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Squak round 3

WA Cascades West Slopes North (Mt Baker)
Posted by kamtron on 6/1/23 10:17am

Went up the mountain again yesterday and figured people would appreciate a conditions update. We skinned from the road and had to take skis off the feet twice in the forest, but it's still mostly continuous on the winter route. The glacier is still well-covered and free of sun cups, although there are skier and boot tracks that have added some texture. There was a pesky marine layer that floated above us as we ascended, but we were mostly able to see the summit as we climbed.

Conditions were looking very nice for corn with the cooler temps, so we hot-lapped the Roman wall down the Deming glacier for something like a 1500' run. It was excellent fast, firm corn, maybe a little under-soft for some tastes. Then it was slog time back up to Grant peak for a ski into the crater. This was my first time doing that and it was great. We scoped the route from our ascent and linked crevasse-free sections down to the crater ice cap. I think this route will be out of condition very soon, however. There was even better buttery corn for the crater descent.

A short skin and dirty climb over the ridge had us atop the Squak for our final descent. The cloud deck had risen a couple hundred feet during the day and we figured we would ski below it and still have decent vis. It was fun fast corn down to the cloud layer. Then we had to put on the brakes, hard, because we skied through dense cloud with very little visibility until the meadows below crag view. Kind of a bummer not to be able to rip that section, because it was the best snow I've had top to bottom in a while! Oh well. A nice day out with my good friend John.

Middle fork Nooksack headwall


Looking into the crater


Crater ski


Below the murk


Right on, I really like the crater/Sherman linkup. I call it the BBQ tour. 

BBQ, fitting, I certainly felt like I was roasting in there! Hopefully no lava decides to fully cook you while chilling in crater

Thanks for the inspiration, that crater run is sweet! Such a unique run. 

A little update on conditions from yesterday: we took the summer trail and it was melted out below 4,200', solid snow once on the ridge at 4,600'.  Roman wall was dusty with penitentes, glad we weren't skiing it. A couple bridges on the crater run that won't last much longer. Talum was smooth and excellent!

Nice, Lane... how did you get to the Talum? Downclimb/ski from summit or something else? It's a little funkier than in my past travels there

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2023-06-01 17:17:50