Questionable weather predictions
Baker is so close to us here in Whatcom County, Washington. It is visible from the areas I travel on a daily basis. As I leave my house and drive out of my rural housing developement or go just about anywhere, on a clear day I see Baker from the west, which includes views of almost the entire route up the Coleman/Deming/Roman Wall. I often wonder if someone is up there as I look. I think if I had a good telescope, I could follow the progress of climbers... We bailed the previous weekend,July 21-22, because of really bad weather. This week was 30% chance of rain, but not a gulley washer, so plans made and off we went on Saturday July 28th, 2007 Our primary goal was to get my son's wife up the mountain for her first time. But we have made another friend that also wanted to summit Baker from Annacortes. And then others wanted to get in on it. Fine, get your gear and meet us at camp on Hog's Back Saturday. Gets complicated. We got on the trail at 4:00PM, made good time in the drizzle and thick clouds. By the time we were breaking out of the trees, we could see Baker on and off. At midnight I looked out of Andrew's new "Taj" REI three mand tent and it was crystal clear, but at 2:00AM, when we took off it was solid clouds! We knew the boot track and route so off we went. Walked right by our friends meeting us there (arrived at 10:00PM),still in their tent, but we stopped to help them get started, gave them one of our radios and off we went. We were very apprehensive about our chances. We were getting wet from drizzle. It was really disappointing to this point, but the higher we got, progress was good, the better things got. Again, Baker came in and out of sight. By the time we were at the col between Colfax and the Pumice ridge the clouds were a solid sea below us and Baker was clear as it could get. Weather was windy, cold, but really acceptable. Our team was getting upbeat now...just take it slow and keep moving. We took several quick breaks, exchanged leads with other mountaineer parties and we made the summit around 10:00AM. We could just barely see the tip of Shuksan, all the way to a clear Glacier Peak, Mt Rainier and maybe Stuart's rock top. We got our 5 people to the summit, two were newbies. We met our friends coming up Roman Wall as we descended. They summited too with one newbie. Another fantastic climb on Baker...never a bore...everytime its different for many reasons. Friends, flowers, apprehension, weather, food, health, equipment, schedules, forgotten gear, I guess its always a memorable time in the mountains. My first trip on a Washington volcano was Baker with the Seattle Mountainiers, about 1969. I posted a picture on the old Kulshan Cabin on Baker site some time ago. Well, Baker still is tops on my list of Mountains to climb...never boring...
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