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- May 17, 2014 at 5:46 am #579989LizDeeParticipant
These past couple weeks back home in Washington have been just what I’ve needed before heading back up to Alaska to guide Denali. Baker is a mecca for year round riding but is especially nice in the spring and early summer. In the springtime in Washington it’s rare to see more than a couple blocks of high pressure and when you see them you go!
This trip we went up the North side of the mountain, up the Coleman-Deming route. There can be snow on the road up to the trailhead miles out depending on the snow year. I’ve skinned four miles on the road in prior years to get to the trailhead, this time it was only about a mile in a half. We decided to do a one day push, leaving the car at about 5am. We parked at ~3,000 feet and the summit of Baker is 10,781, making it a pretty big day.
Conditions were great for skinning, firm and fast. (Split-crampons are essential for spring touring on the volcanoes). The crevasses were really big, bigger than I’ve seen them in previous springs and the glacier has changed a lot in the last two years since I had been up the CD. You can easily avoid most big cracks but spring and early summer is the perfect time for those snow bridges to be getting thinner and thinner so a rope, harness, crevasse rescue skills and smart partners are essential. If you don’t have basic crevasse rescue and glacier travel skills, I offer courses through the American Alpine Institute up on Mt. Baker. https://www.alpineinstitute.com/catalog/mt-baker-summit-on-skis-or-snowboard/
We rode a variation from the summit linking together the upper section of the Roman Wall and the bottom section of the Roman Mustache. The Coleman/Deming route is a great ride but is a little traversy with a few ups and downs and route-finding to get up to the glacier but it’s an absolute beautiful side of the mountain, my favorite.
On to Rainier. Not too sure what our objective would be, Blaine and I headed out on the Turtle to camp for a night and practice some rescue skillz before we both take off for Denali. I’ve had my eyes on some bigger objectives but the snow wasn’t right. It hadn’t consolidated like I’d hoped so we did a Fuhrer Finger and Thumb lap the next day. Both super nice, sustained 2,000 ft lines. Pretty manky and it felt like 85 degrees booting up.
May 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm #67677096avs01Participant
Thanks Liz! Have a blast in the AK Range, oh how I wish I could have a Standard from the Talkeetna Roadhouse right now.
165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
162 FurbergMay 19, 2014 at 3:16 am #676771Kyle MillerParticipant
Great work!!! Have a blast in AK and looking forward to touring with you next season.May 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm #676772JimmyCParticipant
Nice!September 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm #676773KillclimbzParticipant
Just a little bump to remind us what this girl was all about.October 1, 2014 at 12:17 am #676774vaporParticipant
Just heard and my heart stopped. She was one of the best.October 1, 2014 at 12:48 am #676775nordicbordnParticipant
Terrible news. Condolences to her family.October 1, 2014 at 2:36 am #676776bcriderParticipant
Good bump killclimbz.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how rad this TR is Liz!
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