messing around got started up the hill at 3:30.  The snow was pretty hard and icy, tough for skinning over the sun cups and runnels.  At the certain point we each gave it up and moved over to booting, for which conditions were perfect.

The glacier is definitely starting to open up.  On the trip three weeks ago we could ski pretty much wherever we wanted to – now there was the beginning of route finding issues.

At a significant crevasse at 8900’ I could see Mack and Chris L coming up from below, so I waited for them while Chris M and Dan continued up.  I roped with Mack and Chris L, and at this point I saw that Mack was equipped with all terrain ski crampons, where the terrain included sketchy belayed crevasse crossings.  By now we had all except Mack been moved over to booting.

We ramped up and around to the base of the Roman Wall.  Surely here, Mack’s skis would come off.  No Way!  Mack skied right on up the deep sun cups and boot pack as it got progressively steeper, managed not to fall into the last few crevasses, and then encouraged me to persevere with a running count of the diminishing vertical feet to go to the top.

After this I am totally sold on ski crampons – got to get me some of them!  And, I think the operator had something to do with the feat of skiing every foot of the way up this route.

On the summit snow field, we found Chris M and Dan brewing in celebration.  It is no longer possible to ski from the exact summit mound, which is dirt.  The snow is now about 15 vf off the summit.

It was late, which made for really nice soft ski conditions, but we were a little concerned about melting snow bridge conditions especially the big one at 8900’.  On the Roman Wall, I sure didn’t want to ski down the very worst of our route up, which was the steepest spot, shot through with boot holes, and had a network of small crevasses.  Chris and Chris investigated to skier’s right and after some adventuring found a skiable way past the main crevasse in the middle of the Roman Wall, so that was great.

The last remaining obstacle was the crevasse at 8900’.  It still looked pretty good, but as it was after 3 and the snow had way softened, we set up a belay off a picket based on expert instruction from Mack, and we each climbed down in turn.

After that, nothing but turns all the way back to camp at 6000’ to pick up stuff, then to the end of snow at 4500', and hike on out.

The others have promised to post pictures or a link thereof to to pix of what was for all of us a most excellent tour.
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danengel
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #1 on: 07/20/08, 01:03 PM »

Here are some more pics from the trip.

Great day for a ski summit. Thanks to travertine for putting together the trip. Great to be sleeping under a full moon. 

It was great meeting everyone and and getting to ski an amazing route!!!!





* chris_lyles_skiing2_low.jpg (95.74 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1187 times.)

* james_skiing_low.jpg (91.4 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1188 times.)

* mack_skiing_roman_wall_low.jpg (72.45 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1180 times.)
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mosetick
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #2 on: 07/20/08, 04:45 PM »

What a great trip!!  Great to meet everyone, and a pleasure to be on a trip with Travertine again.  I agree with Dan, the full moon with light clouds below was great.  Summit day weather conditions were excellent!!

Slide Show of Photos from Trip


Me making my way down


skierlyles and telemack prepare for bed with the sunset behind the Black Buttes


Travertine belaying the group across a crevasse field on the way down


group photo break: Travertine, DanEngle, telemack, skierlyles, Mosetick behind camera
« Last Edit: 07/20/08, 05:03 PM by mosetick » Logged
skierlyles
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #3 on: 07/20/08, 11:42 PM »

Great trip guys! Thanks for the good company and looking forward to the next adventure.

Here are more pics of the trip:

http://picasaweb.google.com/christopherlyles/BakerSummitJuly2008?authkey=-kKyHIa0KMQ&pli=1&gsessionid=ncSltCqZAU_GAAP70RCM_g

Chris
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telemack
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #4 on: 07/21/08, 12:12 AM »

Nice job, TAY-boys---my best trip of the season for sure.  Thanks for the photos, effort, company and spirit.  But how did we all end up at the worst DQ on the planet on the drive home?   Huh
« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 12:19 AM by telemack » Logged

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
Don Heath
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #5 on: 07/21/08, 06:43 AM »

Nice work you guys!  Great pictures!  Some of those moon shots were beautiful (one of Dan's was amazing).  Nice to see a Tele geezer with the bunch  Grin  I think the only way the trip report could have been better is if Rusty knees had been along.  In 2004 I climbed that route, saw a lone skier come down through those late summer crevasses and realized for the first time that was doable.  See you up there!
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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
scotteryx
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #6 on: 07/21/08, 10:36 AM »

You must be talking about the Sedro Wooley DQ. What a zoo that place is. Between the staff and clientele you are always guaranteed a treat, just not the food.
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Telemon
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #7 on: 07/21/08, 10:56 AM »

Thanks for the reports. I am contemplating a trip up the Easton or Squak glaciers this Saturday, so I appreciate the information. Nice to see that you are still skiing in July, Mack. We'll have to get together on Ptarmigan Ridge this August and September, Travertine and Rusty Knees.
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Git down, Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Telemark..What do you mean it is a turn not a religion?
telemack
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #8 on: 07/21/08, 11:02 AM »

You must be talking about the Sedro Wooley DQ. What a zoo that place is. Between the staff and clientele you are always guaranteed a treat, just not the food.
That's the one; I think it's a job-training program for teens with fetal-alcohol syndrome, and half the customers are meth-heads.   Wink   
I say that with empathy, too, since I teach high school in a community not too much different. 
The funny thing was that all 3 cars pulled in to the same spot!

Telemon, I actually passed your name to Travertine already. Smiley  I have 6 ski days for July already.  Luckily we now have house-guests from the UK for 3 weeks so I can recover from all the trail-humping.
« Last Edit: 07/21/08, 11:07 AM by telemack » Logged

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
James Wells
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #9 on: 07/21/08, 11:05 AM »

Thanks for the reports. I am contemplating a trip up the Easton or Squak glaciers this Saturday, so I appreciate the information. Nice to see that you are still skiing in July, Mack. We'll have to get together on Ptarmigan Ridge this August and September, Travertine and Rusty Knees.

Bob, I can provide additional details on route and conditions on Easton by email after work (remind me if I forget).  But generally things are good (you'll get an extra week's worth of crevasses).

Yes to Ptarmigan Ridge in August and September for easy turns until the snow comes again.
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danengel
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #10 on: 07/21/08, 11:44 AM »

We had perfect timing for that visit to the Sedro Wooley DQ. A few minutes later and the bridge between reality and that DQ might have melted out!  Wink
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Snow Bell
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #11 on: 07/21/08, 10:16 PM »

Nice one guys.  That trip sounds like fun, I wish that I could have joined you.  Thanks for taking so many pictures (except for you Mack).   Wink
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telemack
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #12 on: 07/21/08, 11:25 PM »

Obviously I made a better SUBJECT.    Wink
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
northbynorthwest
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #13 on: 07/23/08, 12:53 PM »

Hey, I saw you guys in the parking lot at the trailhead.  I was with a large group that had just summited.  We talked a bit about backcountry skiing and such.  You mentioned checking out the TR on TAY. 

It looks like you had a great time.  I would love to join on any other Baker ski trips if you guys ever need another participant. 
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telemack
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #14 on: 07/24/08, 07:32 PM »

Thanks for the click!
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
skierguitarist
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Re: Baker summit by Easton 7/19
« Reply #15 on: 07/25/08, 11:28 AM »

COOL!!!!!!!!  Glad to see people up at the North End are finding ski routes of off summits.   Baker is on the list but it is about the same distance as driving to Lake Tahoe from Bend. Roll Eyes
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