Baker - 02/12/2022 Big Sun

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13 Feb 2022 19:28 #235710 by ddk
Baker - 02/12/2022 Big Sun was created by ddk
Ski Report - Aaaahhhh what to say?  Ultra-late report but I think it's still relevant for the future.  

Short report - We saw big spectacular views that I had forgotten about, the sun was big, the snowpack is very nice and deep but a lot of it was unskiiable due to icy conditions off piste - but we were skiing on a day I always ski in February! Made me happy.

The very too long wordy report -

Baker snowpack is very nice - seen it deeper but its way better than at Crystal, the places we skied we didn't notice any problems with rockage, coverage very good out of the White Salmon base area (biggest best most impressive views of any mountains from a base lodge, especially of Mt Shuksan! Very impressive yesterday, best views in the state).  Only skied that side of Baker, wasn't sure about what it would be like for #1 off Pan Dome and Heather Medows area (plus the up and over lift between the two sides always had more folks standing in line than I was willing to suffer). She was skiing strong, and her edges are way sharper than mine, so probably would have been fine in hindsight.  Arrived kinda late - 8:30ish after a longer than expected drive...pretty drive, but we were in sad traffic.  Arrived to what I hoped for - a couple of rows from the lodge main entrance, still mostly empty huge parking lot - fingers crossed!  No lift lines early and mostly during our visit (except for that C-4 lift).  All the lifts our slow/fast 4 packs (lift Opps work hard swinging those chairs - some better than others).  Only problem was most of Baker slopes are kinda north westerly facing, so even with 40 degree temps the places we skied were only groomers. Would have been a big day in late March or April when the sun could actually soften the off piste areas.  Other problem!  Skiing the groomers with downhill racers, surprisingly clueless snowboarders and kamikaze kids that straight line everything in a snowplow (new age pizza wedge - ouch crazy).  Much more stressful for me than the worst times at Crystal and that's saying a lot.  Saw multiple stupid situations and accidents.  Other negative - with limited off piste options the main lines off the top of the lifts are all kinda like skiing the backside cat track to Lucky Shot at Crystal - fast racers, beginners, crazy kids, wacky snowboarders - ouch!

Other expected unexpected was the lack of Canadian folks- expected that but also expected a little more mellow situation.... but by noon the huge parking lot was full (nice views from the top of it) and when we left, we drove up to the Heather Medows base area - packed wall to wall - every person in northwest Washington was there (plus lots of folks from other US states - but no Canuk plates.  Drive up and sadly down was kinda slow and in traffic on the main Baker highway...but it's a very pretty drive from Sedro Woolley....I5 early pleasant, I5 late doable.... Long day kinda like driving to Whistler for the day (ever done that - I have) .... yesterday was 6 hrs driving for 4 hours of happy mostly skiing! It was actually a fun time...

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