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Glacier Advance and Recession on Mount Baker
Timestamp Free: 2019.12.09 - 17:31:56
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 2000m
Difficulty: 2: Skiing on crevassed glacier
Picture essay and alternate ski route
Recently on a hike A Hike to Lookout Mountain near Mount Baker I saw that the glaciers on Mount Baker had receded further than ever and remembered the exciting time in the 1970s when they were advancing vigorously. In my big coffee table book "Glacier Ice" by Austin Post and Edward R.Lachapelle the authors mention that in the late 1940s some Cascade glaciers had been noticed to advance. This was interrupted by a very hot summer in 1958 but later continued on Mount Baker. Their picture of the Roosevelt and Coleman Glacier does not give a year, but it seems to predate the photo from my first visit in 1966. [photo]1966.jpg[caption]Roosevelt and Coleman Glacier 1966[/photo]

Since then I have climbed Mount Baker often, mostly on skis in spring, sometimes via an alternate route up Grouse Creek where I didn't have to carry the skis as far as along the Heliotrope Trail. I usually also bypassed the Roman Wall by traversing lower down to the crater where it was less steep and the snow softened up sooner. In the 1970 fumerole activity increased significantly in the crater and I wanted to see this close up. [photo]img454.jpg[caption]The crater in 1966[/photo]

[photo]img393.jpg[caption]Crater from the west 1976[/photo]

I remember that on our first ski tour we often heard the rumble of ice avalanching below the Roosevelt Glacier. In the following years the avalanche debris formed a ramp that eventually reached to the top of the cliff and allowed the glacier to flow unbroken over it. Meanwhile the Coleman Glacier formed a big lobe in the valley bottom. however before the two glaciers could merge retreat began faster than the...

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