Mar 21, 2010

To the top of Mount Baker

(photo of us on the summit from Paul's camera)

We climbed MOUNT BAKER!!!!!! WOOHOO!

The weather forecast looked promising, the group came together and the summit was reached.

Friday evening the group was formed: Paul, Andrew, Kala and myself. I was excited yet nervous. My body has not been feeling up to par as of late and I was a little worried what a 12 hour day might look like for me (or not look like) but I wanted to climb Baker so bad.... So I promised myself to focus mentally and work on pushing through if anything were to happen with my body.

Saturday morning Andrew and I slept through as our alarm was set for 4PM rather than 4AM... OOPS. It was good luck that Kala rang us and was picking the crew up.. phew... thank goodness for Andrew's mad organizational skill as we got up and ready to go in less than 5 min and were in Port Moody to pick up Paul around 5am.

The border was a breeze and the American officer actually made some jokes mostly consisting on us realizing how early it really is and that Baker doesn't open for several hours.... Good thing we were being hard core and propelling ourselves to the top!

We hit the trail head at about 7:30AM.... and looked like we were one of the last groups to begin our ascent...

Paul set us off with a solid pace and we made it into the alpine in about one hour... The view was stunning with Baker hovering infront of us and sharp aspects of the glacier jetting out of the snow... We climbed a ridge for awhile and eventually started making our way to the Col. Baker is definitely one of those mountains that grows as you get closer. You think you are there but then there is another ledge to climb over.

As we were gaining ground towards the Col/saddle the Wind was starting to pick up. The wind was still quite warm and blowing in gusts. So in other words quite pleasant.

We eventually reached the saddle where the wind was pretty unreal. It was becoming difficult to see in front of you as the wind was picking up the snow off the ground and blowing it in many different directions enough so it almost felt and looked like we were in the midst of a squall.

We shedded our skis and put on our crampons to begin our trek up The Roman Wall. The snow was icy in points but on the whole not too bad but the wind... oh the wind... Basically neither of us spoke to each other for 3 hours until we made it back down to the saddle as comprehension would not have been possible. We got ourselves as bundled up as possible. As people were coming down from the summit their expressions and actions described the wildness of the wind we were to experience on top of the summit... The wall seemed to go on forever until we reached the flat section just before the summit.

The wind was gail force up there and unfortunately we did not spend too much time on the summit. It was hard to even stand up there! It truly was an amazing feeling to reach the top of something people in Vancouver constantly stare at on a nice sunny day.

We quickly retreated back to the saddle trying not to get blown off the cliff. Once we reached the saddle we put our skis back on and quickly escaped the worst of the winds. It is such a pleasure to be able to ski down rather than walk... the legs were definitely sore but the speed and ease of skiing is so wonderful. We even scored some nice pow!

We had lunch just before our last forest section... well deserved I think! We skied/hiked the last bit through the forest, the snow was thin and we could tell the sun was shinning down in the valley.

I cans see why mountaineers keep heading back into the mountains. There is some sort of addiction to it all.

Of course a little apres dinner and beers at Graham's in Glacier was in order to celebrate our success!

i think there will be more trips like this in the future

Andrew's Blog: write up and Pics

Paul's blog write up and pics

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

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