Mt. Baker

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Washington and Oregon. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Pacific Northwest Climbing Partners section.
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nickmech

 
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Mt. Baker

by nickmech » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:36 am


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Josh Lewis

 
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Re: Mt. Baker

by Josh Lewis » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:56 am

Sad news. :( My buddy was up there when it happened. I almost went up Baker myself but due to "June-uary" we decided against it.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Mt. Baker

by ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:47 am

It is always sad when young people die. The phrase, "They died doing what they love" consoles no one. He could have died in a car accident and the loss would be as deeply felt.

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billisfree

 
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Re: Mt. Baker

by billisfree » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:16 pm

I agree with ExcitableBoy... "They died doing what they loved" is getting old.

The flip side, If you die in a car accident, (and this happens a lot) nobody takes notice. If you get murdered, the whole town will know. If you die in combat, the whole state will hear of your contribution. If you die on the mountain, your obituary makes national news.

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Re: Mt. Baker

by clmbr » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:07 am

billisfree wrote:The flip side... If you die on the mountain, your obituary makes national news.

Not necessarily.

But even if, I don’t really care about the publicity, especially that and especially when I'm dead. A long time ago I was also in favor of this phrase, but stopped after realizing how easy is to die in the mountains.

I used to climb Baker several times and always considered that mountain quite dangerous due to its heavily crevassed glaciers, some steep rocks, and very unreliable weather, at least when I was there. I remember being a few times on the summit in whiteout and being scared of taking the wrong way down, which would basically be a dead end.

* * *
Sorry for another death in the Cascades and condolences to his family and friends.

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: Mt. Baker

by ExcitableBoy » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:23 pm

clmbr wrote:I remember being a few times on the summit in whiteout and being scared of taking the wrong way down, which would basically be a dead end.

I was there with friends from work climbing the Coleman Deming, a route I was intimately familiar with from guiding it many times. Hanging out at the glacier camp after summiting, slowly packing our stuff, we ran into a group of sunburnt lads, on hour 22 of their one day climb of the CD. They had summited and descended the Easton, only to realize their mistake and had to re-summit and descend the CD. Ouch.

clmbr wrote:
I used to climb Baker several times and always considered that mountain quite dangerous due to its heavily crevassed glaciers, some steep rocks, and very unreliable weather, at least when I was there

I always considered the hazards on Baker to be equal to Rainier, minus the extreme altitude of course. I’ve climbed the Coleman Headwall, the most continuously steep route on Baker, and the route the skier died on. At roughly 9k there was a serac band, unavoidable, 50 meters high and dead vertical. We climbed a chimney making the climbing quite reasonable. The remaining route to the summit plateau was a consistent 50-60 degree grade with a few crevasses. It was all definitely ‘no fall’ territory. I know from photos that the route changes character and difficultly year to year, but I wonder if the serac band was the cliff mentioned in the newspaper article.


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