Ascent of Mount Baker on 2012-06-25

Climber: Mike Wright

Others in Party:Felix
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, June 25, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Mount Baker
    Elevation:8400 ft / 2560 m

Ascent Trip Report

Went up Heliotrope ridge/creek. After a tricky stream crossing and near vertical 50ft mud and bush climb out of the creek bed we regained the trail toward the glacier. We climbed a short way up the beginning part of the glacier and after reaching what looked like the last rock outcropping, we set up camp as this site would allow us to access a short steep snow slope for practicing our self arrest techniques and glacier rescue skills. We set up camp, ran over for some self arrest then ate. After which we worked on our glacier skills it was off to sleep for a 3am start on the North Ridge route. I noticed that I was beginning to have a pretty sore throat, told my partner and went to sleep to evaluate in the morning. Woke up with a terrible sore throat, runny nose and nausea (not from altitude as we were only at 5800ft. a regular height for me). Being totally sick made breakfast difficult. The weather was terrible, low cloud cover, raining and warm. It never really got cold overnight. We started up the Coleman glacier to see how things went. Going was very slow in the soft slushy snow. After passing heliotrope ridge camp we started up steeper snow but still soft and punching through often to knee deep. Tough going. We finally started hitting firmer snow and soon could walk atop it without punching through. The weather had gotten worse and the snow heavier. Visibility was down to 50ft. We continued a bit further then stopped for a break somewhere around 8400ft. Not sure exactly but the glacier had leveled off a bit. We decided to turn around at this point and head out. I wasn't feeling any better and the snow wasn't as firm as we would have liked. By the time we made it back to camp it was raining again at the lower elevation. We broke camp and headed back to the car.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds

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