Regardless of some variable weather, we had a highly successful trip!
Continuing from our adventures on Mt. Baker, our trip began on Thursday with a brief river crossing followed by a sudden incline up the side of the valley which persisted for a few hours before spitting us out at the bottom of a talus field. We ascended the talus field for multiple hours, at the top of which was a high mountain meadow where we camped for the first night. That night, from camp, we were fortunate to be able to view a black bear about a quarter mile down valley foraging for berries.
In the morning, we found ourselves in a somewhat of a white out. We packed up camp and headed across a ridge to our left, down the other side and up a small talus field and a glacier with multiple crevasse crossings to high camp. Our prior knowledge of this season’s route proved very helpful in guiding us in to camp. We rolled out our things for the rest of day two and got up at 6:00 am the next morning for the summit push.
Although the sun was out by the time we left, the continuous thick cloud cover kept the snow cold and stable. In order to avoid some crevasses, we took the more direct south face onto the east ridge. We reached the summit, snapped a few pictures and just as we were packing our things, the clouds parted, revealing the beautiful mountainous landscape around us. It was a spectacular moment!
We made a quick down-climb down the east ridge and south face and were back at camp before the snow could get too soft. Later that day we walk out across to the other side of the glacier to get a back shot of Eldorado Peak and to do some additional snow school. When we got back we had a nice celebratory dinner, and headed off to bed early in preparation for the trek out in the morning.
We made an early start the next day raising at 3:00 am, packing up camp and beginning our hike to the trailhead. We made quick work of the glacier, weaved through the smaller talus field and back over the ridge. We descended through the high mountain meadow and back through the primary talus field. Once we got back down the valley and across the river we found ourselves at the trailhead before noon.
It was a pleasure spending eight days with Chris in the mountains and we can’t wait for him to come back and visit us.