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| | |-+  July 9, 2012, Mt Baker: Operation Lightning Rod
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Author Topic: July 9, 2012, Mt Baker: Operation Lightning Rod  (Read 1585 times)

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July 9, 2012, Mt Baker: Operation Lightning Rod
« on: 07/10/12, 02:57 PM »

Skied Baker. 
11hrs 15 mins car to car from Heliotrope. 
Car to summit: 8.5 hrs  Summit to Car: 2 hrs

Lightning in Bellingham at 2am.  Strikes were every 5 minute all the way up to the mountain.  It was absolutely pouring in Glacier and then immediately stopped. 
Left trailhead at 3:30am.  Immediately discovered the bridge over the creek was out.  Whoops, should have check the trail conditions.  We looked up and downstream with our headlamps but didnt see any obvious logs to cross on.  As it turns out, another party reported a log below the former bridge that was pretty easy to cross on.   Anyways, we headed up stream and eventually gave up on crossing and followed the winter route.  Initially we were plowing through the forest, which by the way, is quite easy as long as you stay out of the avy track that is currently covered in scrubby brush.  Lightning was still quite obvious at this time.  We finally broke out of the trees up valley and were able to put the skis on after about 30 minutes of hiking.  At this time the ligtening stopped and within thirty minutes the moon was shining and it became a mostly sunny day.   For this I'm happy because A-framing with metal edge skis on a high mountain doesnt sound like a terrific idea in an electrical storm.   

Snow is sun cupped and soft but still doable.  The temps must have been around 60.  No wind.   Broke on to the Coleman glacier as the sun became visible.  Mostly sunny skies. The route is a bloody highway right now after the beautiful weekend.  We encountered an AAI group that had started at 1am and were held up by the electrical storm.  Ran out of water 1000 ft below the summit on the Roman Wall....great.  That made for an unpleasant afternoon.  Summit at noon.  Windy on the top, and the ridge leading to it but completely sunny.  The descent was quick, especially when motivated by thirst. 

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