Home -> North Cascades

Mount Baker

North Ridge

June 8, 2003

I'll cut to the chase. This is an amazing climb. Maximize your window and get a refreshing beverage of your choice while the page loads. Thanks to Aidan Haley and Theron Welch. Theron wrote a story about it on his site.




The morning sun hitting the Black Buttes to the west. We began hiking at 1:15 am. A few hours sleep at the car gave us a surprising boost.



Here we are at a dead end on the Coleman Glacier. Some crevasse-jumping got us on our way.



Aidan and Theron climbing on the steep west slope of the north ridge.



Old steps lead to the base of the ice cliff. There is at least one pitch of 60-70 degree ice here.



Topping out on the first pitch, I look back. A party of four stops to watch.



Here's my buddies, they have my back.



The incredibly chaotic Roosevelt Glacier dominates us. We cling to a wall lest we fall in!



Aidan took a interesting way, leading us under dripping seracs to...more dripping seracs! For beta-masters, the climber going straight up is taking the quicker way.



I climb towards the ridge crest, humbled by the scale of the walls.



Two Alpinistas and the Roosevelt.



On the upper slopes.

As Phil Fortier once said, "The route was a lot more varied than I thought it would be - seemed like we were always travelling through interesting terrain, winding among seracs, with lots of exciting exposure in places." (source).




Phil was right.



What did we find here, in the hall of the mountain gods?

I don't have any summit pictures, as film was running low. We were on top at 12 noon, hanging out for an hour eating and naming peaks. A father of wilderness protection for the mountains at our feet has just died. Ira Spring's tireless efforts and enthusiasm made it possible for us to climb today. What will we do for the next generation? There are signs they prefer TV to this sort of thing. But then again, so did I. I'm just trying to catch up.




Our vaunted strength finally ran out on the Roman Wall. Difficult footing in deep snow and incredible heat had their way with us. Aidan involuntarily sits, giving me an excuse to do the same.



There were some bright spots. Here, Aidan slides down glacier slopes. Signs at the trailhead warn against doing this with good reason. I slid carelessly right over a crevasse in the playground atmosphere of the lower slopes. Though I laughed with the passerbys, I knew I was lucky to escape injury.

Here are a few other pictures:




Black Buttes



A brief rest



Our route



A retro postcard

Thanks for watching!


Copyright 2005, Michael Stanton