Carla, Bruno, Jeff, and I parked at the Barclay Lake trailhead and followed the old road that runs east from the trailhead. After a few minutes we found the steep, muddy bootpath that parallels a creek and leads steeply south (did I already mention it is steep?) to the top of the west ridge of Baring. Following the ridge top was the most pleasant part of the trip.
Soon we were at the 4,800' basin and realized what a poor choice this trip was for this time of year. We were faced with half a foot of snow over the boulder field that leads to the col between Baring Mountain and its south peak. Part way up this treacherous slope Bruno and Jeff (who had summitted Baring before) turned around. Carla and I continued up, finding the right side of the gulley had less boulders and leg-eating holes.
From the col we plowed north through snow-laden trees, heather slopes, and more boulder fields. At one point (a bit off route) I failed to make a short move on rock and slid down a heather slope head-first on my back for about 20 feet until some trees stopped me (I had stowed my ice axe to free up my hands). Eventually we made it to the snow-encrusted, rocky summit. In dry weather this would be easy rock scrambling, but with a layer of rime I found it quite challenging.
approx. 6 miles
approx. 3,830 feet
Highway 2 Corridor
8 hours 44 minutes
5 hours 5 minutes ascending from Barclay Lake trailhead to summit of Baring Mountain
3 hours 39 minutes descending from summit of Baring Mountain to Baring Lake trailhead
75 Scrambles in Washington: Classic Routes to the Summits
Climbing Washington's Mountains
Baring Mountain: NW Ridge
Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.