Skyline Divide Trail

The popular Skyline Divide Trail provides easy access to fine views. We found a measure of solitude by camping in Chowder Basin which we had to ourselves. The other hikers were concentrated on Chowder Ridge, 600' above. The wildflowers were beautiful and the deer flies were intense to very intense in the forest (below 6000').

From about 6000' on the Skyline Divide Trail (foreground), the north side of Mt. Baker (10781') is a delight with the massive Roosevelt Glacier flowing down from the summit. Its terminus at 4600' is hidden from view by Chowder Ridge. Colfax Peak (9440+') behind Chowder Ridge is the highest of the Black Buttes on the right skyline. The Coleman Glacier, in front of Colfax Peak, begins at the 10000' level of Mt. Baker and ends at 4000'.

The complexity of Mt. Shuksan (9131') is apparent looking west from the top of pt. 6160+'. The summit pyramid itself is a nunatak, a mountain surrounded by glacial ice; the Hanging Glacier (left), the Upper Curtis Glacier (right), the Sulphide Glacier (just visible along the right skyline) and the Crystal Glacier (behind). The avalanche fed Lower Curtis Glacier (4800' to 5800') is below and right of the Upper Curtis Glacier.

One of the motivations for this trip was to teach our young friend Jesse (foreground) how to use an ice axe and belay someone on snow. Here Jesse is arresting a deliberate fall on a snowfield on the northeast slope of point 6560' of Chowder Ridge. Brian (background) is belaying him.

Averaged over 1 hour, our peak ascent (descent) rates were 1440 ft/hr (-1680 ft/hr) at 10:15 AM (3:45 PM). These data were logged by an altimeter watch.

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Date created: 2002.06.28
Last modified: 2002.06.28
Copyright © 2002, Walter A. Siegmund

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