Five days until our next shot at Baker. This is likely the last set of dates that will work for our group this season. While we lost quite a few who were available the first planned weekend but are not this time, we still have five and are hoping for good weather. The excuses of the less fortunate include BASE jumping in Europe, summering in Alaska and climbing in Peru, so it’s hard to feel sorry for them, but they will be missed by our smaller team.
We’ll be a single rope of five. Four of the five went up Rainier together last year, and Emily is the fifth. She’s as strong and capable as I am or more so, just a bit less experienced, so it’s a solid team.
Weather actually looks good. The longterm forecasts were positive, and the only exception was a blip in the NWS discussion, this past Saturday’s revision, that mentioned “a system” indicated by one of the conflicting models. That has eased as the models have become more consistent, and while they still disagree confidence appears to be growing for clear skies and a ridge over the area beginning early on Saturday and lasting through Monday.
While we plan to overnight at the trailhead Friday, the approach, climb and hike out should take just two days. We need only Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon to be relatively trouble-free, and it looks likely to give us that plus a bit of safety cushion on the back end.
I suppose the gear and food we packed away a few weeks ago needs to come back out soon. From the beginning, under clear skies, I hope.