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Home Forums TR Archive Washington Virgin exploration of Shuksan Arm (edited 3/1 to add video)

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    Disclaimer: This TR will be brief as it was a bootpack and solid board virgin exploratory mission by Jon Dahl and Mumbles. If that stiffles your stoke…read no further. Jon took some stills, I had some helmet cam action…might post them if they turned out. (I’ll keep the viddy brief as bcrider likes helmet cams brief…no hand held viddy from me as I left my other cam in the truck)

    Normally a 3 1/2 hour trip to Mt. Baker ski area…early departure
    Mumbles morning departure

    Clock shows rolling out time…only three hours of sleep…will today’s trip be worth the tired factor? I wondered then, but it was.
    4:33 am departing

    There was a possible group of 5 that ended up being Jon and I.
    Met before lifts were running. Meet, greet, gear up, lift up #7 ride down to #8, lift up to top of #8 and then exit the ski area. Brought verts and began up the bootpack ladder. My plate bindings on my verts (DIY Mod) were too far back making my weight too far from toes. After ascending we traversed the Shuksan Arm, lots of tracks, no fresh snow, lots of icy traverse and boot packing. Boot crampons may have been in order for the day, it was that sketchy in places.

    Hiked way out, liftie told us most drop before the Pyramid, go further, better snow. We followed directions and went a full drop and rise past the Pyramid. Both riding AT boots and plate binders, buckle up and dropped in. Great snow on top, much tracked out, but lots of pockets even though there has been no fresh in a while and lots of warm sunny days.

    Decided our virgin voyage out was nice, but rather than lap again after the hour long hike out that we did, we decided to hit it right off #8 and drop into the head of the drainage. We found enough fresh untracked snow there that we did five laps here. Dodging release slide debris as large as microwaves up to refrigerators. Finished with a couple of inbounds runs top to bottom then bailed.

    Jon bound for Whistler tomorrow, long drive home for Mumbles. Trip stats: $56 in gas, some 290 miles round trip…plus two ferry rides, about 3 1/2 hours each way. Long day. If you read this far, thanks. I typed this far, this is how glazed I looked upon the return home…tired!
    Mumbles evening return

    I’m truly hooked, this was fun, within my skill level and riding with Jon was great. We will hook up more as time permits, and now anyone needing a partner, let me know. I’ve been riding inbounds there for about 7 years and this was my first time with a partner to go out the Arm. I will pretty much try anything, this splitboarding shit really rocks.


    @mumbles wrote:

    My plate bindings on my verts (DIY Mod) were too far back making my weight too far from toes.

    I made the same mistake! I tried my modded verts on soft corn and they s-u-c-k-e-d. The toe would dig in but the vert would flex under my foot an pop out. After consultation with jimw I believe I mounted the pucks too far back. The slider pin should be way up on the line of the two very farthest forward holes in the vert body. Mine were maybe 1 1/2″ too far back. Also I think in a boot pack boots or crampons would work better because verts don’t fit in the divots as well. My understanding is that they really excel in steep powder, although I haven’t tried it yet. If you’ve read this far thanks and get a camera.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.


    Storn, you are funny as hell. I have a camera, but today was a long day for me…viddy soon if I can get it uploaded. I’ll retool my verts. I agree with the boot pack making verts less effective. Jon did a good job hammering his into the bootpack, so we made the already firm platforms even better. I ended up removing mine after the first half of our hike out and only use the boots to kick up and down steps. Some of the downstepping and downclimbing was sketchy due to the hard pack conditions.

    If you read this far I said Jon took some pics and I forgot my hand held in the truck. Thanks man.


    right on. after scrubfest i had to get back to real life, but i was wondering how the snow was. sounds like it is getting pretty done out there, hopefully we will get some more this weekend.


    Welcome back Jack. Bootpack and route out was really hammered and as you know heavily travelled. Bulletproff in stretches makes for tough going. Snow on the drop in and upper sections was quality powder even though sun softened. It was heavily tracked due to the use rate and the lack of fresh. I hope you brought some snow back from splitfest. Keep us posted on any gear shortcomings you may have after the subaru assault.

    To all, my viddy was long, shaky like my head was a bobble head and not well positioned for best field of view. Until I can find some editing tools to give you only the better of the frames, you all have to deal with my center console and ugly ass mug. Viddy editing tips welcome.


    Nice trip! I’ve been to Baker a bunch but have yet to get out on the arm. It is definatly impressive to just look at. I’d love to get out there and ride on it sometime. Didn’t sound like the best hiking condtions though.

    If you have read this far… You didn’t miss much Sunday. I ended up taking the dogs about a mile up an unplowed forest road, found a really cool mushroom patch and lapped it a couple times, and was able to ride the road all the wa back to the car. I did it again on Monday, except I passed the mushroom patch and went a little further to some lightly treed, lower angle slopes.

    I’ll probably be going back at least once this weekend. Your welcome to join me. It’s just me and the dogs again.


