I was talking to a guy that broke through a snow bridge on Glacier Peak the week after we did Baker. The story and pictures he shared makes me take glacier travel way more seriously.
“I fell into a crevasse on Glacier Peak last weekend. Had I not been roped up, I would have broken both of my legs or worse. It was about 10 am (going down) and I was in the boot pack. No visible signs of a crevasse. People, including a soloist, had walked over the same spot minutes before me. Fortunately, I was completely unharmed and another team helped to pull me out. For me, this was a good reminder that crevasses occur on glaciers, even if it looks safe, is flat, or 100 people have crossed safely before you. It seems rare, but there are tons of stories of such unexpected falls out there. Consider always roping up on glaciers.”
I had those same thoughts while crossing the Coleman Glacier roped up to three other people: this looks safe, this is flat, I am in the boot pack where 100 other people have safely crossed…
…problem is, you just never know where or when that trap door will send you falling!
A different group was on that same route a week later. Here is a picture they took coming down, looking down at the saddle between Glacier and Disappointment Peak. It gives a general overview of the area where this trap door was hiding.
I don’t like being restrained while hiking. However, I also don’t like the idea of being wedged or injured down deep in a confined space. The possibility of drowning in a crevasse is something I never considered either. So is not roping up really worth the risk?