Graphic header with image of Baker
Roy on belay

Roy 'on belay' above crevasse

Don on Baker Image

Roy and I spend the first afternoon driving his snowmobile around on the Easton Glacier. Lots of fun zigzagging down the trough beside the Railroad Grade - almost like a half pipe. I bought my own snowmobile after this trip - a black, 1989 Yamaha "Phazer' that had been modified to have a long track that kept it from bogging down in soft snow.

We find a nice spot for our camp with trees providing some protection and providing fuel for a fire.

The next morning we get an early start and ski our way to the summit of Baker on a clear, sunny day with very little wind. Ideal! We see tracks made by snowmobiles all the way up the Easton Glacier with some tracks just below the final steep pitch of snow above the steam vents. Apparently something went wrong on one their daring 'high mark' runs as we found the burned out carcass of one snowmobile. It was so completely burned up that there had been nothing to salvage. In fact, we initially are not even sure what this pile of blackened metal is.

Roy on Baker Image

When we come to the wide crevasse just above the Sherman crater Roy insists that we rope up so he can belay me past its deadly, yawning mouth. I had not felt in danger going past this crevasse on my previous climb of Baker but if Roy is more comfortable with the belay that is fine with me.

It takes a while but we finally reach the 'pimple' that is the high point on this large plateau that is the summit of Mt Baker where we take turns snapping each others picture.

On the way down I ski out on a long run under Sherman Peak and stop for a rest. Something bright on my left, uphill side, catches my eye. Within arm's length is a can of Coors beer sitting in the snow with only an inch of can showing. It had been opened and it appears that only a swallow has been drunk before it was put down in the snow. The snow has kept it cold enough that none of the bubbly goodness is gone. It is as if I had just taken a fresh can of Coors right out of my refrigerator. I really enjoy that beer (and save a couple of swallows for my buddy Roy). This turns out to be my best memory from skiing Mt Baker.

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