Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Alpine Ice Course on Mount Baker

I just got back from a trip on Mount Baker. The trip was an alpine ice climbing course for American Alpine Institute. We had incredible weather and mostly good conditions so in addition to learning the typical skills that are a part of this course we decided to try climbing a route that very rarely sees ascents. It turned out that the Cockscomb route was not in condition and we were stopped 900ft from the summit. From there we down climbed onto the Park Glacier in an attempt to summit via the Park Headwall. This too was not climbable and our only option was very serious glacier travel and navigation back to the other side of the mountain. This was a traverse of 4 large glaciers that cover over half of the mountain. Below are photos of our trip.

Climbing through the Colman Icefall
On a serac in the Colman Icefall.
Ice Climbing practice.

Learning the fundamentals of climbing... Rope Coiling. 

Sunset at our open bivy high on the mountain.

A cold breakfast at our bevy site.

More climbing on the Colman Glacier.

Learning ice tool use.

Although the weather was good down low. There were strong winds high on the mountain. 

Beginning our climb on summit day.

The Roosevelt Glacier.

High on the Cockscomb Route.
On the Park Glacier Headwall.

Negotiating very broken glacier conditions on our way down the Park Glacier.

-- Alasdair Turner - AAI Instructor and Guide More photos at www.alasdairturner.com

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