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Author Topic: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,249  (Read 7973 times)
Charles
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February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,249
« on: 02/09/04, 07:30 AM »

After months of unrelenting pressure on my part, Mark finally gave in and agreed to let me accompany him to one of his Baker bc stashes. Russ and I drove up to Bellingham to meet Mark, and by the time we were ready to leave the ski area parking lot, our group had added Gregg and his son, SB, and Mike. Low clouds hung over the landscape, with slight flurries, but visibility was good at ground level as we started skinning toward Bagley Lakes.

Then, apparently to prevent Russ and me from figuring out the location of the stash from our route, Mark called down the fog gods, with whom he seems to have very good rapport. Within minutes, we were in the densest whiteout I have ever experienced. This continued for the entire duration of our skin out to the stash, which sure seemed like a long way in the fog but which we were assured was actually quite short, and we had no idea where we ended up for our runs. The snow was very good for travelling, with several inches of loose overnight new on top of 8-12" of dense but dry, overlying a solid rain crust. Only near ridgetops or the very top of our runs were there significant wind effects, typically scouring down to the crust. The day before Mike had dug several pits, including one 1.5m down, and things looked and acted very stable.

As soon as we reached the stash, Mark again called to the fog gods and the cloud base lifted to the top of our intended runs. The light was still a bit flat at times, but visibility was generally good. We made four runs at the stash, from N to W facing, generally topping out around 5500' for each. The skiing was great! Not the legendary Baker faceshots-all-day type, but fast, consistent, and very carvable, with nice powder plumes from all. Gregg's son, on a split board, showed all the old-timers how elegant bc snowboarding can be.

Starting the trip back, I thought Mark might slip up and inadvertently let Russ and me figure out where we were, but low chanting from below signalled the return of the fog. For a last run, we headed to "The Line" near Table Mountain, and only then did we get any views to identify our location. Thanks a lot, Mark!

Here's a shot of our mystical leader, on the third run:


It was a great outing with a group of excellent sliders, and though Mark did an impressive job of preventing Russ and me from figuring out where this stash lay, he did fail to invoke the "official stashworthiness protocol". Unbeknownst to Mark, Russ had brought his GPS unit, and upon uploading the waypoints, we were able to figure out where we had been. Here's a link for the topo with route superimposed:
route map

Thanks Mark, and see you again soon!
« Last Edit: 02/21/04, 07:28 AM by admin » Logged
russ
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/04, 08:17 AM »

Damn, no wonder my legs are tired today.  Wink
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curmudgeon
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #2 on: 02/09/04, 09:34 AM »

I was just preparing to post our Baker frolics very near where you folks were.  Since we were in the same area, I'll submit as a comment to your report.

Saturday Rod and I scouted around Table Mountain (the Chain Lakes Loop) for suitable chutes, runs and aspects. We found a few to our liking, most notably the long snowfinger to the skiers left of Mazama point, the rocky outcrop on the SW corner of the Mazama Plateau.  Ours were the only tracks between the Artists Point ridge and Herman Saddle. The new 6-12 inches of snow was holding well to the layers beneath.

Sunday the snow had a cold night to have further bonded, and we were confident that it was bomber in the bc.  We left the parking lot ahead of the local tele all-star band, headed for Herman Saddle once again. The following horde must have veered off to other pastures, because we were again the only folks there.

After a run down to Chain Lakes to cut some steep stuff and test our stability confidence, we skinned to the ridgetop to the north of Herman Saddle (south rim of Mazama Bolw), hoping to ski into a nice little gully we had spotted previously, just to the skiers left of the prominent and cliffy nose. Above about 5800 ft. we found an unsettling crust below the 14 inches of day-old snow. So we retreated to below the crust level, entered the chute via the telemarkers entrance, and did what we do. We decided that something like that should have a name we can refer to it by, so it has now become known as Coreshot Gluch.  That oughta keep the poachers out!

We continued down and across the upper Chain Lake and did a climbing traverse to the Inner Glacier, that band of perpetual snow between the Table and Mazama plateaus. After staring into the fog for a half hour, we were rewarded with enough of a light break to carve up the Table upper hourglass, known locally as Alaska Amber. We exited down hidden Gulley, that delightful chute that you cannot see from the ski area or Bagley lakes, but which dominated the drools of those skinning up Bagley Peak and Herman Saddle.  Again, ours were the only tracks we saw until almost back to Bagley Lake  with the exception of one lone skinner headed for the Coleman Pinnacle area.  (Expect a TR from Darin shortly!)

