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Steep climb to camp
Steep climb to camp
Eventually we reached an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet. Here, not far from the edge of permanent snowfields and the Boulder and Park Glaciers, we made our camp. There were a couple of pretty good flat areas that people had previously used for tents. It was only mid-afternoon, so we had lots of time to set up and laze around in the breezy, beautiful sunny weather, and take lots of scenic pictures. It was noticeably cooler up here, perhaps 10 to 15 degrees coolor than down at the road, and for that we were grateful. We caught occasional whiffs of sulphurous fumes wafting down from the crater below Sherman Peak. It appeared that Mt Baker still tossed and turned during its slumber!
Steep climb to camp
Upper Boulder and Cleaver
Across to the Boulder Glacier
Camp at 6,000 feet
Our campsite at 6,000 feet
We got lots of changing views and perspectives on our upcoming climbing route as we ascended the trail. I had to admit that the route looked a little daunting to me from certain angles, and then quite doable from others. My relative infrequent travels to the west coast left me without a good sense as to whether or not the route would 'go' (for us, anyway). I began to question whether or not it had been a smart idea to pick this slightly harder route over a more obvious and well-travelled route such as the Easton Glacier Route.

On the positive side, I had climbed on a few small snowfields on the way up to camp, as I was very curious as to the condition of the snow in these extra hot conditions. To my surprise, the snow was decently firm even during the late afternoon, when one would expect it to be the softest. Of course, the condition of the snow at 5,000 feet does not always match that of snow at much higher elevations, it was heartening to know that the snow here seemed to be in a good, solid state. All the better to protect us from unpleasant crevasse falls!
With and Without
Wide-angle Campsite view
Lower Boulder Glacier
Our rough (and flexible) plan was to camp here at 6,000 feet for this night, then climb a relatively short distance on day 2 to a higher campsite, hopefully at around 8500 or so feet on the Boulder Cleaver (*). We'd then get up very early on the third day and summit, returning all the way back down to the trailhead on that same day. There were some grumblings about coming down all in one day, so we also considered the possibility of an extra day on the way down, should that be required.

(*) In west coast volcano parlance, a 'cleaver' is the name given to the radial ridge that often separates the glaciers that flow down the sides of these volcanoes.
Tents and Shuksan
Tent and Park Glacier
Enjoying the fine day
Checkin' out the Terrain
Mt Shuksan
View from our abode
Mt Shuksan
Sunset on Mt Shuksan
Distant Mt Rainier
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