Mount Baker - Easton Glacier, September 2001
My prior attempt via the Coleman-Deming Route in March of 2001 was not too terribly successful. Not listening to my own better judgement, I gave in to Chris's persistence to continue driving up the access road, despite the very apparent glazing of ice on the pavement. Sure enough, the car lost traction and we found ourselves high-centered with the right wheels stuck in a ditch. Fortunately a couple of snowmobilers were able to pull us out with their truck several hours later. I parked farther down the road and started hiking to the trailhead under a moonlit sky. We finally called it a night at 3:00am (still about a half mile from the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead).
We awoke to low clouds, with only the occasional sucker-hole to tempt us. Things were not looking very promising and the snowfall only intensified. We sought the cover of some trees and discussed our options. Chris went so far as to dig out a bivy spot and hang up his prayer flags. As if I had any desire to spend a night out here. Hiking back down, both Chris and I had a close encounter with a rocky stream bed when we nearly slipped off the small foot bridge near the trailhead. Phew! That was a close call! After all that, I'd say the beer and pizza waiting for us at the North Fork Tavern were well deserved. I thoroughly punished myself on the fine selection of ales and had Chris drive my car home. (more...)
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