Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mount Baker with AAI

For my birthday this year my parents sent me on an alpine ice climbing course on Mount Baker with the American Alpine Institute. We spent six days cragging around Coleman icefall, learning a variety of techniques for traveling across progressively steeper exposed glacial ice; this including top-roping a number of vertical-to-slightly-overhanging ice pitches. With the North Ridge badly out of condition this time of year, we summited via the Coleman-Deming route on the last day.

Chad, the AAI guide, on the Heliotrope Ridge Trail.

Our first view of the Coleman Glacier.

The lower icefall of the Coleman Glacier, one of the premier alpine ice training areas in the lower 48.

Practicing ascending a rope.


Our main cragging area, we started with some more moderate pitches on the left and then progressed to the vertical and overhanging sections on the right.

An ice arch

Mount Baker, with the North Ridge on the left, the Coleman Headwall in the center, and part of the Coleman-Deming route on the right.


Colfax Peak, part of the infamous Black Buttes.

The same ice-arch the next day, now collapsed.

Topping out is often the most difficult part of an ice pitch.

For our summit attempt we moved camp out of the forest to the Hogsback.

The Roman Wall

Grant's Peak, the summit of Mount Baker.

Myself on the summit, leaning into the wind.

No comments:

Post a Comment