What was I doing waking up at 3:30AM on a weekend? Oh yeah, I was going ice climbing!
On Sunday my partner Robert and I left the car in the pitch dark 5AM morning, and were soon warming up as we crunched our way along the icy trail. After a small detour, we took the 'scenic route' onto the glacier, and ran into my friend David Hancock, who's North Ridge plans had been curtailed by a broken-up glacier. Robert was moving slow and felt sick, plus we could see at least 2 prior groups on our intended route:
So, we headed off to the Black Buttes, just west of Mt. Baker proper, and found some nice water ice that had formed. The resultant pitch was a fun and exciting (probable first ascent) of 50m of climbing, with a crux of WI4 on a freestanding pillar and roof. The sun came out eventually, but not enough to soften up the icy crust, much to the chagrin of all the overly-optimistic skiers.