Route Notes:Tom Sjolseth, Daniel Jeffrey, and I took advantage of that one nice day in June to climb the North Ridge of Baker. This route is often regarded as one of the best technical snow-and-ice climbs on a Cascades volcano. We had great early summer conditions, and even with a spicy ice pitch variation, a party of three, and a scenic forested detour on the descent, we climbed the route car-to-car in 14 hours. Car-to-trip-report: 30.5 hours.
There is plenty of route beta for Baker's North Ridge in printed guides and online, so in the following trip report I will just provide more interesting stuff like stats, an aerial view of us on the crux ice step, route overlays, and (of course) plenty of photos from the climb.
Elevation gain/loss: ~8000 ft cumulative for entire trip
TH to Coleman Glacier: 1:58; Coleman Glacier to base of N Ridge: 2:12; Base of N Ridge to Summit: 5:58; On summit: 0:14; Summit to TH: 3:48; Total car-to-car time: 14:10
- 6:46 pm (Tues night): Arrive at Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead (3700 ft) on Glacier Creek Road (road became drivable all the way to the trailhead just a few days previous)
- 10:00 pm (Tues night): Get to sleep
- 2:30 am (Wed morn): Wake up
- 3:07 am; 3,700 ft: Start hiking
- 5:05 am; 6,000 ft: "The Hogback" / Coleman Glacier
- 5:06 am: Sunrise
- 7:17 am; 7,800 ft: Base of N Ridge
- 1:15 pm; 10,781 ft: Summit
- 5:17 pm; 3,700 ft: Arrive back at car
- 9:14 pm: Sunset
John Scurlock fly by:
Friend and aerial photographer John Scurlock knew I was climbing the north ridge of Baker, so he made a brief Baker detour on a fueling flight to Arlington. When I got home, sure enough, there was an email and a bunch of photos from John. Pretty cool to see yourselves climbing from this perspective!
Some route overlays of the North Ridge route and crux ice step section. Also a topo map with our GPS track.
Due to the technical and car-to-car nature of this climb, I decided to just bring a point-and-shoot camera rather than my shoots-much-better-photos-but-not-when-you've-got-only-one-hand-free SLR. It was a stellar day in the mountains, so I still got some fairly decent photos nonetheless.