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Beginning to open up
Our first full view
Up towards the cliff scramble
At around the 3600-foot level, after completing the steep forest ascent, the trail's grade eases, and we started to break out into a few bits of open meadow. We were approaching good scenery! We stopped for a quick fill-up of water from a small brooklet, then continued updward. The climbing path is still quite distinct and easy to follow, and rises up on an old, partially-vegetated moraine. The views opened up the higher we climbed, with a sightline directly up the Boulder Glacier. The lower end was exposed and dirty, and numerous vigorous waterfalls and streams cascaded down from around the snout and into Boulder Creek. No doubt the super hot weather was contributing to the high flow.
Jenn with a full Pack
Baker, Foreshortened
Looking back down route
Lower Boulder Glacier
Boulder Snout
Climbing the moraine
The climbing path, somewhat less distinct and easy to follow, continues up on morainal debris. It angled right now, climbing up towards the crest of Boulder Ridge. There is a layer of what looks like a basalt lava flow near the crest of the Ridge, and this flow creates a 40-foot cliffy section. The climbing route goes up this section. This section is a class 3 or 4 scramble, somewhat exposed.

This obstacle would be less of an issue with a small pack, but with a larger park, more care is required. Past climbers have left a section of climbing rope anchored via several slings to a large tree at the top of the cliff, and we chose to break out our glacier climbing prussik cords, self-belaying ourselves up using the rope.
To the scramble
Short Scramble
Climbing up
Reaching the top
Once all safely atop the cliff section, we climbed a steep but quite short section of climbing path to the crest of Boulder Ridge (this is the first time the route is actually on the very crest of the ridge). We were immediately greeted to a great view of Mt Shuksan off in the distance, and to the next valley to the east on Mt Baker, that of Park Creek.
Standing with Shuksan
Park Creek's valley
View up Boulder Ridge
Brian and Shuksan
Boulder Ridge Climbing Path
Looking down Boulder Ridge
After soaking in the views and enjoying a wonderful cool breeze, we continued up along the crest of the ridge. We could roughly see where our first camp was going to be, and we knew we didn't have long to go before we could relax and set up camp for the day.
H2O of all sorts
Jenn climbs above Treeline
Jenn and Mt Shuksan
The final kilometer or so up Boulder ridge was the highlight of the first day. There isn't any distinct climbing path at this point, and we chose what we felt was the best way up through fields of heather and earthy ridges. There were fantastic views to the heavily crevassed lower Boulder Glacier, including areas where there were fields of deep-blue seracs. Another bonus: once we'd climbed a few hundred feet above treeline, the pesky bugs were no more to be found. What a relief!
Serac Field on the Boulder
View down Boulder Ridge
Lower Boulder Glacier
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