Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:18 pm Posts: 41 Location: Bend, OR
A great Sunday at Baker started out with low expectations, telemetry reporting 20" at the base after a warm period 3 days before and then snow returning for the previous 24 hours or so. We got a report of puking snow in the late afternoon Saturday, so decided that it would be worth a go on Sunday. We started out lazy, probably our latest start ever, getting to the heather meadows lot close to noon. As we pulled in we were psyched to see good visibility and much better coverage than you'd think 20 inches would look like. All doubts set aside, this was a great day to be heading out.
We were in good company too. I'd guess there were 50 rigs or so in the lot. Some skiers were just heading home and mostly snowboarders were just pulling in and heading out with 5-foot steel shovels. Overall we probably saw 40% shoers, 40% boarders building kickers down low, then the other 20% tele/at groups heading up all the way. Our group of five, included myself and Tophervw on splits, then his brother and another two buddies out for their first (about) backcountry tour on shoes.
We took the Artist Point road most of the way, punching up to skip switchbacks where possible. The road was in great condition for skinning and the stuff up on the ridge was even better. It took us hour and twenty including one stop for snacks and wait for shoers.
First stop for munchies and thumb sucking (Topher). Hemispheres to the left and Shuksan in the background.
The rains from a warming period had clearly consolidated the meager base and sweet stuff had accumulated on top. We took varying measurements between 36 and 60 inches or so at the top. We took one quick run of maybe 300 vft. I took another lap while the rest of the group built up a wind lip kicker.
This was just a lazy afternoon, breaking in the legs on our first tour of the season and celebrating the arrival of what little snow we have seen so far in the PNW. Stability was excellent everywhere. We saw N facing slides on Table that were probably a few days old. But, a few groups were up on Table and we heard nothing was moving over there. The chutes off the south side were mighty tempting. Though we didn't see any tracks off the south side, coverage looked good enough to do if you started early enough in the day. Looking over to the inbounds areas, coverage on pan dome and hemis did not look great, I'm sorry to say, it looked
Sorry I don't have any actions shots. I was the only one taking stills. One of the other riders had a sweet 3ccd camera set up, so perhaps later we'll get a couple good vids.
Good times. Hopefully we're off to the start of a great season. Best wishes to all.