Monday, May 23, 2011

Mt. Baker Summit Climb with Students from the Bush School

This week I did a trip to Mt. Baker's Easton Glacier with a group of students from the Bush School in Seattle.  The trip started with a questionable weather report, which is never a good thing when you are hoping to summit Mt. Baker.  The first issue is that the road to the trail head is still covered with snow for over three miles.  This made for a long hike in to our first camp.

After a long day of walking we got to a camp at the base of the Rail Road Grade (a glacial moraine that runs along the west side of the Easton Glacier).  We set up camp cooked dinner and went to bed.  Unfortunately we awoke the next day to rain.  We decided not to move to a higher camp so we could stay dry.  After breakfast I went back to bed.  The students entertained themselves with cards.

Looking down the valley to Baker Lake.

Even the birds were wet. 


 I was surprised to find the rain had turned to snow when I woke from my 4 hour midday nap. 

Snow on the cook tent. 


Is the sun trying to break through? 
 The next morning looked like the weather might get better so we decided to move to a camp that was high enough up the mountain to summit from.  The move to Sandy Camp was reasonably strait forward and only took a couple of hours.



 As the weather slowly improved we did some glacier skills practice in hopes that we would be able to climb to the summit the next morning.

Checking out a small crevasse.

Rope team travel practice. 

 Morning always comes too early for me.  We had a 1am wake up.

Camp at 1am with the Twin Sisters Range in the background.

Camp at 1am with Mt. Baker's summit in background.



Starting up the Roman Wall.

Mt. Bakers summit.

On the summit. 

The second rope team nears the summit. 

Th last few steps to the summit. 

The summit. 

A slight detour heading down to view some seracs.

A panorama of the summit crater.  This was seven photos stitched together.
Once  back at camp we ate some lunch and packed up camp.  From there we began the long hike out.  The really long hike out.  Thanks to the crew from the Bush School in Seattle.  This was one of the more fun groups of people I have been out in the mountains with.   All in all a very rewarding experience for all, including me!

The complete set of photos can be found at

Alasdair Turner
Instructor and Guide


Becky G said...

Very cool - what an adventure!

kristin said...

Thank you for putting this up, and for your leadership Alasdair!

Anonymous said...

Al, nice pictures doood---well done!