Mount Blum - North Ridge West Face, October 2006
Mount Blum as seen from the headwaters of Nooksack River.

"My Dumb Blum Rub" (a poem by Paul Klenke)

With logistic statistics full of holistic heuristics from a mix of three dipsticks, a dumb blummer of a trip report—one written with no real import…

Saturday - we huffed and we puffed and wind sucked and branch ducked. We sussed but then cussed when the brush proved too lush. Upward and onward we pushed ‘til we were bushed. And then we hiked some more.

We rested and then tested several a path through the wrath. We crepitated but then imprecated when the windfall we did befall. Over yonder with a mindless wander we teetered until we petered. And then we hiked some more. (Photos: PK, SV)

Click thumbnails below to enlarge...
Are we there yet?
On the heathery ridge at last!

The ridge veered left so we steered bereft, powerless for another hour of this. But the views began and there we’d stand, with our eyes full of surprise. In the distance was the quintessence of why climbing is so subliming. And then we hiked a little more.
Good Morning!
A snowy morning in the tent.

At the upper tarn we supped and darned but saw a cloudy murk on the lurk. Of Mother Nature’s plans we were not fans as we took to sawing logs like drunken frogs. And then we sawed some more. In the darkness our ears harkened our fears: snow was down floating and ground coating.
First snow
Fresh snow at camp.

In the morning we observed something not deserved: our North Ridge scheme now a pipe dream. And so we sawed some more.
Is this the right way?
Into the fog...

Sunday (11:00AM) - with a Mediterranean start soon our hearts were off the chart: up to the West Face we raced. We had spied a conduit but could we do it? Would the crux in the chink cause an ‘Ah shucks, this stinks” as we tucked our scuts in our spanked butts? We didn’t know if the route would go, but it had looked okay at the end of Satur-day. And so we climbed some more.
Hmm...do I realy want to do this?
Jeff at the moat and the start of belayed climbing (photo taken on return - the pouting look after Jeff's rope was cut).

At the steep snow slope we schlepped pro in the moat. We moved in the groove and proved we weren’t noobs. We inched and squirmed and sidled and shimmied. We wriggled and squeezed until the going it eased. And then we climbed some more.
Rapping the frozen-dirt gully
Paul rappelling the West Face gully (photo taken on return).

With a belay from JR, I went up a rock scar. I put a knee down but there was no one around. I placed one nut in a narrowing rut. I scrambled through a weakness and upward into the bleakness. I ran out the rope so for an anchor did scope. Two fissures in a block took two large camalots. I brought up my two mates, and they continued on without abate…to the rocky shoulder with rocking boulders. The dirt was like ice and not all that nice, and for leading SV it wasn’t all that EZ.
On the ledge - slippery when wet (or snowy)
Sergio traversing the ledge (photo taken on return).

On the shoulder’s south side was a ramp but how wide? Was it a possibility for those of our ability? Or were we merely idiots for getting ourselves into this?
Dorks on summit
No views from the summit.

Fortunately the ledge was forgiving and we were once again believing: the summit in a fog for us was something we could commit to and trust. For after the catwalk scamper the rest was a fat walk unhampered. No views at the apex for us peakbagging suspects, so we amused our pates with the register we did locate.
Hagan and Bacon
Improving visibility - looking out towards Hagan and Bacon in distance.

We left the top at three-thirty thirsty for spirits so dirty. Our throats needed sating and Admiral Nelson was waiting. The Kool-Aid mix would mask the taste so the booze would not go to waste. But that was three rappels away down the snowy up-way.
Baker Lake makes an appearance
Baker Lake reveals itself once again.

I rappelled from the same shoulder now an hour or so older. While I looked for the next anchor to construct down the rope the other two trucked. I found a horn up on a shelf so went up to it myself.
Panorama looking north
Panorama looking north over the trailess and presumably uncharted Baker River Valley from a saddle on the West Ridge. Mineral Mountain in center of panorama frame.

I tied my big blue quintuple sling around this huge granite thing. We rappelled into the moat but not before cutting the rope’s coat. An unpleasant rock we had trundled fell onto the rope in moat bundled. Sixty meters was reduced to a mere fifty-four to be used. But the remaining abseil was not compromised and so we could finish our emprise.
Icy and tarn
Icy Peak from a tarn near camp.

Back to camp in two-point-five, we were still quite alive. Pepperoni and Bacardi and dehydrateds so hardy. Swisher sweets and jerky meats made our meals so complete. We filtered camp water then spilled it but weren’t bothered. In the cooling evening I repeated the activity while SV boiled water bottles to soothe our bagged bodies.
Sunset on West Face
The sun sets on Blum's West Face.

That night the stars winked and our minds winxed. The next day we would say “Werd!” when we awoke to the bluebird.
Blum Lake and South Face
South-side of Blum from lower Blum Lake (curious if anyone's climbed the obvious buttress at center).

Monday - we slept through our alarms but we weren’t too up in arms. The chillness of morn made us like children just born. Womb-rapped and warm: the October morn norm. But stir we did eventually and disturbed the tranquility. With guts full of faux bacon we packed and headed to Hagan. At fifty-two-hundred on the crest, we left for the cragginess. We descended to Blum Lake but it took too long to make. The time to tag our peak had sagged and become weak. With a change of plan, at the lakes we did tan. SV and I appointed a viewpoint the termination of our Hagan examination. We then returned to the lakeshore and paused for the impending chore.
Panorama looking SSW
Panorama looking south-southwest from the ridge above Blum Lakes. Click here for a close-up of Baker Lake.

The trail down was steep unrelenting; but we three dipsticks unrepenting. We avoided the bee city that had stung Jeff with no pity. And in two-point-five we were fully finished ready for beers to be diminished. My Arrogant Bastard was going down fast. And the buffalo wing pretzels wouldn’t last. The first store was replenishing…but with hot pork skins so punishing. Later I abstained while SV and JR entertained…a dish of hot food so spicy it made their morning squats quite dicey.

Sorry for this stupidity. I don’t know what got into me.

---Snoopbagger K
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