Baker Summit — Rain or Shine!
“This weekend Mark Pugliese and I took a group of 8 climbers (mostly Canadians!) to Mount Baker for our classic Easton Glacier climb. The group was a mixture of experienced climbers and first timers, but all were excited to get up on the mountain! We left the van with blue skies and warm temperatures. But that wouldn’t last for long…
“After making it up to Sandy Camp at roughly 6,000 feet, we had our snow school, followed by a quick dinner, and then it was off to bed. Day 2 of the trip ended up being our only weather window, and we wanted to get everyone to bed so we would all be rested in time for the summit push the next day.
“Our 3am wake-up was accompanied by a large, bright moon and partly cloudy skies. We barely had to use our headlamps, since leaving camp at 4:25am allows for bright snow and after short nights. As we made our way up the glacier, we followed a well-troddened boot path and didn’t even have to put on crampons until the Roman Wall. The route was in great conditions due to the recent snowfall and the still somewhat early conditions. As we made upward progress, the weather slowly deteriorated until we were enveloped in clouds as we progressed up the mighty Mount Baker.
The weather beginning to move in. Andy Dahlen photo
“We reached the summit plateau at 1pm in whiteout conditions and strong, sideways gusts of snow and ice crystals. After some quick pictures, we descended the glacier as quickly as we could as the foul weather followed us to our tents at basecamp. Mark and I hurried to melt some snow and get dinner started in our vestibule so that we could get everyone rehydrated and fed (Pad Thai!) so everyone could curl up in their sleeping bags to get some well-deserved sleep.
Not much of a view, but everyone made it! Andy Dahlen photo
“Day 3 we woke up to more rain as we quickly broke down our camp so we could get out of the rain as quickly as we could. we reached the van at 2pm and enjoyed the ride back to Seattle with some Gatoraides and chips as we all planned on what we were going to have for dinner that night. Thanks to everyone for the awesome attitudes and great effort!”
~ MM Guide Andy Dahlen