Mt. Baker (1)

Climbs by:

Last Updated 11/30/03

Trip Details


August   , 1990


Jason McLees

Pack Weight


Attempted Route

Up: Cock's Comb, Down Railroad Grade

Other Attempts

( 2 )   ( 3 )



Climb Description

We left Pullman Friday after work, and made it half way between Othello and Royal City, before the timing belt on the Mustang broke.  We took sleeping bags and the tent and began hitch-hiking to Othello.  We got a ride around midnight.  We camped in a field, and shortly after setting up the tent (the Wenzel) the cops showed up wondering what we were doing.  We explained our situation and they wished us luck. 


In the morning, we went to the parts store, bought a timing belt and hitch hiked back to the car.  While working on the car, Eric popped a hole in the radiator.  He rounded up some cans and found running water.  After replacing the timing belt, we filled the radiator and left the cap off to prevent the system from pressurizing.  We drove to the nearest store, and bought some stop leak, which worked like a charm.


We drove to Bellingham, and rounded up my brother Mark.  He followed us up the mosquito lake road, and up the gravel road that goes between the twin sisters and Mt. Baker.  We left the car in the small parking lot and hopped into the back of Marks pickup.  He drove us around to the ski lodge and dropped us off.  The road to the Table Mountain parking area was closed because they were installing drainage pipes along side the road, so we had to hike from the lodge.  We made it to Camp Sherman around midnight.


We got up just before the sun, and began hiking to the mountain.  We made a wrong turn and ended up climbing down a 750 foot cliff.  Once we got off the cliff, a small rain cloud passed over and we waited it out under a plastic tarp.  We plotted our route up the glacier, and watched two other climbers as they got boxed into a maze of crevasses, and then work their way down and around the blockage.


We climbed along side a large ice fall at the base of Park glacier, then made our way toward the Cockscomb.  The smell of sulfur was very strong the whole time on the mountain.  We met the other climbers just before we reached the North Ridge, as they were leaving the summit.  We followed their tracks over a small snow bridge that spanned a large moat, and finally onto the North Ridge.  The rest of the way to the summit was incredibly slow and difficult.  It was late in the afternoon and the snow was soft and we sank up to our knees with every step.  We finally reached the summit at about 7:00 pm. 


We ran down the south side of the mountain to the saddle by the steam vent.  The vent sounded like a busy freeway.  We wanted to climb down a little closer to the vent, but we didn't have time.  We began to work our way out onto Easton Glacier, but didn't get very far.  The sun went down, and our knees were hurting, so we decided to camp on the glacier. 


The tent had bounced out of Eric's pack on the way down the mountain, so we carved a shallow shelter in the glacier with our ice axes and rolled ourselves up in the tarp.  There were thunder storms rolling through the valley bellow us, so we made plans to wake the other up at the first sign of precipitation, but lucky for us, the night went well.  It didn't rain or snow on us, and we slept better than we had the previous two nights.


In the morning our knees felt better, so we packed up and headed down again.  We made it to the trail, but missed a turn and ended up hiking about two miles in the wrong direction, and had to back track.  Just before reaching the car, the trail crossed the middle fork of the Nooksack river, but the water was much too high to wade across and it took a bit of searching before we found a log a ways up stream that we could cross on.