Mount Baker Summit Log (#395)
- Signed By: Les Owen
- Date Submitted: August 16, 2000
Phenomenal climb. Started at 1 a.m. with crystal clear skies, excellent snow conditions, and a nearly full moon. We didn't really even need our headlamps; the moon was so bright, you could read a book by it. Headed up the Easton Glacier from base camp at around 6400 feet. We jumped a few narrow crevasses (2-4 feet), and at around 8500 feet crossed a large but narrow snow bridge over a gaping, 100+ feet deep monster. Our guide placed a picket about halfway over the bridge, which we clipped in and out of as we passed. We circumvented the large bergshrund at around 10,300 feet easily by hitting the dirt on the right side. The Roman Wall was amazing! Steep and ominous, as a fall (without arrest) would send you careening into the large bergshrund at its base. Watching the moon turn orange and melt into the horizon was a highlight (we had hoped for a repeat of the amazing northern lights display which we had witnessed the night before, but no such luck), as well as witnessing the shadow cast over the landscape by the rising sun. The summit was very windy (30-35 mph) and cold as hell! We stuck around on the leeward side of the peak long enough to refuel, rehydrate, and snap pictures, then began a rapid descent. It took us (3 rope teams) around 5 1/2 - 6 hours to summit, and another 2 1/2 - 3 to descend. Our guides were Pat and Patrick of Alpine Ascents International, and they were great! Looking forward to Rainier next year!