June 11, 2019, Bay to Baker to Bay

WA Cascades NW (Mt Baker)
Posted by jakeh on 6/14/19 1:42am
Three of us did Bellingham Bay to the summit of Mt Baker and back human powered on Tuesday.

I've been wanting to get this project done for years and the stars finally aligned with a few motivated partners. We left the downtown Bellingham waterfront on our bikes with skis and climbing gear attached at 4:00 AM and returned to the bay 14 hours later at 6:03 PM. It was a long hard day.

We road out 542, biked up Glacier Creek road, then switched to Skimo mode and did the standard CD route. We made the summit at 12:30 PM but it was too hot and soft already for great skiing (though it did enable us to skin the Roman Wall which was nice with our state of fatigue). Standing up there looking out at Rainier and Glacier peak and taking photos after leaving the Bay eight and a half hours earlier felt surreal and we were pretty darn tired.

Any day like this has its challenges. We had one flat tire and I managed to break a ski down below Colfax in some funky isothermic snow just cruising straight down a low angle slope. I have no idea what happened. Maybe the ski broke and that caused the crash or the tip dove, but I managed to cut my leg pretty good and break a pole as well. For a few minutes before we had things cleaned up I thought my day might be over and was pretty crushed about it, but I fixed things up and limped back down to the trailhead on 1.5 skis and realized the leg would be fine for the ride back.

I know of at least 3 other groups that have done this, including TAYer voyageur. If you are considering it

Attaching skis to the top tube of your bike with boots attached works fantastic
Glacier creek road is a crux with 20+ pounds of gear
Doing this when Grouse creek is in would be a lot easier
Find a cool day, the ride back from Glacier was incredibly hot and challenging for us.
It maybe could be done faster without lugging skis up there, but that wouldn't be any fun at all. Yuck.

I'm so glad to finally get this done and the chemistry of our crew was fantastic. We pushed each other all day, but didn't take things too seriously. A beautiful and satisfying day in the mountains.

Rad! That is FAST biking all the way from Bellingham!
2019-06-17 20:09:34
F*CKIN' A! What do you do to top that? Bellingham to Rainer and back in a day!? Way to go. That's a year of TAY in a day...
2019-06-17 20:18:58
Awesome. Congrats. Thanks for sharing.
2019-06-18 07:55:40
Often dreamed, never attempted.  That is incredible.  So frickin fast.  Congrats fellas.  Just in awe.
2019-06-18 08:06:25
Hell yes Jake! That's a smoking time and even more impressive with your ski breaking!

For those not familiar with it, for a few years in the 19-teens, the Mt Baker Marathon was a race from Bellingham Bay to the summit of Baker and back. The participants were allowed to use a train to Glacier, or a car to drive up the Middle Fork of the Nooksack, then on foot from there. There's a nice documentary about it that is a good watch and pretty inspiring.

Jake mentioned the record for the three years the race was run was around 12.5 hours r/t, again using cars/train for assistance from Bellingham to the TH. So that puts into perspective a 14 hr human powered r/t!

2019-06-18 11:35:33
Thanks for the inspiration.  That is really a huge effort and a sporty adventure!  I'm probably not the only one who enjoys viewing the bike/ski tales.  Although neither of these are one day epics, if anyone hasn't seen Ice and Palms or The Last Hill, they are both great stories.


2019-06-18 12:42:25
2019-06-19 09:51:58
T. Eastman
Thanks for the great video links!  I'm also really liking the mixed media style mountain adventures Anton Krupicka has been doing in Colorado.  It was great to do something like that in my own backyard and with skis!

It was only about a 5 minute ride down to the waterfront start from the house 😀
2019-06-19 19:24:49
Wow!! Great work team (the bike portion would scare me much more than skiing glaciers).
2019-06-20 12:25:16

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2019-06-14 08:42:59