Home > Trip Reports > October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier

October 13, 2002, Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
Posted by Amar Andalkar on 10/20/02 9:04pm
With the arrival of clear skies and solid high pressure, three of us (David Coleman, Sky Sjue, and I) set off on Sunday for the Coleman Glacier. David and Sky had skied the route in September, and David also reported a few inches of new snow above 4000 ft from his hike up the Helotrope Ridge trail on Friday. We left the trailhead at sunrise, 7:15 AM, and reached the edge of the glacier at 6100 ft after carefully negotiating the very slick final section of trail (new snow and water ice). We roped up and headed out, cramponing up the steep face on 1-3" of new snow over solid firn/ice, and then two of us switched to skins as the terrain flattened above 6600 ft. Crevasse conditions were surprisingly moderate and safe (especially for October), and the rope was not necessarily needed.

We stopped at the first steep (45+ deg), 50 ft high serac face at 8700 ft, just below the Coleman-Deming Saddle, since one member of the party (guess who) was getting tired and the winds were also starting to pick up. We watched in amusement as a party of 3 climbers struggled to belay their dog up the steep face, before turning back just beyond, and then we skied down around 2 PM. Snow conditions were quite good, as the snow from Thursday's storm had remained powder on the north and NW facing slopes of the Coleman. A few tricky sections of packed snow, but generally 1-4" of good powder over a firm base. Skied out to the glacier's edge at 6100 ft and headed back down the slippery trail to the car. A very fine ski run for early October, despite missing the summit by a lot.

Sounds Like you had some sweet snow to work with, Amar.

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Amar Andalkar
2002-10-21 04:04:04