Just came back from Baker yesterday- went up the Coleman route. Road 39 is still snowed in ~ 1/2 mile from the Heliotrope trailhead, but isn't that difficult to navigate. Slushy, sloppy snow continues along the duration of the trail to the timberline, and some of the snow bridges over streams are starting to melt out. Snow on Coleman is relatively soft w/ postholing up to upper elevations, making the lower part of the climb more of an effort.
Road 39 is completely clear to the trailhead and leathers can be used to reach the snowfield at ~5,000’. Please exercise caution crossing some of the swollen streams (nice warm weather over the past few days has heightened meltoff). We hit the lower glacier at 04:45 and it was way too late b/c the snow was nice and soft by the time we approached the ridgeline before Roman Headwall.. so we ended up sinking in quite a bit at 10,000’ for the final push. Some teams who left before us at 04:00 didn’t have as much difficulty- we saw them moving in the mountains’ shadow so the snow was still relatively firm for them, but teams behind us were having a great deal of fun with the postholing. Some snow bridges are starting to open up on the glacier, but not that badly yet.
Please also watch out for the avalanche zone the trail navigates through in the morning- we saw three on our way up when the snow was hitting the seracs.
The Golden Passport will be honored at all Northwest Forest Pass Fee Sites according to the USDA FS website.
Road 39 is not driveable.
Forest recreation annual pass is $50.
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Please check US Forest Service website for up to date conditions.
If you summit Baker please send your report to Forest Service.
Good idea to encourage sharing a report with the FS after a climb! I've added updated contact info for all routes...
To anyone you might have shared the mountain with me on Monday June 21st. My green BD axe with a 48in runner came detached from my pack on the plateau before the summit.
Conditions: hike 2 miles on the heliotrope trail before you his snow. A little crusty snow until the sun hit for some amazing corn for ski descending!