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Author Topic: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit  (Read 6531 times)
Jonn-E
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Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« on: 01/17/15, 09:51 AM »

This picture of me should tell a lot about how ridiculous this winter weather is:


Even worse, one of my partners summited baring a lot more skin, but I'll leave it up to him to post that picture! Sure the tip of Grant's peak was somehow 40 degrees colder, but at 3:00pm you could have skied from the top of the Roman Wall in yer skivvies.

We took the Squak Route via the Scott Paul trail. All of the following will have changed due to 1/15/15 snow but here's some notes:

1. 2.5 mile road from gate to TH involves ~30% walking
2. Scott Paul trail has bare patches and open creeks. Old road alternative is full snow coverage but schwacky. Other folks on the mountain took Easton Creek drainage and beat us handily, reporting approx 4 carries. Probably recommend that approach.
3. 2" of creamy pow between 5,500 - 7,000. Winds from the west loaded this on east slopes for some small releases (see pic). For unreleased east slopes in this band this may represent a current and future hazard.
4. Above 7,000 the surface is best described as Wind-Hammered Shite (WHS in the Cascade Concrete lexicon)
5. There are some sneaky roofed crevasses on the mountain still due to low snow - above 8,000 or so we roped up.

Van - Grant's Peak - Van was a 14 hour, 20 mile affair, starting and ending via headlamp.






























The scenery was the highlight of the day so lots of pictures! And finally, in anticipation of Sunday's big game, the Showdown on the Summit pic:
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #1 on: 01/17/15, 10:35 AM »

Nice work, great photos, long day, looks like a good substitute for Rainier-in-a-day. No LE rangers near Baker this time of year to foil your plans, eh?

Thanks for the detailed list of route and approach conditions, always nice to see that info in a TR.

2. Scott Paul trail has bare patches and open creeks. Old road alternative is full snow coverage but schwacky. Other folks on the mountain took Easton Creek drainage and beat us handily, reporting approx 4 carries. Probably recommend that approach.

I agree with that recommendation.

Regarding Squak vs Easton, there have been several recent Squak TRs, but in my experience, whenever there is snow down to the trailhead or below, the Easton approach is always much easier travel and usually highly preferable, unless there is some other pressing reason to go via Squak. Even more so later in winter and spring when the Squak approach is covered in messy forest debris for miles, while the Easton approach is a smooth groomed track with almost no debris. Both routes have plenty of snowmobiles and their tracks, so that is usually not a determining factor. The pendulum swings in favor of the Squak route once the snowpack starts to melt out past the trailhead in late spring, and generally stays that way through the summer, unless crevasses near 8800 ft make the Squak Glacier impassable like they did in the summer of 2014 while the Easton Glacier stayed an easy cruise into September.

It's great to have two such nicely complementary routes which start from the same trailhead and lead to the same place, but are entirely separate for about 6 miles and 6000 vertical ft.


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runningclouds
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #2 on: 01/17/15, 11:09 AM »

Nice T-shirt! Thanks for the TR, the spring season might be a crying game.
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Griff
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #3 on: 01/17/15, 01:54 PM »

Really great TR and truly enjoyed the photos. Thanks!!
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Norseman
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #4 on: 01/17/15, 02:04 PM »

another thumbs up --
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dave095790
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #5 on: 01/17/15, 09:34 PM »

Cool TR.  Great picture of Shuksan.  Really makes me miss the PNW right now. 
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jtack
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #6 on: 01/17/15, 10:52 PM »

Thanks for the great report and pictures,truly a short sleeve commentary on the winter thus far.
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JimD
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #7 on: 01/19/15, 06:55 AM »

Goodonya reaching the summit! We were pretty tuckered on Tuesday just getting to 8000 ft.
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Jonn-E
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #8 on: 01/22/15, 06:01 PM »

Amar,
the lack of bureaucratic hurdles to access is quickly becoming my favorite things about Mt. Baker.

JimD,
Did you approach via Easton? Also,
Your runnel photos > my runnel photos.
I'm unwilling to carry a DSLR, and feel like I have been taking better photos with my mirrorless Sony NEX-3N, but that totally scientific equation shows that my skills and equipment still have much room for improvement!
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runningclouds
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #9 on: 01/23/15, 06:43 PM »

the lack of bureaucratic hurdles to access is quickly becoming my favorite things about Mt. Baker.

Not if you are approaching from Canada, then it is like driving to MRNP Wink
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kciari
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Re: Juneuary 14, 2015, Mt. Baker summit
« Reply #10 on: 01/26/15, 05:22 PM »

Awesome writeup as always Johnny. I cannot believe some of those amazing shots you got. Let me know when you start making prints ;-)
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I love skiing in a tutu. Find me via #tutusallyear.
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