The climb for the Easton Glacier Route began in the Schreiber Meadow (3500' Elev.) parking area in the vicinity of Baker Lake section of the North Cascades. This trail head offers a couple of campsites -- should you arrive early. The trail meanders through Schreiber Meadow, crosses a couple of rivers, and then the fun begins. After a few switch backs, and a thousand+ feet, you'll arrive at Morovitz Meadow and the base of the Railroad Grade.
Follow the trail up and along the knife edged top the the RR Grade until you reach its end at the foot of Deming Glacier (6200' Elev.). Here you will find a number of spots to set up camp. I set-up camp in a basin between a Moraine Lake and a running river. I left the parking lot at 2 pm and arrived in the basin at 5 pm. That's where and when the photo provided here was taken of Mt. Baker.
I got to sleep early and woke at 1 am. After Tossing and turned for an hour in anticipation, I then got up and hit the snow at 3 am. The climb is pretty straight forward -- stay out of the crevasses, and aim for the wall (Sherman Peak) to the right, or east of the crater. I began the climb on the Deming Glacier then cross onto the Easton Glacier about half way up. I enjoyed an incredibly star lit climb, and the city lights of Bellingham and Seattle were bright. As the morning progressed and the sun came up, naturally, clouds closed in on the summit.
The crater, located a thousand feet below the summit, is an active vent system spueing prodigious amounts of sulfur laden steam. The smell was really overpowering, and the venting was as loud as a jet engine. From here one faces the hardest part of the climb. The final approach gets quite steep. Once on top there is a short walk to the north-eastern part of the summit to reach the true high point of Mt. Baker. I was up there at 8:30 AM and hung around for about a half-hour waiting for the clouds to move out. The wind was howling and it was quite cold, so I highty-ho'd out of there.
The decent was awesome. Once out of the clouds, 200' below the summit, the views really opened up. To the west I was able to see the San Juan Islands, and to the south and east the high peaks of the Cascades poked through the low cloud cover.
Traffic on the mountain was light, as I saw only two other groups climbing that day. I have to add that this was my first solo ascent on a glacier peak. All I can say is that the fear leading up to the climb was overpowering. However, once the climb started most of the anxiety went away. Stepping over crevasses and snow bridges became careful acts of surefootedness. The same sense of fear set in on the summit prior to the decent, but went away once the work began.
Please note that I was not eager to go it alone, and actually hoofed 150' of rope and all the necessary hardware up to the base camp in the hopes meeting, joining and climbing with a small group that had room for one more. Which wasn't to be.
Once back to the car and the family, we headed to the Mt. Baker Hot Spring for a relaxing dip. This was the kids first encounter with nude Hot Springers. We discovered a whole new life-style activity -- Hot Springs! E-mail me for the directions.Back to Morrison's Hiking and Mountaineering Page