|Our first glimpse at Baker's North Ridge|
|North Ridge beginning to reveal itself.|
|Top of the Coleman Glacier|
As we crossed, clouds rolled in and out, sometimes killing our visibility. I couldn't shake that nagging concern of whether we should pull the plug. But the drive to get on the North Ridge and the fear of re-crossing the glacier in low/no vis conditions prevailed.
The north face of Baker was impressive. The lower face was littered with ice fall debris, and higher hung huge seracs. I'd heard that the Coleman Headwall, which is on Baker's north face, was a worthy ski descent, but from where we were, it looked more than daunting.
Once across the Coleman Glacier, we front pointed up about 1000 feet of 60 degree hard snow, and soon the notorious "ice cliff" came into view. I wondered whether we ought to approach via climber's right or left, and eventually opted for left.
|Ice cliff on the North Ridge of Baker|
|Climbing the ice cliff|
|Aaron above the ice cliff|
|Pitch 2: Take!!!|
Fortunately for us, there were ski tracks down the Coleman-Deming route, which we followed. The descent was relatively casual. And lucky for us, the exit was perfect. We were able to descend a solid 7,600 feet without having to hike, skin, or pole.
|Aaron skiing off Mt. Baker on the Coleman-Deming route.|
Gear: Dynafit Broad Peak Skis, La Sportiva RT Bindings, Dynafit DyNA boots, Grivel G22 crampons, Cassin X-Mtn Tools, 8 Grivel screws, 1 8.2mm Edelweiss rope, CAMP packs, BD Whippets.
Time: 11 hrs 32 minutes car to car.
Vertical: 8500 feet