Coleman-Deming Ski on Mount Baker

Cam, cruising up toward the Baker-Colfax saddle

Cam, cruising up toward the Baker-Colfax saddle

I'd been itching to get back on Mount Baker since the early spring ascent Goran and I had done back in March.  The real desire was to get on the North Ridge or Coleman Headwall, but a ski tour was in the cards for this trip, so a repeat of the Coleman-Deming Route was an easy choice for me and Cam.

We got a pretty leisurely start, leaving Seattle around 6am.  Since we'd both done the route before, there was no summit lust driving us upwards—we focused on enjoying the incredible visibility and better-than-expected skiing.

We were able to park Cam's Subaru within a 10-minute walk of the trailhead.  Having read some trip reports suggesting minimal snow coverage on the trail, we made the right call to wear running shoes and pack our skis to tree line.  The initial Heliotrope Ridge was pretty slick and icy, but not so bad that we had to put ski crampons on.  Things mellowed out above the first steep section and we then just motored our way up.  Ok, perhaps it was Cam motoring up and me keeping up.

Regardless, things went smoothly and we reached the base of the Roman Wall at about 1pm.  The final section looked more icy and less awesome for skiing, so we scampered over the initial
 steep ridge start to catch a view to the South and then called it good.  The conditions on the way down were not stellar, but the views certainly were, so we were perfectly happy.  We made it to our running shoes pretty fast, picked them up, tried to ski a ways down the trail, and eventually gave up, putting the skis back on our packs and tromping out the rest of the way in our shoes.

At the trailhead, Cam stopped to put his skis back on and I didn't so we had a bit of a race to the car.  I won.  By about a minute.  Boom.  I might have been jogging...