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Charles F. Easton - Mt Baker, Its Trails and Legends
The CD-ROM edition of C.F. Easton's scrapbook is organized into sections with individual topics (probably corresponding to pages in the original book) grouped within. Much of the material in the scrapbook has been included in miles-1984. I haven't reviewed topics that were adequately covered there.
"The Mt Baker Club and the Marathon"
"Mt Baker Club Cabins"
This section includes photos of each of the cabins.
"Early in the spring of 1911, the club erected a cabin in Mazama Park, on the south side of Mt. Baker. This cabin was erected on this spot for climbers and campers and shelter for those engaging in the Mt. Baker marathons. This cabin being unlocked is the property of the U. S. Forest service. A picture of this cabin may be seen on the opposite page."
"Above is a picture of the club's cabin on Kulshan Ridge. A cabin had been planned for climbers on Heliotrope Ridge in 1911, but the money raised was used for another purpose. The cabin was erected on Kulshan Ridge as there was a greater stand of timber than on Heliotrope. The cabin was dedicated on Oct. 12 1925, being built that summer by a crew under Mr. Oscar Johnson. The cabin is fully equipped for climbing and camping parties."
"On the right is a picture of the cabin built by the club in Glacier. It was built by Mr. E. Farley in the spring of 1928. It is located on the edge of the town of Glacier and is used by the club and climbers in making trips in the Glacier region."
"Mt Baker Cartogram"
"Map, prepared by Easton"
This is a beautiful, detailed map of the mountain and its surroundings. Of note is the "live crater" shown at the head of Mazama Glacier on the NE side of mountain. (The familiar crater next to Sherman Peak is also shown.) The NE crater is what today is known as the Dorr Fumaroles according to John C. Miles. I believe this is the "north crater" mentioned in some accounts.
"Mt Baker Scaled in Mid-Winter"A Bellingham Herald story from December 29th, 1925 describes the first winter ascent (on foot) of Mt Baker by W.L. Cochran, Jerry V. Smith, C.A. "Happy" Fisher and Louis Gilfilen of the Mt Baker Club on December 27. The party cached food in Kulshan Cabin in the fall. Good weather and snow conditions enabled then to complete the climb in four days round-trip from Bellingham. Fisher, Smith and Cochran had tried a winter ascent in 1923 via Mazama Park but were stopped at the cabin by storm. In 1924 they made an attempt from Heliotrope Ridge, starting at the lower Smoky Cabin (since Kulshan Cabin wasn't built yet). They ran out of time near the summit and retreated in storm.
"Another Record Climb"
The text describes the first ascent of the north face of Mt Shuksan by Ben Thompson, Dorothy E. Pilley and Professor I.A. Richards in 1926. Thompson is described as "a press reporter, Mt.Baker Forest patrolman and mountaineering guide for the Mt.Baker Development Company with headquarters at the Lodge in Heather Meadows."
- Ben Thompson standing in summer with an overnight pack next to a dog.
- Dorothy E. Pilley following Richards, who is cutting steps, up a steep snow slope.
"Carrying the Burden"
A photo by Thompson shows Richards leading Pilley up a steep snow-ice slope using ice axes. Miss Pilley is described as a member of the Ladies' Alpine Club of London, and member of both French and Swiss mountaineering clubs, and of the Alpine Club of Czecho-Slovakia. Professor I.A. Richards is from Cambridge University, England. The two are said to be "enthusiastic and out to establish record climbs succeeding in their ambitions here." The photo shows Richardson leading and carrying a pack for himself and Miss Pilley. Thompson is at the end of the rope, following the steps cut. The photo and description suggest that Richardson led the Mt Shuksan climb.
"Benton Takes Them Anywhere"
This page describes a traverse on foot over the summit of Mt Baker from Austin Pass to Kulshan Cabin, climbing the Cockscomb route, by Thompson, Pilley and Richards, presumedly in 1926.
This page includes another photo by Thompson of Pilley and Richards near the edge of a glacier, probably on Mt Shuksan. The text says: "Bennie Thompson, as Heather Meadows guide for tourists and other lovers of the great and magnificent out-doors, started off his career dramatically with the match-making of two distinguished mountaineers, done up in English in Swiss Alpine style." After leaving Bellingham, Pilley and Richards traveled together to Hawaii where they were married.
"The First Ascent Of Mt Baker On Skis"
The following account of the May 3-4, 1930 first ski ascent is from the Kulshan Cabin register. The misspelling of Ed Loners' name probably dates from this transcription.
- Two photos of skiers climbing Coleman Glacier with the Black Buttes above. One picture shows the rocky north face of one of the buttes, the other shows ice falls.
- Photo of skiers on Coleman glacier with icefall and Roman wall above (fine)."The first successful ascent of Mt. Baker on skis was made by Ed Loness and Bob Sperlin. We left Glacier at 11:55 P.M. May second. We arrived at the cabin at 5:50 A.M. carrying skis and packs. We started out to climb at 7:30 but due to bad weather we returned to camp and spent the day skiing in the cirque above the cabin. The next day, Sunday, we left the cabin at 5:10 A.M. and reached the summit at 1:05 P.M. John Boothe also make the ascent but used cramp-ons above the saddle. The weather was clear when we started and we had a fine view of the Selkirks and Mt. Baker, as we climbed to the saddle. The clouds gradually gathered and when we reached the summit our view was spoiled by clouds covering the surrounding peaks. Fortunately the clouds kept away from the upper portions of the mountain and we did not get into them until we reached the saddle on our return. We followed our morning tracks and had no difficulty. We left the cabin for Glacier at 7:00 P.M."
Robert B. Sperlin
Other SectionsThe following sections contain material summarized in miles-1984. I haven't reviewed them, but may return to them for details in the future.
- Mt Baker Marathon, No. 2
- The Third and Last Marathon
- Mt Baker National Park
- Mt Baker National Forest
- Mt Baker Lodge
- A College Mourns (1939 Bellinghnam college avalanche)
- Northwest Face of Mt Shuksan (1939 Trott-Hennig climb)
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