Matt and Joanne’s Page

July 18, 2007

Mt Baker – Easton Glacier

Filed under: Climbing — Matt Stamplis @ 1:10 pm

Joanne and I climbed Mt Baker this last Saturday (July 14) with a group of Mazamas, lead by Monty Smith. Baker is an active volcano and at 10,778 feet is the third tallest peak in Washington. We climbed the Easton Glacier, starting from Schreiber’s Meadows at an elevation of around 3,300. If you do the math, that’s an absurd 7,500 gain in elevation to the summit. And, of course, we were planning on doing it in one day 🙂

Mt Baker, as seen from the approach to the Fisher Chimneys on Shuksan.

We left the trailhead around 3:00AM, hiking in the dark. The trail was fairly easy to follow and it never took us more than a few minutes to figure out which way to go. There was one fun stream crossing where the bridge had been washed out.

Boulder-hoppin’ in the dark

A sea of clouds above the Easton Glacier. It was our first time up in the North Cascades and WOW – we were impressed. Everywhere you looked there were jagged snow-covered peaks as far as you could see.

We had absolutely beautiful weather and the route was in great condition. I wasn’t sure how steep the top would get but it was really quite mellow: it never got as steep as the Hogsback on Mt. Hood. The only real challenge here is having the endurance to get to the top and back.

Our route up the mountain.

This was our first time being so up-close and personal with large crevasses. It was a little eerie walking by the bigger ones, which could swallow a house.

Here’s the route we took near the top of the peak. This crevasse was pretty amazing (and bottomless).

The whole team made the summit, took some pictures, rested and headed down! We took a look into the summit crater on the way down.

The summit crater: The smell of sulphur was quite strong and smoke was streaming out of the hole in the lower right corner: there’s no doubt this is an active volcano! For reference, the summit is the pinnacle in the upper left.

We got back to the car sometime around 4:30PM: about 14 hours car-to-car! This was by far the most elevation gain we had ever hiked in a day and everyone was really excited about pulling off such a strenuous trip. After doing this climb, we felt that it opened up a lot of possibilities for other climbs. All of the sudden, some of the big mountains in the Cascades seemed much more approachable and possible now.



  1. Thats a crazy epic adventure. Hopefully our trip up Fisher Chimney next weekend will not be quite so grueling. Thanks for the beta!

    Comment by Jeremy — July 28, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  2. Good luck Jeremy! I’m sure you guys will be fine as long as you keep your party size to a reasonable amount of the most 4 people (in my opinion). Even if the party size is big, I’m sure if everybody is super confident in down climbing and you don’t need any rappel, you’ll make good time.

    Comment by joannestamplis — July 30, 2007 @ 7:35 am

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