Summit attempt up Mount Baker via the Easton Glacier. Arrived at Sandy Camp the afternoon of Sept 3rd. Hiked up to about 7000 feet neat The Portal along the rocky ridge attempting to spy a feasible route. The glacier is very broken and no clear routes were visible without significant back and forth glacier traversing. We opted to delay the usual early AM alpine start as we did want to be wandering around crevasses with limited sight distance visibility.
We began our route up at 8am and only saw two other parties at camp. We entered the Easton Glacier past 6000 feet where it was close to the rocky ridge and traversed across a very crevassed surface (small and narrow in the AM, however past noon, water was flowing and the entire surface became much softer). We opted to find a route which skirted left and below the ice dome and traversed back right above it, connecting with a more established path upwards, gaining right and traversing several ridges.
We decided to turn back at around 9100 feet as it was hot and the snow was getting soft. Upon joining and taking the more established path we encountered a snow bridge proving the only access back – it was about 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. A picket was insitu, which we used after ensuring it was stable. The surface of the bridge was slushy proving an unnerving lack of confident purchase for our crampons – I suspect that within a week or so this will be unpassable – however going left and below the dome provided a route with more passable crevasses. I would advise a start between 2-4 AM to allow for daylight to assist with route-finding options for all the crevasses which are opening. Get back down before the snow gets soft as the route is extremely broken and will most likely be unclimbable within 10 days.
Detailed photos of the route and conditions are in my AllTrails link below as well as the location of the snow bridge. You can zoom into the topo map to see our route. More info is also available in the Movescount link along with downloadable GPX files.
Link to Google photo album:
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