    Just to confirm….you posted two pics of your mug, one pic of your car stereo, and no pics of snow? 😕

    Glad you got out and had fun either way!


    I like how the morning and evening closeup portraits look almost identical. Mumbles, you should be ear to ear grinning dude. And you got out with the legendary Jon Dahl. You’re making progress.


    this splitboarding shit really rocks

    but you didn’t split dude.

    Yes, I’m still givin’ you shit.


    Ale: No riding for Mumbles this weekend, wife has to work and work, but I’m dying to get out with you. Conditions were better than expected, but less than ideal. We still got some and that is enough for me.

    BCR: Mumbles is a dumb ass who left the camera sitting on the front seat after meeting as PJ says “the legendary Jon Dahl”. So stoked to ride I forgot the hand held. Should have put it in a pocket, it is smaller than a deck of cards. Dumb ass, I know. As for the viddy, can’t get it to load because I left the camera run too long. I don’t have or don’t know if I have any editing software to pair it down to riding appropirate stuff. Maybe in time I will get to where I can post a 1 minute clip from a 15 minute recording session with some wicked background music to make it dripping with stoke. So for now you have to deal with my ugly mug…twice. Only thing different was the base layer shirt before and after (but they are the same so only your nose would know the difference) and my beanie.

    PJ: Too tired to smile knowing that about 7 hours of my day would be in the car on the way out and after the day I was too tired to smile knowing that I still had a honey do list of things when I got home. No I did not split, but splitting got me in touch with Jon Dahl. That got me out on the Shuksan Arm that I have coveted from #8 forever. I also rode my AT boots and plate bindings that I only got into after, so yes this splitboard shit kicks serious ass, even if I apply the things I have learned from many of you into bc, resort, split or solid riding. At almost 40 to be reinventing how I ride is an almost spiritual thing that reminds me daily on how much I love the mountains.

    Thanks to all.


    Awesome stoke!

    I’m gonna go sit in the front seat of my car right now!! 😆


    BG, sorry to be such a disappointment. My helmet cam vid was not nearly what yours was. I was hoping that forum members could read and not just do the picture pages. Maybe my truck never left the garage and I dreamed it all up…besides Jon Dahl has neither confirmed nor denied any such trip. I’m convinced I’m making it all up.


    This one time, at band camp, I went snowboarding and didn’t post a trip report.


    Dammit I cant see the purdy pictures……how come?


    Virgin exploration

    where are the virgins? 😳


    hey at least your getting out there. keep it up.

    i was laughing at this thought – dude you should play the helmet cam vid on your tv then take a pic of the tv and post that 😛

    hows that for an editing “tool”?


    I feel your pain – got two ferry rides every day I go riding, usually twice a week. Usually the drive afterwards is only about an hour or 1.5 to destinations. But, I’ve done day trips up to Baker several times. It’s best not to add up the costs, just remain ignorant and bring a book/mag. You know it’s worth it.


    At almost 40 to be reinventing how I ride is an almost spiritual thing that reminds me daily on how much I love the mountains.

    Humph……40 …….dang whippersnapper….you aint even dry behind the ears yet 🙂


    i have to say, TEX is the crusty-est old dude around. 😆


    Loom, great point on the costs. What i need to do is remember how many $56 lift tickets I did not buy each time I split. This trip involved a Baker lift ticket, but to hook up with, as they say, the legendary Jon Dahl was worth the price of admission.

    Tex, yes, I’m still a punk and learning a new trick. I hate the learning curve, which is why I’m so into this forum. Answers to questions, sometimes even before I have them, and even opinions that have proven valuable.

    Jack, when is your mountain getting fresh snow? Riding on week or more old stuff is better than not riding, but jcocci took me out on a day that was ridiculously fresh and deep. Now I’m spoiled, but keeping anywhere close to him was a hell of a workout for my lazy ass.

    Jon Dahl

    Well, I’m uploading these from tinypic, and I hope it works. Met mumbles at White Salmon for some turns. Originally, I was trying to arrainge a meetup with a few longboard guys, but it washed out. The Rad-Air test rider I know broke his ankle playing rugby, and refried had car trouble, and the rest is history. Sure was looking forward to test riding the 08/09 200 Tanker! The Arm was decent climbing up from the chair, but quickly became icy on the ridgeline. Went from Verts to boots about halfway up, to 5-6 inches of pow after the pyramid. Defered first turns to mumbles ’cause he was so stoked just to be there All in all was a fun day making laps, especially in the bowl off of 8. This was a good shakedown day for my vert setup, mumbles crampon addition will be copied by me. Called ‘er a day around 2.30, Monday was a full day of hard carvin’ turns at Crystal with a nice little group. Spent Wednesday riding moguls at Whistler. Legs shot, mogul technique improved, and looking forward to some more Baker area exploration with mumbles. On splits….away from the crowds…secret area….bwahahaha![/img]

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