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Mt. Baker

Jayar and Winter Storms checking in from Mt. Baker.

We met with our clients Chris and Karen at their hotel in the Greater Seattle area on Sunday the 25th, and proceeded to the trailhead from there. At the trailhead we were met with some light rain. Rain continued for the majority of the approach but was never more than our rain layers could deal with. We found a comfortable location to camp that was close to fresh water and out of the wind.

Monday morning we all got up early, enjoyed a quick breakfast and headed up the glacier for snow school where Karen and Chris very quickly picked up the basics of snow travel. Unfortunately due to a recent injury to her foot, Karen opted to stay behind for the summit attempt. We commend Karen for making a hard decision and listening to her body.

The remainder of our party left camp at 1:00 am on Tuesday morning for the summit attempt. An unexpected amount of crevasses on the glacier slowed our pace and left our route rather circuitous. We used many techniques to get up the route including short roping, running belays, short pitching, and some rappelling to maneuver a crevasse. The added crevasse work effected our schedule and we decided to turn around at 9,700 ft, just at the top of the pumice ridge. Our descent was swift and smooth with Chris handling some technical terrain incredibly well. We returned to high camp before 2:00 pm and rested for the remainder of the afternoon.

Wednesday morning we all got up at 6:00 am, packed our things and made quick work of the return to the trailhead. Everyone is in high spirts! Karen is off to the airport and Chris is preparing for our next adventure. We will be leaving for Eldorado Peak tomorrow.

We will check back in after we get back from Eldorado!

Madison Mountaineering guide Sid Pattison and climber Patrick had a memorable PNW adventure last week exploring Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker. This month we have another exciting Mt. Baker expedition planned (July 24-27), if interested please contact andrew@madisonmountaineering.com. Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 contiguous United States!
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Expedition report and photos by Sid!
The gear is drying, clothes are being washed and the sun is shining, a far cry from Mt. Baker 24 hours ago. While the weather was wet, spirits were high as we made lemonade over the last 3 days. We got high on the mountain and worked on crevasse rescue, self arrest and navigation skills waiting for momentary breaks in the weather to catch a glimpse.
Humor and comroderie are key in these situations. Patrick and I smiled, laughed and generally had a great time. As we walked out, we detoured to the Coleman glacier overlook and were treated great parting views of the breathtaking glacier. Never a bad day out here!
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Patrick enjoying the beautiful views here on the slopes of Baker
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Sid – Left (Guide), Patrick – Right (Climber)
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