Ascent of Baker Mountain on 2019-02-25

Climber: Douglas Fortman

Others in Party:Jim Haynor -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Malcolm Kogut
Randy Unterborn
Date:Monday, February 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Baker Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2457 ft / 748 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the first of two short hikes today. The weather forecast was foreboding, calling for winds of 60mph and windchills of -35 on the summit of nearby McKenzie, which was our objective. We were in town for 3-4 days of hiking, so, because the weather was going to be so extreme we decided to switch things around a bit and start with something short, rather than commit ourselves to a full day's hike in the extreme weather. Would it just be so brutal that we shouldn't even be out there, or, could we deal with the wind and the cold? If so, maybe we would do another short hike in the afternoon.

For Malcolm and Randy, this was their firsts time up Mt. Baker. Randy recently completed the ADK 46ers and was looking to start some new challenges. Jim and I had done Baker three years ago and enjoyed it then. For Malcolm, winter hiking is pretty new - he's enjoyed hiking in the Adirondacks for many years, but only in recent years has he stepped out of his comfort zone, put on all that extra clothing and done the winter thing.

As it happened, we were the only ones on the trail this day, after all, it was a Monday, in winter, on a crazy cold and windy day, so I guess that's not too surprising. The trail had some snow cover, but not a whole lot. Malcolm started out wearing my old Sherpa snowshoes, but they don't have a very good cleat and the snow was forming ice balls underneath, so after a while he ditched them in favor of some microspikes which really is all that was needed this day. Randy, Jim and I kept our snowshoes on the entire hike - ours had more aggressive cleats, so on icy spots they were good, and the snow and ice didn't build up underneath.

The trail ascends at a pretty steady rate, increasing as you approach the summit. But it's never too steep for very long. Once on the summit we explored the various lookouts but, this day, the clouds ruled. We could just barely see a small section of Lake Flower I believe, but that was about it. We got a couple of group photos, a quick snack and headed back to the car. By the time we arrived back to the car, the snow started to fall at a steady rate and the roads became more challenging, complete with whiteouts.

So, based on how we felt about the weather, we decided to stop and do Cobble Hill on our way back to our base camp in Wilmington.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:849 ft / 258 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    Route:Mt. Baker Trail
    Trailhead:Moody Pond  1608 ft / 490 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Frigid, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Very cold and windy, some breaks of sun
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:44 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Douglas Fortman
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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