Forums Trip Reports pow, beer, and music: good times at baker splitfest
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  • #576704
    246 Posts

    for years i’ve been meaning to make the trip up from california to attend this event, but i never quite had the travel budget. well now that i live almost within sight of mt baker, even my broke lazy ass could make it!

    i got a nice “early” start friday morning and made it to baker well before noon. what a welcome! no shortage of snow here.

    with a crew like this, you know you’re gonna have fun. now let’s go find some lines!

    kyle finds one

    so does nomad

    this looks like a good first run for my new venture board!

    john c shoes us how it’s done!

    same entrance, seen from below. no way to get down this without air!

    nomad goes for the “big entrance”

    hey chris, let’s ride that tomorrow!

    looking back at our first run.

    bcrider launches into the next run

    another run for the exit and it’s time to head to glacier. john’s nice van was making my haggard one feel a little self conscious.

    i’ve never seen so many demo boards!!

    a little beer, a little music…. blues & belly dancing?? now i’ve seen it all!

    things were off to a rough start saturday morning… got to baker early only to find “all access closed” due to avy control. wtf!??

    apparently they were heli-bombing the shuksan arm. i have it on pretty good authority that baker resort management intentionally scheduled this for a saturday morning in order to thwart splitfest access.

    by 9am they finally let us start… still time to get up shuksan!

    our goal,the northwest couloir, is the narrow line below the saddle looker’s left of the summit.

    getting alpine on the white salmon.

    kyle and chris eye the barely-filled exit from the hanging glacier.

    chris enjoys an exciting climb up an old 10 foot avy crown.

    halfway there…

    john c, about to round the corner to the curtis glacier.

    it was a little unnerving, skinning out onto the curtis, knowing that one slip and you’d be gone over the icefall…

    chris nears the top, with baker in the background

    summit ho! after nearly 6000 feet, it’s time for a break.

    kyle rides off in search of the entrance to the NW couloir.

    john enjoys a bit o pow near the top.

    kyle rides by an imposing icefall.

    kyle looks on as nomad bravely drops in to the unknown…

    if you know much about this line (i got a crash course!) it cliffs out just below what you see in the last photo, and the route becomes a hairy 50+ degree exposed traverse. well that happened to be the only icy part of the entire run, so after a bit of deliberation, we decided to bail and climbed back out. clouds were lowering, light was fading, and it was time to retreat. we climbed back up, probing for crevasses as we went.

    we descended via the white salmon, and i didn’t get my camera out too much. there was a lot more pow than there was good lighting at that point. but 4000 feet of pow was pretty fun!

    i was feeling pretty happy as i started the exit skin, and the sight of this little pillow magic did nothing to dampen my spirits. i’ll be back for you!!

    back in glacier, there were boards to win…

    and some bindings, too.

    not to mention the great music!

    i had to depart rather early sunday morning. it’s a long drive to idaho and i wanted to check out a 4wd van there. but i’ll be back! see y’all next year!

    1382 Posts

    Nice Ben! I always hear about that entrance being hairball and icy. Question: I never hear of ppl climbing the thing first. Why is that? In the pic it looks totally doable. At least then when you get to icy section you have the rest of the cooly to shralp. Amirite??? After Russman’s aborted attempt last year and now yours I think I’d rather climb it or just not ride it (I’m gonna one day!)

    700 Posts

    Totally awesome!

    288 Posts

    Ben, thanks for kindly omitting the details. I actually ended up doing the traverse and advising everyone else to turn back (wish I could’ve!). I’m quite glad that they did (and they probably had a better run as a result!).

    Sweet TR – it was great to meet you! I’ll get some photos/words up here or on my blog either later today or tomorrow.

    246 Posts

    @bgnight wrote:

    Question: I never hear of ppl climbing the thing first. Why is that? In the pic it looks totally doable. At least then when you get to icy section you have the rest of the cooly to shralp.

    i was discussing this with kyle the day before we went up there. i suggested we climb the couloir, but he was concerned about the possibility of someone (or their sluff) coming down on top of us. he ended up being right–while we were waiting in the lot for baker to “allow” us access to the mountain, some skiers snuck by. they hit the nw couloir about 45 minutes ahead of us and probably would have caught us at the crux if we’d been on the way up. if we’d started when we actually showed up at the mountain, we might have beat them to the top and actually had some snow on the traverse.

    glad you made it through, pat. i’ll let you tell that story! it was fun riding with you, and i can’t wait to see your pics.

    big thanks to bob & terry for putting on such a great event! big thanks to the band for being awesome! (i never get to see enough music during snowboard season)

    4149 Posts

    Cool pics bs! Great to see and shred with you again. :thatrocks:

    I already wanna come back! So many mountains….so little time (and $). 🙂

    288 Posts

    Okay guys, I finally put some photos online at:

    Just as a teaser, I’ll embed a couple

    1382 Posts

    That last photo is amazing!!!

    457 Posts

    Great TR and pics. The whole event was nuts, especially the packed house raffle melee. Love that 2nd to last photo, synchronized shadows, wish you had the full shadow of the spray in it!

    wasatch surf
    979 Posts


    146 Posts

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: awesome photos nomad :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
    looks like a great time . . .

    699 Posts

    Nice write up Ben. Great riding with all you guys. Willst some pics in the next day or so.

    1 Posts

    That was a great recap bs! Those photos were awesome. Nomad, thanks for putting up those photos! They were also terrific. I might have to grab a few of those from you. It was great meeting everyone at the Splitfest! The conditions were great and I loved experiencing that steep, carvable WA pow on some great lines. I hope I can make it over there again soon!

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