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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  August 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  August 28th, Ptarmigan Ridge (Baker)
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Author Topic: August 28th, Ptarmigan Ridge (Baker)  (Read 2414 times)

Posts: 7

August 28th, Ptarmigan Ridge (Baker)
« on: 08/31/10, 10:11 PM »

Second try on posting as the last one vanished...  I had not been to Baker since before I even lived in WA, and have never been in the summer.  So this trip was long overdue!  Drove up to Artist Point on Saturday and hiked Ptarmigan Ridge mostly as exploration of a new area...but also making sure to get my August turns!  Turned out to be beautiful weather, sunny and blue skies most of day, and a bit chilly in the morning which was a great feeling.  Ranger mentioned there was quite a snow squal on Friday which pumped me up as well.

Hiked roughly 6 miles to Coleman Pinnicle and enjoyed amazing views of Baker and Sholes Glacier (which looked fantastic).  Threw the skis on and pieced together just over 1000 vertical...fantastic considering that was just about the vertical we climbed as well!  Of course I had a decent portage and a short hike up a snow covered gully to get back to front of ridge, but altogether I had the skis on until roughly 2 flat miles left to the car!!!  Pretty fantastic for August.

Snow was suncupped, but its August who cares?  Top layer was actually pretty soft (possibly from Friday snow? i'm an optimist). Very turnable and TONS OF FUN to be out there again!  Even saw a few tiny snow flurries while putting the gear on.  Saw 2 other skiers near the Pinnacle, they headed down before me and looked like they pieced together a similar run.  Great day!!

On Sunday we hiked Heliotrope just for kicks.  At 6000 feet we had a crazy sleet-storm!  I'm calling it snow since it accumulated on my season's right around the corner!! Smiley Smiley

* 082810baker.jpg (117.71 KB, 1000x753 - viewed 554 times.)

* 082810ptarmigan.jpg (167.08 KB, 1000x747 - viewed 559 times.)

* 082810ski.jpg (49.31 KB, 1000x669 - viewed 566 times.)
James Wells

Posts: 487

Re: August 28th, Ptarmigan Ridge (Baker)
« Reply #1 on: 08/31/10, 10:23 PM »

Wow, thanks for the timely report and nice pix.  Nice to know that 1k or close to it is still available (or was, 3 days ago).  Sometimes there is a good snow traverse high on the NW side of the ridge that can get you most of the way to the basin below CP, looks like some of that might be intact, great for cutting down the hike.

Posts: 5

Re: August 28th, Ptarmigan Ridge (Baker)
« Reply #2 on: 09/01/10, 10:41 PM »

Hey man.  My fiance and I were out there on Saturday.  We made it as far as the first run you can see in your first photo where you can hike above the trail and ski way below.  Then 2 more on the way back to the car.  You just can't complain about skiing in August.
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