... and specially not for me. I melt in sunny days. My poor canuck scalp burns like an unattended pancake, and I sweat horribly. It's very dramatic.
Contrary to what this opening paragraph says, this article is not about my fair and perfect complexion
Sun's also not great for mountaineering (or mountain photography, as Angela Percival would tell you). Under warm conditions, snow becomes soft and the postholing is real. Postholing, of course, is the least of your concerns when collapsing snow bridges and slides are an option. Unfortunately, I was part of a BCMC group that had the ambition of climbing Mount Baker, so the sunny forecast was mildly depressing (It's Always Sunny in the PNW apparently). We decided to be bold and give it a shot anyway.
The approach through thick brush and rushing melt water was figuratively a breeze. It was warm, sweaty, wet and confusing; as we learned on the way, a massive slide had wiped out most of the creek crossings, and we had to improvise new ones. Snow, ironically, only provides short relief. In my case, it only cooled off my ankles while reflecting sunlight, giving me a rare case of the sunburn-under-the-bridge-of-my-nose.
An extra early alpine start was complemented by nice views of Hera's mess. I requisitioned a handy tree trunk as a makeshift tripod and shot away. The resulting shots may not be as sharp as the ones taken using a sturdy tripod, but there's no way I'm hauling 10 extra pounds of gear.
I'm used to catabatic winds that freeze you, winds that you have to shield against using a strong Arc'Teryx Alpha SV 100D Denier includng new zipper design (I don't have a sponsorship from them, but I'm practicing. See how I casually slid that placement in the article? Soon I'll either be rolling in it, or I'll be editing the post at the request of their PR team). Not that time. We woke up to a warm, weird wind coming from the col. Ever stuck your face in a hands drier? I haven't. But I imagine that's how it feels.
The weather proved way too warm for any serious attempt at the summit; we had to settle for a gorgeous sunrise instead. What a bummer.
Failed summit attempts are usually accompanied with a morale, about how failure doesn't define you and how adversity is the biggest ally you can have in your quest for personal growth.
Screw that. We're all adults here.
The one thing I would like you to take away from this trip report is this: when you go back through Sedro-Woolley, stop at that little nameless diner on your right. Portions are huge and pancakes are cheap.
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