Mt. Baker - Easton Glacier
Spent Thursday evening and Friday morning on Mt. Baker’s South Side. Road to the Park Butte’s trailhead is in good condition, snow is stopping vehicles about a mile from the TH. Snow on the ascent is continuous from the car, we only had to remove skis once to cross a bridge. Our late day timing bought us some much needed shade on the trail up to Sandy Camp and the Portal Camp at 6600ft. Snow on the lower mountain is isothermal slush but was starting to crust at around 7pm below the glacier and travel was ok. We took the more direct ‘early season route’ to Sandy Camp and then climbed the ridge above to the Portal, skirting the glacier the whole way. Navigating was easy, just follow the 100 or so snowmobile tracks up the creek. The creek IS opening up in places so be careful skiing down this section.
In the morning we had a good refreeze at 6600’ and above, and had fast conditions up the glacier to about 9000’ where we switched to boot crampons. We could have used ski crampons maybe another 1000ft if we’d had them but I think most people would prefer boot crampons for at least the Roman Wall itself. We climbed 3.5 hours the first day to camp, and 3.5 hours to the summit on Friday. The Roman wall was carvable, the glacier was good corn at 10-11am, and bellow camp was unfrozen slush. Again the snowmobile tracks that’ve packed down the trail speed the exit, but also make for some bumps. Lots of folks headed up the mountain Friday afternoon including a large all-female group with She Jumps, and a large group with Baker Mountain Guides guiding the first ever sit-ski ascent and descent of Mt. Baker. Good luck on the mountain everyone! PNW volcano ski season is in full swing.