Mount Baring - Northwest Ridge, October 2003
Just east of the town of Baring, its twin towers rising high above the north side of highway 2, Mount Baring is hard not to notice. The highest and most easily attained of the two summits, the North Peak (6125'), features an easy scrambling route and also rock routes of great technical difficulty. The epic story of the struggle to make the first ascent on the North Face is detailed in the Cascade Alpine Guide and is ultimately what spurred my interest in visiting the mountain.
After negotiating a small washout on the Barclay Lake Road, I proceeded up to the Barclay Lake Trailhead without further issues (a day earlier, this would not have been possible as the road was allegedly submerged under a foot of water). From the parking area, follow the upper overgrown road/trail to the trailhead toilet (not the Barclay Lake Trail) and beyond, until reaching a large cairn. From the cairn, turn right, and follow the steep, brushy and damp trail as it parallels a mossy streambed. The trail continues steeply through dense forest, before reaching the timbered crest of the Northwest Ridge. (more...)
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