Mt Baker - Organizers Guide
Class / Group Gear
Old ropes (enough for 1 rope for each rope team)
2 - 30m glacier ropes (One for instructor team and another for backup to help assist someone down.)
New start time as suggested by Mike. Like it! We'll do it next year too.
Things to work on:
Mysterious delays on the climb (Easton). Parties behind us (e.g. Boealps) were forced to wait long periods without much feedback as to when we would start moving again. Look into: Perhaps more communication from teams up in front?, Step aside to allow smaller teams, especially those from outside the WAC, passage.
More wanding when conditions warrant it (like on Roman Wall this year).
More reliable radios. My response: I think we did do a better job with this in general this year, since Bruce did an explicit test before handing each one out. I also like that we handed extras out to students so we always had extras in the groups. I'm not sure if the issues that we had were with batteries or with the radios themselves? It'd be good to know for next year. Each instructor should have received at least one extra set of batteries and should have kept them in an easily accessible pocket while climbing.
When there are teams on both Easton and Squak, there is no need to try to meet on one side of the river to hike out the last few miles together. It just complicated things. My response: Noted. No point in doing any unnecessary river crossings.
Regarding Squak route:
For ascent from camp I would suggest that team leaders take the front position in all cases. This would allow Instructor to make decisions such as passing a particularly slow team and selecting the best location to do so. This practice of teams passing between camp and the caldera had been used on my previous two ascents of Baker and seemed to smooth things out a bit allowing each team to find their pace. For this climb it was suggested that instructors may want to take the end of rope position for ascent so they could better observe their team (which is what I and team behind me did). In hindsight I would have taken front of rope. Also perhaps the Co Chairs and Baker Coordinators should set the team order to depart camp based on team makeup rather than go with the FIFO method used on Sunday.
I’m still not clear on what exactly caused the traffic jams on Easton (worst I’ve seen) but I know that Wayne was breaking trail which understandably could add some time ( I don’t think this was the sole source of delay though). In the future if we anticipate that the lead team will be kicking steps should we send just two teams initially, leave a gap of 10-15 minutes and then follow with the remaining teams allowing them to slowly close gap?
Note from the squak from Mike Daly:
If you do the approach to the squak right, no don’t have to cross any streams in the Easton drainage. We did a couple on the way in, but on the way out, we stayed out of the valley. It would be fine to go directly north from the TH rather than going over to the meadow and then doubling back – would shave about 2 miles out of each day (but make it considerably steeper).
I will talk with Larry about the direct route from the TH (he took that route Sunday on skis).
To keep the grade sane, I would probably do the same route, just not require coordination on return. The original thought on coordinating the return is in case one group or the other needed assistance.