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Summer skiing photos from Ptarmigan Ridge, Mt. Baker backcountry
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a skiing trip to Ptarmigan Ridge in the Mt. Baker backcountry. A hot summer had melted a low of snow, but we found 1000 vf skiing runs on Ptarmigan Ridge, in the vicinity of Coleman Pinnacle, with great views of both Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from September 1, 2003:
Ptarmigan Ridge, Coleman Pinnacle, Washington, August 15, 2003
Ptarmigan Ridge, north side, with Mt. Baker
Ptarmigan Ridge, north side,
with Mt. Baker
Mt. Shuksan, west side
Mt. Shuksan, west side
Ptarmigan ridge, south side, with Coleman Pinnacle
Ptarmigan ridge, south side,
with Coleman Pinnacle
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Pete, skiing first run
Booting first run
Booting first run
Mt. Baker, northeast side, with Park Glacier
Mt. Baker, northeast side,
with Park Glacier
Charles, skiing second run
Charles, skiing second run
Charles, skiing second run
Charles, skiing second run
Charles, skiing second run
Charles, skiing second run
Mountain goats
Mountain goats
Hiking and Mt. Shuksan
Hiking and Mt. Shuksan
Mt. Shuksan
Mt. Shuksan


Photos by Pete Pearson and Charles Eldridge

Associated trip report: The forecast had been threatening all week that a low would drag in the cool marine air, finally settling on the afternoon of the day Pete and I had chosen to do some August turns. With that in mind we got an early, 11:00 AM, start under sunny and warm conditions. Nice trail hike with both Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan out in their full beauty. We checked over the saddle just north of Pt 5831 but it looked like the longer runs on the north side of Ptarmigan Ridge were in the area of Coleman Pinnacle (as we had surmised from earlier trip reports), so we kept on the trail to below Coleman Pinnacle. We booted to the top of the east-facing snowfield there, then to the ridge to look at the north-facing runs, which were perhaps a little longer than on the trail side of the ridge, but well suncupped and, we guessed, not softening as much. So we skied the east-facing run down across the trail, then over a lip, by a waterfall, and to the end of the tongue of snow; about 800vf, not too badly suncupped, fairly well softened.
   We booted back to the trail, hiked it a short distance and then about 100' down the ridge which runs south toward a lake. There, we were able to put on the skis and glide/skate across to the top of a north-facing run which lies just under Pt 5847. The snow had looked less suncupped on this run from afar, but this turned out to be an illusion, and it was firmer than our first run. It was a little too jarring at the top to be fun, but the turning got somewhat better as we descended. Part way down we spooked a group of mountain goats into displaying their rock climbing prowess on the nearby orange cliffs, and skied to the end of the snow at ~4800'. Pete being a geologist, on the way back up we pondered the wide variety of rocks and deposits, and were able to climb directly back to the bottom of our first run and use our steps to regain the trail. The marine air seemed to arrive at this time, with a single dark band of clouds and a few sprinkles of rain, but this quickly passed and the sun returned for the hike out. Back at the car, evidence that the marine air was pushing in could be seen in a band of fog forming along the west side of Mt. Shuksan and pouring over Shuksan Arm. With luck (decent October snow), only one more difficult month to go!
Charles Eldridge

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