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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2002 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  Trip Reports - September-October 2002
| | |-+  October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier
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Author Topic: October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier  (Read 7811 times)
Amar Andalkar

Posts: 1231

October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier
« on: 10/21/02, 05:04 AM »

With the arrival of clear skies and solid high pressure, three of us (David Coleman, Sky Sjue, and I) set off on Sunday for the Coleman Glacier. David and Sky had skied the route in September, and David also reported a few inches of new snow above 4000 ft from his hike up the Helotrope Ridge trail on Friday. We left the trailhead at sunrise, 7:15 AM, and reached the edge of the glacier at 6100 ft after carefully negotiating the very slick final section of trail (new snow and water ice). We roped up and headed out, cramponing up the steep face on 1-3" of new snow over solid firn/ice, and then two of us switched to skins as the terrain flattened above 6600 ft. Crevasse conditions were surprisingly moderate and safe (especially for October), and the rope was not necessarily needed.

We stopped at the first steep (45+ deg), 50 ft high serac face at 8700 ft, just below the Coleman-Deming Saddle, since one member of the party (guess who) was getting tired and the winds were also starting to pick up. We watched in amusement as a party of 3 climbers struggled to belay their dog up the steep face, before turning back just beyond, and then we skied down around 2 PM. Snow conditions were quite good, as the snow from Thursday's storm had remained powder on the north and NW facing slopes of the Coleman. A few tricky sections of packed snow, but generally 1-4" of good powder over a firm base. Skied out to the glacier's edge at 6100 ft and headed back down the slippery trail to the car. A very fine ski run for early October, despite missing the summit by a lot.


ron j
TAY Moderator

Posts: 2602

Re: October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 10/21/02, 05:57 AM »

Sounds Like you had some sweet snow to work with, Amar.

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
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