Baker Conditions in August

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Baker Conditions in August

by skidoo1066 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:16 am

Planning to go up the Coleman-Deming Route the week of Aug 13. We've never done a Washington peak before (our experience is basically the Wind Rivers) - at what elevation can we expect the glacier to have snow on top? Will route-finding through the crevasses be a huge pain? Are there any extra concerns going in August beside exposed glacier? Any other tips or thoughts? Thanks!

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Re: Baker Conditions in August

by ExcitableBoy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:30 pm

Mt. Baker enjoys the highest recorded snowfall on earth. The glaciers on Baker tend to remain passable late into the season, depending upon the route. Mid August should still be fine, although you will have some open cracks to navigate. Expect to start climbing on snow at the edge of the glacier ~ 6,500 ft.

There are camping spots here, at the edge of the glacier on dirt, or you can climb another 1,200 vertical feet up the glacier (about an hour or two) and camp below the Black Buttes on the glacier.

Either way, be sure to bring blue bags or WAG bags and pack out your waste. Last I heard the toilets were no longer being installed at the Black Buttes camp and burying your waste in the snow will only melt out for the next party to enjoy. At the lower camp, finding turds under every rock with a toilette paper pennant is not fun.

Bring a small, lightweight, waterproof roll top stuff sack (they are very lightweight in silnylon), leave the heavy outer polyethylene bags and carry only the lightweight blue plastic bags. Deposit the full blue bags in the waterproof stuff sack.

The 'crux' of the route will be the Roman Wall, which seems very steep to many first time climbers. It can be icy, so perhaps consider bringing an ice screw each in addition to pickets to build running belays up (and down) this feature if need be.

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