If you can see Mt. Baker, you are part of The Experience

Mountain Trivia: Round Five

Mt. Shuksan. Oliver Lazenby photo

By Jason D. Martin

This article marks the fifth time that Mount Baker Experience has featured mountain trivia. I hear it all the time. When is the next mountain trivia issue coming out…? Well, you asked. And so, you shall receive.

With that said, let’s get to it!

Issac Howard on The Conjuring in The Lost Ledge Bouldering Area. Gabriel Cisneros photo

1) The newest edition to Bellingham climbing is seated deep in a local forest. The Lost Ledge Bouldering Area has become a go-to haunt for climbers in the Bellingham area. From which local trail do most visitors access this area?

A) The Fragrance Lake Trail

B) The Rock Trail

C) The Chanterelle Trail

D) The Pine and Cedar Trail

2) For the first time in history, “indoor” climbing was included in the Olympic Games. The 2021 games were held in Tokyo. It’s a long process to become an Olympic athlete. Two American men and two American women competed in the games. The American men were Nathaniel Coleman and Colin Duffy. Who were the American women?

A) Lynn Hill and Emily Harrington

B) Brooke Raboutou and Kyra Condie

C) Margo Hayes and Ashima Shiraishi

D) Beth Rodden and Sasha DiGiulian

3) The most common native name for Mt. Baker is Kulshan, a Lummi word that means “the shooting place,” or “shot at the end.” The word Shuksan, as in Mt. Shuksan, is also a Lummi word. What is the meaning of the word?

A) White Mountain

B) Steep Mountain

C) Princess of the Sky

D) High Peak

A front-pointing demonstration. Courtesy photo

4) In the late 1950s, members of a small climbing club based on the east side of the mountains made several notable ascents in the Cascades. Members from the club made first ascents on Mt. Stuart’s Ice Cliff Glacier and on Mt. Rainier’s Curtis Ridge. Additionally, they made second ascents on Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge and Ptarmigan Ridge. Perhaps most importantly though, members of this club are credited with creating the first “stiff” crampons for front-pointing in the Cascade Range. What was the name of the club?

A) The Mountaineers

B) The Mazamas

C) The BoAlps

D) The Sherpa Climbing Club

5) As you drive up 542 toward the Heather Meadows parking area at Mt. Baker Ski Area, a dramatic couloir can be seen on the east side of Mt. Herman. This nearly 50-degree couloir is considered an essential line for Baker backcountry skiers and splitboarders. What is the name of the couloir?

A) Paradise Gully

B) Little Switzerland

C) Stoneman

D) Rock-n-Roller

6) When you place you ski pole or your trekking pole in the snow, there is a stopper at the base that keeps it from pushing in like a dagger. What is this called?

A) Basket

B) Snow Stopper

C) Expander

D) Flick Lock

Topographical map. Courtesy photo

7) The lines on a topographical map can show one how steep a slope might be. When the lines are closer together, the slope is steeper. When they are farther apart, it’s less steep. What are these lines called?

A) Interval Lines

B) Contour Lines

C) Topo Lines

D) Slope Angle Lines

8) Established in 1915, this local state park was Washington’s very first state park.

A) Larrabee State Park

B) Bayview State Park

C) Deception Pass State Park

D) Birch Bay State Park

Mallorie Estenson photo

9) Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that primarily uses fixed bolts for protection instead of traditional climbing equipment. Many argue that American sport climbing started when Alan Watts rappelled down a beautiful face filled with pockets and placed a series of expansion bolts. The route became known as Watts Tots (5.10d). This was the first sport route established in a Pacific Northwest location that – for a time – would become the epicenter of American climbing. What is the area?

A) Squamish

B) Skaha Bluffs

C) Mt. Erie

D) Smith Rock State Park

Khumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest. Courtesy photo

10) A small crew of Sherpa guides works hard in the spring to build a route through the deadly Khumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest. This requires a combination of route finding, fixing lines and fixing ladders. The Sherpa guides that perform this task are called what?

A) Icefall Doctors

B) Khumbu Guides

C) Everest Hasty Team

D) Khumbu Pioneers

11) Famously, it took Reinhold Messner 16 years to climb all 14 8,000-meter peaks. Recently a Netflix movie entitled “14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible” featured another climber that completed this quest in just 70 days. Who was that climber?

A) Kim Chang-Ho

B) Nirmal “Nims” Purja

C) Adrian Ballinger

D) Conrad Anker

12) In the 1970s, a group of avid and adventurous climbers identified the 100-highest peaks in Washington state and then went about “collecting them.” This list is still considered the gold standard of tick lists in Washington mountaineering. In the modern era, this list is referred to by the group that first pursued it. What is the list called?

A) The White Punks on Dope List

B) The Bushmasters List

C) The Bulger List

D) The Peakbaggers List


1) B – The best approach to the Lost Ledge Bouldering Area is via the Rock Trail from the top of Cleator Road.

2) B – Brooke Raboutou and Kyra Condie. The documentary film, The Wall, partially chronicles Brooke’s journey to the Olympics. And Kyra was featured all over climbing media. The men seemed not to get as much press as the women in this first Olympic event.

3) D – The Lummi word Shuksan

[šéqs?n] means “high peak.”

4) D – The Sherpa Climbing Club. Gene Prater and Dave Mahre are credited with leading this club, while making several first ascents.

5) C – The Stoneman Couloir is considered one of the most classic lines in the Baker backcountry.

6) A – Basket. This device may be changed out for a different size depending on whether you’re in the snow or on a trail.

7) B – Contour lines. The contour interval is the difference in elevation represented by each line.

8) A – Larrabee State Park was Washington’s first state park and was named after Bellingham businessman Charles Larrabee.

Larrabee and his wife Francis deeded land that they owned on Chuckanut Drive to the state for the park. The park was originally called Chuckanut State Park, but the name was changed in 1923.

9) D – Smith Rock State Park. As sport climbing was taking off in the early 90s, this area near Bend, Oregon, became a world-class climbing destination.

10) A – Icefall Doctors. These Sherpa guides don’t just set up the route, they repair it throughout the season, working in the hazardous icefall for up to 75 days.

11) B – Nirmal “Nims” Purja. The film “14 Peaks” is awesome and you should watch it now, if you haven’t already.

12) C – The Bulger List. Though there actually was a group of eastern Washington climbers that referred to themselves as the White Punks on Dope in the ’70s, the Bulgers are remembered for developing the list.

In 1980, Rus Kroeker (also known by his Bulger trail name, Koala) became the first person to complete all the summits on the list. x

Jason D. Martin is the executive director at the American Alpine Institute, a mountain guide and a widely published outdoor writer. He lives in Bellingham with his wife and two kids.