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March 2, 2003, Mt. Baker Backcountry

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
Posted by Gregg_C on 3/2/03 8:09pm
Loaded up Larry's van for another steller day in the Backer backcountry.  Larry, Jim, my son Adrian and his friend Chris pilled in early Sunday morning in Bellingham.  Two tele skiers, two teenage snowboarders and myself as the token randonee guy.  We had one no show who thought the conditions were going to be bad.  He did however loan Chris a transceiver prior to bailing out.  Thanks David!

Got excited on the way up when it started snowing at 2,000 ft.  The ski up Hermann was horrible; rock hard ice crust with no snow cover.  Our northeast facing bowl was in great condition.  Last weeks pit told me that conditions were improved and quite stable.  Ten inches of new over last weeks storm cycle snow.  Stormy day so we had to time the runs with the visibility.  Yo Yo 'ed the slope all day.  David, Joe and Tiffany show up from Seattle and also get to enjoy the conditions.  The ski back down Hermann was fun, three inches of snow over the ice. Fast GS turns all the way down to the valley bottom.  The boys show us how it is done by ripping down at high speed.  Fun day in typical stormy Baker conditions.  Hope the bad weather lasts!

Thanks for your report. We ( 2 telemarkers and 1 AT skier) got off to a leisurly 9 am start after a delicious, hot and very filling breakfast at the Mountaineers Baker lodge. Saw your tracks, but we spent the "early" part of the morning on the N. side of Table Mountain. Very nice powder over there, avy report was right on, bomber snowpack. We got up to the saddle about 1 pm. Yes, anything that got sun Saturday was pretty crusty on the way up. It made for easy trailbreaking though! On the decent we again stayed to the Table side for dreamy powder that was only hampered by not being able to see a skilength in front of me. You had periods of relative visibility?  :) All in all another good winter day in the backcountry.



Rain pelted the windshield as we drove through Skagit Valley early Sunday morning on our way up to Mt. Baker. The weather seemed pretty grim (at least compared to sunny skies the day before). Going to see a movie in Bellingham was even suggested. The lure of snow won, though. Even marginal snow is better than most movies (well, sometimes). We skinned up towards Herman Saddle in crusty, icy conditions. Visibility ranged from clear broth to pea soup (say, what movies are playing anyway?). Deciding to explore Mazama Dome, we climbed up to a pass adjacent Herman Saddle and discovered Gregs party skiing the north face (see report above). They had already poached the first run, and I should add, put in a nice up-track for us ;D  Much to our pleasure there was plenty of powder for everyone. As Greg said, we had to time our shots with the random cloud openings; otherwise it was skiing by Braille.

All in all it was an amazing day. You can never beat skiing with good friends. Add nice fluffy, deep powder and it makes for a memorable experience.  Heres to more great tours  :)



Glad that you folks passed on the movie!  It was great meeting you and your party.  We were impressed with your tele turns!  You can always share a slope with us.  Email me anytime for info on Mt. Baker Backcountry.
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2003-03-03 04:09:29