Shuksan, White Salmon

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
Posted by Jaysen on 3/28/21 1:55pm

Had a monster day with Derrick and almost got to the summit of Shuksan. Snow under 4500’ was isothermal and unbearably potatotastic, and the snow above 5000’ was what powder dreams were made of. Lots of signs of wind effect, but no deterring signs of cohesion or slab formation. We saw some massive debris piles and avy tracks from wet slides the day before and had a party trying to navigate them. All the glaciers were completely covered in snow and we saw no signs of crevasses but we roped up anyways and crossed the fingers. We probably could have gotten away without bringing any traction whatsoever with the powder and styrofoam snow we had, but better safe than sorry! We got within a hundred or so vertical feet of the summit before we submitted to the 40 MPH winds and impending storm and bailed. Oh well. Also the exit ticket that is the 1000’ vertical ladder at the bottom of the valley to regain the resort had me questioning my purpose in life.


Does anyone else use BD Fritschi bindings?? Mine freeze solid below 28 degrees and have often become unusable, which is a joy when your about to rip 4k powder. Im about ready to burn mine at the stake.


About to descend Hells highway


Looking up before gaining the curtis


Avy debris for days


Looking down the white salmon


on Hells Highway


booting towards the summit


Quintessential foot photo

That first shot is great!

Strong work and beautiful pics. I have done that tour 3 times and never summited. Next time . . .  I know what you mean about the climb out of the White Salmon drainage  to the ski area. If it weren't for cold beer waiting at the car, my body would be somewhere on that slope. I have used just about every iteration of the Fritschis starting with the Titanals. I have never had an issue with them "freezing up" other than wet snow getting packed into that stupid red plate under the heel of the Freeride Pros and making it impossible to lock your heel down until you clear it. I wouldn't use any of the Fritschis that came after the original Freerides, having had the toe mount plates crack at the mounting screw hole multiple times. This can result in "free toe" skiing, which doesn't "free your mind" but, instead, fills it with despair. I still have a pair of the original Freerides (yellow and gray) mounted on a pair of skis that I use mostly inbounds, so I can rock my purple/yellow with zebra stripes Full Tilts. I'm going to be cremated in those boots.

@Bigeo, hopefully when youre cremated they can use the skis as a nice little box for the ashes, it would be a nice touch! 

Yeah I find that snow gets packed in seemingly every part of these bindings, and then, assuming its below freezing out, it freezes everything solid. Spring touring has treated me really well in them because you can THRASH but so far winter and SkiMo has rendered them frozen and dangerous. Is it worth bringing a thermos of hot water for them? probably not? 

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2021-03-28 20:55:00