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Garza2 10241

I think you got this.”

I think you got this.”

Mad­ness guide Niels Mey­er and Arman­do are stand­ing at the base of the Roman Wall in a com­plete white­out with the wind howl­ing and tem­per­a­tures drop­ping. Just half an hour ear­li­er Arman­do, Adri­an, Jeff, and Niels had been climb­ing up Baker’s Eas­t­on Glac­i­er with part­ly cloudy skies and mild temps. 

Adri­an, Arman­do, and Jeff approach Bak­er via the Rail­road Grade. Niels Mey­er pho­to (all)

Arman­do and Adri­an flew in from Mex­i­co City a few days before their Bak­er climb. Adri­an has climbed many of the Mex­i­can vol­ca­noes, Aconcagua, and a few oth­er South and Cen­tral Amer­i­can peaks. Arman­do had done a lot of moun­taineer­ing in his youth and want­ed to get back into the swing of things. They chose Bak­er as a good intro­duc­to­ry climb to the North Cas­cades. The team met in Seat­tle to do a quick gear check, and after a very impor­tant cof­fee stop we cruised up towards Baker.

A room with a view.

Adri­an, Arman­do, and guides Jeff and Niels approached the Rail­road Grade and Eas­t­on Glac­i­er under blue­bird skies with per­fect temps and beau­ti­ful views. Adri­an, a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, snapped pic­tures of the many mar­mots out for­ag­ing and sur­vey­ing their ter­ri­to­ry. At base­camp we dug in our camp and ate din­ner while star­ing up at the mighty Mount Bak­er, con­tem­plat­ing tomor­row’s climb. Due to weath­er we were plan­ning to sum­mit the next morn­ing. We prepped our gear and got in our sleep­ing bags to catch a few hours of sleep before our sum­mit attempt.

Arman­do and Adri­an con­tem­plate tomor­row morn­ings climb over a deli­cious meal.

We awoke to clear skies and light winds. A quick break­fast and we were on the trail. A light overnight freeze made for tough break­able crust con­di­tions but we climbed on, push­ing for the summit.

A quick break for water, snacks, and views.

With just over a thou­sand feet to go, weath­er came in. It began snow­ing, tem­per­a­tures dropped dras­ti­cal­ly, and Arman­do and Adri­an were intro­duced to the North Cas­cade ping pong ball. With a com­plete white­out and fatigue weigh­ing down on the group we dis­cussed turn­ing around. Despite tired legs and adverse con­di­tions, we sum­mit­ed. After pic­tures and high fives we began our descent, look­ing for­ward to a hot brew and an ear­ly bedtime.

Almost back to camp, final­ly out of the whiteout.

The next morn­ing we packed up our gear after a long night of heavy rain and head­ed back to Seat­tle. Bak­er pro­vid­ed an excel­lent intro­duc­tion to North Cas­cades moun­taineer­ing and remind­ed us that the warm, dry cli­mate of sum­mer in Wash­ing­ton was still a few weeks out.

Arman­do writes I will take to my every­day life the encour­age­ment from Niels at the base of the Roman Wall: I think you got this!’ — And I did. We did.”

Arman­do, Adri­an and Jeff on the summit!

~MM Guide Niels Mey­er, text and photos