Lee’s Birthday – South Face of Colefax

By:  Sam
June 24, 2012

Lee texted me. He was turning 37 and wanted to ski on his birthday and needed a partner. The objective: the rarely skied South Face of Colefax Peak on Mt. Baker. With no conception of what the south face looked like, and having never climbed Colefax (a sub-peak of Mt. Baker), I signed on…. after all, it sounded steep, and you can’t let a guy down on his birthday.

We got an alpine-ish start of 7:30, making fast progress up Grouse Creek and onto the Coleman Glacier.

The glacier was starting to shed it’s winter coat.

We met a few high-speed Canadians on the way up, but otherwise didn’t see anyone else all day long, even on a perfect weather day, the mountain seems to remain un-crowded mid-week.

Old man Lee was killing me on the ascent. I atribute it entirely on his time spent on Rainier recently….

When we hit the saddle between the Deming Glacier and Colefax Peak, we turned right and headed up towards Colefax. The Canadians headed left.

Our Canadian friends making their way up a surprisingly gnarly looking Mt. Baker.

Despite our late-ish start and the warm air, fierce wind was keeping the south-facing snow cool enough to ski. Lee led the way.

…and eased out onto the face.

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Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Spearhead Traverse in a Day


  1. mtl_ripper / powhounddd
    wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 6:03 pm  

    Looks intense!!
    I wish I lived close to reasonable summer skiing. Alas…

  2. Jake
    wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 8:28 pm  

    Ugh. I can’t stand all the skiing in my face. It may be time to move to the PNW.

    Way to get after it recently. Some great looking stuff.

    • Sam
      wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:03 pm  

      Its why I moved to the PNW. ;) Come visit sometime

    • MadPatSki
      wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:22 pm  

      Sam, I’m flying into the PNW tomorrow :) Now I need to get packing for my trip.

    • Sam
      wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:28 pm  

      Awesome! What’s on the docket for your trip?

    • MadPatSki
      wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:38 pm  

      Mostly liftserved. Wed night : Portland; Th: Timberline and return to airport; Fri & Sat: Bachelor; Sun: Crystal; Mon: Rainier/Muir Camp??? and Tues: Timberline then back East. Accommodations were booked by Mr. C (except 1st night):Bend 2 nights, Crystal 2 nights and TLodge 1 night. That is the plan that was discussed.

    • Sam
      wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:56 pm  

      Awesome that sounds like a fun trip. Enjoy your time here

  3. MadPatSki
    wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:05 pm  

    I love my June birthday turns, unfortunately it’s a rare occasion.

    mtl_ripper, summer skiing is an easy flight away. :0

  4. jake L.
    wrote on June 26th, 2012 at 9:18 pm  

    Mmmmm June turns…a guy doesn’t post for a bit and someone goes and steals his namesake, geez!

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