24
May

On May 18th I rolled up to the Mt. Baker ski area parking lot to hook up with Davenport and McMillan’s Ring of Fire team & catch them on their last summit, which I was hoping would happen on the 19th. I didn’t get up to the Baker lot until late in the day thinking the crew might be taking a rest day with the weather not being that nice (plus Chris was fighting a cold that was peaking the day prior on his 11 hour round trip tour to Rainier’s summit via the Fuher Finger). When I arrived, the team was out on Ptarmigan Ridge (yep that’s what they call a down day- ha ha ha), keeping it easy only climbing the vert of half a volcano and getting a nice look at the super long approach to the Park Headwall. Once back at the Heather Meadows lot, the team decided to head back down SR542 for Glacier Creek to see how far up the road towards the Heliotrope TH they could get the Spyder land yacht. Turns out it wouldn’t have been far, too steep. However, Just before the Glacier Creek turn off, Chris noticed the old defunct RV lot, which was best know for the old Chando restaurant. The owner  just happened to be on site and is in the process of selling the R.V. lot , so he told Chris they could plug in for 10 bucks. Super cool. We later were told by a local, who stopped in when he noticed the Spyder rig, the wild antics that were a common occurrence at the old “Porky’s” style roadhouse. All that ended when the Chando mysteriously burnt down in 2000. We had a nice sunny dinner on the grass, hit the sack early. I headed up Glacier Creek to sleep in the Snow Trooper mini rig – plan was to leave the vehicles a mile before the TH between 6-6:30AM. We hit Grouse Creek in the morning shade with a nice steep, not to mention long, frozen granular pitch up to the Coleman Glacier, so I opted to go with boot crampons the entire way up the deviator. Once to the Coleman it was to skinning w/ ski crampons. As I was half way across the long Coleman traverse, I noticed a large group heading up the Roman Wall and sure enough it was the entire crew along with our very own Andrew Eckels getting some summit video clips and his first summit. The Ring of Fire team took a short lunch and dropped down the frozen Roman Wall, then hit hard skiers’ right at the bottom of the wall for some steep skiing. I could hear the roar of their skis as the steel edges blasted over every grain of frozen granular snow, by far the loudest conditions I have ever heard before. They skied down to me hitting all the steeps and fun safe drops possible, then it was off to harvest some great corn back down towards the Shark’s fin. The video below is just a rough cut, we have a bunch of clips yet to drop which also includes the Mt. Rainier day from May 17th.


rough cut below of team Ring of Fire hitting Mt. Baker perfectly!


looking back down the Coleman Glacier. I took some of the clips from the spot I was sitting in this pic (marked w/ red arrow, on the high res shot you can see me) photo by Chris Davenport

Christy Mahon on the summit of Mt. Baker – photo by Chris Davenport

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2 Responses to “Mt. Baker, WA – Final “Ring of Fire” Volcano Summit”

  1. December 1, 2013

    […] to my 3,500′ on the last day of his 14 day assault of 15 NW volcanos, dubbed as the “Ring of Fire Tour” (which gave Chris and Jess McMillian a 14 day total vertical over 70,000′… AMAZING)! […]

  2. September 21, 2012

    […] the Pacific NW’s Ring of Fire volcanoes and logging >78,000 vertical feet – check out the trip report and video below. He has had numerous first descents of peaks worldwide and has been featured in […]

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