June 4-5, 2016

Mount Baring Summit Camp

Mount Baring (6125′)

——————– Trip Report Summary ——————–

Region: North-Central Cascades

Starting Point: Barclay Lake Trailhead (Barclay Creek Road)

Way Points: Barclay Creek Spur Road & Barclay Ridge Saddle & Barclay Ridge Knoll & Mt. Baring summit (hike & climb)

Campsite: Mt. Baring summit

Summit: Mt. Baring (climb via West Couloir—South Ridge)

——————– Full Trip Report ——————–

On this very hot weekend, Eileen and I decided it was time for another summit bivy.  We ended up choosing Mt. Baring for such a purpose.

Day 1 – Trailhead to Summit:

The climbers’ path heading up from Barclay Creek was as steep and hot as ever, especially because we didn’t get going until noon.  We followed the path along the ridge crest to the crossover point, where we got a first view of the objective peak and approach couloir.

Main Baring Peak and South Baring Peak

Snow conditions were good all the way up the couloir.  It was firm, but we didn’t need crampons.  There was also very-welcome water along the way.

Eileen Climbing Baring Couloir

From the main-south col, we climbed steep snow, then scrambled up through trees and talus.  Views were gained only in the last several hundred feet below the summit.

South Baring Peak From Main Peak

The evening was pleasantly warm, allowing us to have a leisurely dinner on the summit perch.

Eileen On Mount Baring Summit
Eileen On Mount Baring Summit

Someone must have decided that a popular peak like Mt. Baring deserves an ample summit register.  I can’t disagree with that thinking, but this one is comically enormous.  It is surely the largest summit register tube that I’ve ever seen…by an order of magnitude!  Unfortunately, the water-tightness of the lid does not match the tube’s overall stature; the interior contained only sopping wet papers.

Giant Summit Register

We found a flat rock just below the summit rock and threw out our bivy sacks.  Water was available drop-by-drop from an adjacent snow patch, and with patience, we were able to collect several quarts.  It was a comfortable night, despite the fact that two good rolls toward the northeast would have landed us in Barclay Lake—3600 feet below!

Summit Bivy Site

The morning sun rousted us up at 5:00am.  We soaked in the summit views while eating breakfast.  Especially notable were Gunn, Gunnshy, and Merchant Peaks to the north…

Gunnshy Peak, Gunn Peak, and Merchant Peak

…and Kaleetan Peak, Lennox Mountain (with its remarkably expansive snowfield), and Mt. Rainier to the south.

Chair Peak and Kaleetan Peak From Summit

Day 2 – Summit to Trailhead:

We were on the move by 7:00am and back to the car by 11:30am (4.5 hours from summit).  Along the way, we passed a party of two and another party of ten heading up.


——————– Photo Gallery (click to enlarge) ——————–