Mount Baker also known as Kulshan, is the highest and most heavily glaciated stratovolcano in the North Cascades of Washington State , US . It is the second-most active volcano in the range after Mount Saint Helens. Mt Baker is the 3rd highest summit in the state of Washington with 10,778 feet (3,285 m), and the iciest mountain in the Cascades .
Mt Baker eruptions
Mt Baker has steamed consistently throughout history, and had at least eight known eruptions in the nineteenth century. Since 1880 , no eruption has been recorded, but after 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens, scientists are more attentively monitoring several Cascades volcanoes, including Mount Baker.
The present-day cone of Mount Baker is relatively young , perhaps less than 100,000 years old. The volcano sits atop a similar older volcanic cone called Black Buttes Volcano, which was active between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago. Much of Mount Baker’s earlier geological record eroded away during the last ice age (which culminated 15,000–20,000 years ago), by thick ice sheets that filled the valleys and surrounded the volcano. In the last 14,000 years, the area around the mountain has few ice but the mountain remains heavily covered with snow and ice.
A considerable amount of research has been done at Mount Baker over the past decade, and it is now among the most-studied of the Cascade volcanoes. Recent and ongoing projects include gravimetric and GPS-based geodetic monitoring, gas sampling, distribution mapping, new interpretations of the Schriebers Meadow lava flow, and hazards analyses. Mapping of Carmelo and Sherman craters, and interpretations of the eruptive history, continues, as well. The Mount Baker Volcano Research Center maintains an online archive of this work and photos.
There are ten main glaciers on the mountain. The Coleman Glacier is the largest having a surface area of 5.2 square km (1,280 acres). The other large glaciers are Roosevelt Glacier, Mazama Glacier, Park Glacier, Boulder Glacier, Easton Glacier and Deming Glacier. All retreated during the first half of the century, advanced from 1950–1975 and have been retreating increasingly rapidly since 1980.
The volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker (0.43 cubic miles or 1.8 cubic kilometers) is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes, excepting Rainier , combined. It is also one of the snowiest places in the world. It has the current world record for most snow in one year, having received 1,140 inches (95 feet) / 2,896 cm (29 meters) of snowfall in the winter of 1998-99.
Mount Baker features twelve glaciers, providing some of the best glacier climbing opportunities in the United States. It offers excellent mountaineering to beginners and experts, alike. Baker stuns residents of Seattle on clear days and ferry passengers in the San Juan Islands.
Mount Baker offers excellent opportunity those learning to climb on snow and ice. When weather and glacial conditions are right, the ascent can be relatively non-technical and straight forward. The Coleman/Deming route is the most popular while the North Ridge is more difficult. The easiest route is Easton . Incredible views of the North Cascades, Mount Rainier to the south and the alluring San Juan Islands to the west await those who reach the summit.
With its twelve active glaciers and breathtaking views, 10,781 foot Mount Baker provides a scenic and extremely rewarding mountaineering experience those brave enough to try it.