Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am Posts: 206 Location: WA
It's 5am, I'm sitting at work writing this tr and still sporting a grin from yesterdays opening at Baker. All over the hill it was Chuck Uras and Wipo Chin.
I showed up at Mike Hattrups (the boarder) pad just after 5am and cruised in the Honda. Traffic was smooth until the White Salmon parking lot where it was snowing lightly. Heather was closed so it was gridlock. The lift ticket line at Baker was easily 2 hours long and stretched over a quarter mile. Mike and I got lucky as many others who carried cash. Once Gwen started selling tickets for cash people surrounded her in frenzy like pirahna. Once tickets were purchased it was time for line number 2, the lift line. It actually moved quick and soon Mike and I found ourselves strapping in.
Our first of many lines took us boarders left under chair 5. Open terrain was getting tracked out quickly however untracked knee to waist deep fluff remained all day in the trees. Our day could best be described as lines that could make you mental while running into friends and familiar faces all over the hill.
While preparing to drop a 10 footy in the trees, a boarder rode up and said hey I bumped into you at Rainier two weekends back. After exchanging greetings it was tallyho into the whiteroom. Even bumped into Kirk whom I met at Blackcomb and Tay'er Kelvin Wu. Not long after we ran into Mike's bro Marcel Dolak, who introduced us to Jessie/Christina Burtner, and a slew of other industry riders. Even Marc Frank and the Tahoe contingent showed up. It was officially a posse now. As the day wore on, legs faded and the posse disbanded. Myself, Mike, Marcel, and Jessie ventured off to find what was left of pow and there was still plenty.
Even though Bakers a resort, today it was very backcountry-esk. We both rode with a transceiver, shovel and probe. You definitely had to watch where you were going. It snowed all day. Visibility was good in the trees but a bit flat light in the open. While on the lift Mike and I witnessed numerous people digging themselves out of all sorts of terrain traps. Also people getting stuck on top of drops or going off ones they had no intention of doing. People on the lifts did there part to offer encouragement. Come on, point it! Point it! It worked sometimes. Didn't run into any serious instalbility issues. There were the occassional sluffs here and there. The canyons never opened so that area is still fresh even though we did see a few lines under the ropes.
What a good way to ring in the winter. Poached waist deep pow at Crystal on Thursday before they opened, killed it at Blackcomb in 2-3 feet of pow on Saturday/Sunday and ended it at Baker. I can hang my hat on that.
_________________ You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia