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| |-+  October 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  October 13, 2006; Coleman-Deming, Mt. Baker
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Author Topic: October 13, 2006; Coleman-Deming, Mt. Baker  (Read 2576 times)

Posts: 381

October 13, 2006; Coleman-Deming, Mt. Baker
« on: 10/14/06, 09:34 AM »

Knowing this was the last day of the high pressure window, and remembering what the Fall of 2002 was like on the Coleman-Deming, we decided to give it a shot.  Left Seattle after 3, and left the trailhead under a moonlit sky just after 6.  Made good time to the top of Heliotrope Ridge where the route up to Marmot Ridge did not appear to provide any routefinding difficulties.  It was at the lower flanks of the Coleman (where you typically ski out) that looked drastically different than other late fall outtings I've had to the area.  The route, in it's late season form, proved to provide the same general route up the glacier.  There were a couple of interesting crevasse crossings, but there was a real yawner around 8k that spanned from the Roman Nose all the way over to Colfax Peak.  However, it was well bridged in only a single spot, but looked bomber.  Surface conditions were quite firm.  The uphill lip of this crack had a nice pitch to it and I had a feeling I'd be deskiing in this spot on the way down. 

Another 500 feet up or so we encountered this years snow from the previous storm.  From here the route to the saddle was relatively straightforward.  Arrived at the saddle just after 10am, had it not been for the 1/2 hr. break switching gear and b.s'n at the top of Heliotrope Ridge, our time would have been under 4 hrs. to the saddle from the car.  The Roman Wall & the entire saddle looked horrible, so we abandoned thoughts of a summit & decided instead to nap for an hour under the warm sun.

The surface for the most part never really softened, and soon we were at the spot which was the crux of the descent for me.  As I sideslipped above the yawner near 8k my skis chattered, and I was barely holding an edge.  I said there is no way in hell I can make a hop turn here and keep it in control.  I knew a fall here would likely have been into the abyss along sections of this crack from what I noticed crossing the bridge, so I decided to downclimb.  Carefully I deskied as it took nearly 10 kicks into the surface to get a solid enough foothold for the 1st boot.  I attached crampons and downclimbed over the bridge.  My counterpart linked a couple of very controlled hop turns and completed this section in fine style.

The chattering of skis continued for the most part; however, we found that a nice 300 foot sustained roll on the way up actually provided the slightest bit of corn on the descent.  This was a good trip to reminisce old times on the Coleman-Deming with a great friend!

* BakerRoute1.jpg (30.11 KB, 320x240 - viewed 804 times.)

* Yawner.jpg (32.71 KB, 320x427 - viewed 799 times.)

* Sunrise1.jpg (23.62 KB, 320x240 - viewed 769 times.)
« Last Edit: 10/15/06, 07:51 PM by David_Coleman » Logged

Posts: 77

Re: October 13, 2006; Coleman-Deming, Mt. Baker
« Reply #1 on: 10/22/06, 01:04 AM »

Who did you go with? Grin
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