I love Super Bowls and Banked Slaloms!
« Last Edit: 02/09/04, 01:48 PM by tim_place » Logged
Gregg_C
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #3 on: 02/09/04, 09:55 AM »

It was a wonderfull day with some great companions.We talk a lot about the snow on this site but sometimes we forgot how important the companions are to the BC experiance.  This was a steller group, great stories on the up track and excellent role models for my 16 year old.  (Thanks you Mark for not telling your drug stories-hitch hiking across Africa was adequate).  
On the way home I was a bit wistfull, my son whom I dragged up to Baker early in life actually drove us both up there for the first time.  A couple of years and he will be off having his own adverntures in life.  (I tried to raise him right but he bailed on the skiis at age nine and became a knuckle dragger).  It was special to be with this group and get to see him interact with a fine group of skiers and conversationalists.  
Charles, you are welcome anytime, but only after a full body search for the hidden GPS!!!
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dberdinka
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #4 on: 02/09/04, 11:04 AM »

"with the exception of one lone skinner headed for the Coleman Pinnacle area.  (Expect a TR from Darin shortly!)
"

Not me! I'm way to lazy to break trail to Coleman Pinnacle in those conditions.  With an early start on Sunday we skied the super-duper-secret SE ridge of Artists Point before crust pushed us onto much nicer slopes on it's east face,  skied "The Line" on the way out and were drinking beer at the north fork by 1 PM.
« Last Edit: 02/09/04, 11:18 AM by dberdinka » Logged
snoslut
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #5 on: 02/10/04, 12:13 AM »

Funny how conditions can be so different depending on where you were.  Anyway with all the excitement over the weekend I failed to mention conditions in greater detail.  Sorry.  I will make the adjustment on my original trip report.
« Last Edit: 02/10/04, 12:39 AM by boarddude » Logged

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
markharf
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #6 on: 02/10/04, 04:42 AM »

Imagine my shock, horror and outrage at discovering this morning that Charles and Russ had betrayed my trust by revealing that the backcountry stash formerly known as "The Secret Bowl Where Everybody Goes" is actually the hard-frozen debris fan formed by serac fall off the Hanging Glacier!  Even worse, their utter moral collapse rendered meaningless the four and a half hours I spent leading them around in random circles within a pharmaceutically-enhanced fogbank: time I might otherwise have preferred to spend enjoying the warm, friendly sunshine otherwise prevalent on Sunday.

Expect a letter from my in-house legal team later this week re: all your worldly assets, past, present and future.  It's time somebody taught you stash-poachers and publicity hounds a lesson.  

cordially yours,

Mark

PS: I'm not sure I care for the label "Telemarker's Entrance" as applied to the lower and less-precipitous entry to Coreshot Gully.  I've suffered sufficient emotional trauma already this week. Perhaps something a bit more neutral in tone, like Charon's Gate, or Carnage Chasm.
« Last Edit: 02/10/04, 04:44 AM by markharf » Logged
Charles
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #7 on: 02/11/04, 05:48 AM »

Quote
...in random circles within a pharmaceutically-enhanced fogbank

Oh, so that's why you kept insisting on sharing your water with us on the drive up.
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markharf
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #8 on: 02/11/04, 06:27 AM »

Naw.  It was the Fig Newtons.
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David_Lowry
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #9 on: 02/11/04, 10:21 AM »

Fill me in.  Is this partly a joke or partly an object lesson, or both? Huh
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russ
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #10 on: 02/11/04, 11:48 AM »

Quote
Fill me in.  Is this partly a joke or partly an object lesson, or both? Huh


Joke, JOKE - this is no laughing matter. There is nothing more prime than making sure secret stashes don't get propagated. Blind-folds, pharmaceuticals, threats of death are all fair means. Venture into the Mt Baker outback at your own risk - the locals will go to any means to protect the goods. Oh ya, if you do go, remember to spoon your turns.
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Gregg_C
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #11 on: 02/11/04, 02:22 PM »

It gets worse Mark.  That unrepentent Eldridge posted a picture of Mike on the cover of Telemark.tips.com.  The digital camera code scrambler (Model 220Excaliber) that we installed last summer has malfunctioned.  All is lost.... Angry
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markharf
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #12 on: 02/11/04, 02:38 PM »

Heh heh.  Lookit Mike fly! (http://www.telemarktips.com/index.htm)  Nicely timed, Charles.

Mark  

PS: Skijorer, be the fishhook, not the fish.  

Edit to add: Mike's brush with fame was surprisingly short-lived.  He's already been supplanted by someone moving way more slowly.  
« Last Edit: 02/15/04, 12:55 PM by markharf » Logged
russ
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #13 on: 02/12/04, 03:13 AM »

Gregg_C - change plans, we're head to Roger's Pass this weekend - check your messages on this board. - Russ
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David_Lowry
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #14 on: 02/12/04, 03:29 AM »

russ, thanks!!!  I get confused sometimes.

Mark, always with good advice, thank you too.

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Charles
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #15 on: 02/13/04, 06:28 AM »

Quote
That unrepentent Eldridge posted a picture of Mike on the cover of Telemark.tips.com.(

Well, when I asked Mike if it would be OK to post photos of him, he replied, "make me famous", so I'm trying. Anyone else?
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markharf
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #16 on: 02/15/04, 11:54 AM »

I am considering renaming The Secret Bowl Where Everybody Goes.  From now on, I think I'll call it "Eldridge Bowl."

Edit: remove extraneous mumbo-jumbo.
« Last Edit: 02/15/04, 04:36 PM by markharf » Logged
David_Lowry
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Re: February 8, 2004, secret Baker bc stash #734,2
« Reply #17 on: 02/16/04, 11:52 AM »

Wouldn't that be the "Eldridge Detritus"?
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