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| |-+  December 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
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Author Topic: December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker  (Read 2925 times)

Posts: 68

December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
« on: 12/20/12, 04:49 PM »

All of finals week Pat and I got to hear how good conditions were from our friends who were done already. By Thursday night we were stoked as hell to get after it.

I called my buddy Woods telling him we wanted to ski some new lines off of Herman, and he informed me he had been in the zone I was describing that day, and that it was going to be epic.

We picked him up in Glacier and we're on our way breaking trail from Heather Meadows by 8.

After getting a good feel for the snow stability we were confident that dropping in on the Stone Man Couloir would be an excellent choice.

Woods had been breaking trail for several days straight, and Pat was starting a week long hut trip the next day so I happily took the lead setting our trail the whole day, or at least partly. I've been skiing on some 75 mm underfoot K2 Explorers since June (Which I bought as part of a full dynafit setup for a screaming deal from RonJ here on TAY) and while they are light and nice for touring for me, the split boarders had to push more snow around to follow my track.

My Badass oldschool setup. Several days of skiing suncups faster than I probably should have popped the upper buckles leaving only the booster straps from my downhill boots to support me these days.

I followed Woods over the roll and down the steep and narrow entrance making jump turns like a real old school skier until things opened up a bit more.

Pat went first and ripped the chute making big fast turns and beat his sluff to the bottom.

I dropped next and gently floated down the chute, frequently stopping for my sluff which was minimal, but enough to push my skis around with my loose boots.

At the bottom of the chute there was a mostly filled in rocky point that one could ski right of, or go left through a nice tight chute out onto the apron. Pat, scoping from the bottom, told me it went and I was too stoked to resist. I pointed my skis through the short chute and came out cooking onto the apron. I had skied lines like this plenty of times before, but never on this setup. Two full tomohawks killed all my speed before I made it to the flats. Good thing powder is soft.

Further down Woods led us into a beautiful chute he had scoped the day before. We couldn't tell that it went from above, but he was confident it did, and dropped in first.

I went second again and hop turned through the first choke, and then found the whiteroom when the chute opened up and rolled over. I pulled up before the exit which turned out to be a 50 foot long choke as narrow as the first one but steeper. I started to hop turn down it but after a couple turns my sluff pulled on me and I found myself straightlining again. I made a couple turns on the apron before blowing up with one good header this time.

Pat going through the exit

From the bottom of the chute we started up again to the top of a point we had gotten only a quick glimpse of through the clouds.

Splitboarders, at least the ones I ride with like steep skin tracks. I on the other prefer not to use my risers unless I have to. I also think that choosing a trail is one of the most fun parts of touring, and I thoroughly enjoyed drawing my mellow line up the mountain canvas.

The way we had scoped as the best route to the top turned out to be pretty steep and exposed, so we chose to boot up a chute that we hoped went all the way up before getting onto the exposure. When a cliff blocked our way we tried going right and found ourselves on the ridge to the summit. Hurrah!

The final run of the day was epic. From the summit we dropped in on a nice open bowl that funneled into a steep chute which ran for about 1000 vert, just wide enough to make fantastic turns the whole way down.

The end of the chute brought us into some great tree skiing which opened into a rad pillow field!

Woods sending it

I mostly skirted around the big pillows, having finally learned my lesson from earlier in the day until we got to a nice 15 ft double drop that had to be aired to make it out of the zone without hiking.

We all hot tubbed in the flat landing

From here we could have traversed and climbed back to Heather Meadows but instead we decided to continue downhill to the highway where we figured one of our many friends at the ski area that day would take us back to the upper lot.

It turned out coverage was not very good, and we had an exiting time navigating a huge deadfall zone. Think skiing on top of a beaver dam with only 3 ft of snow on it. Thankfully none of us fell in a hole and after some careful moves we were on our way navigating the brushy forest again.

By 345 we were at the creek crossing and worried about making it to the highway in time to catch a ride.

Some more bushwack skiing got us to the road by 4 o clock where, incredibly, we only waited a minute before a group of skiers from Vancouver stopped and agreed to take me back to Heather Meadows. I owe you guys one!

On the drive home we were thoroughly enjoying the buzz that follows an incredible day, already reminiscing about the awesome turns we got when all of a sudden we heard Pat's roof rack pop open and our gear spill out onto the road. Thankfully nobody was behind us, but before we could retrieve our gear my skis and wood's board was run over totaling his board and my dynafit bindings.

Woods lives in a trailer in Glacier and rides the backcountry 200+ days a year and gets by doing odd jobs for friends. Prior Snowboards has offered him a deal on a new splitboard for 700 bucks but he doesn't have any cash. Myself, Pat, our buddy Jacob and two more of Woods's friends from cali have all agreed to put in 100 bucks to get him a new board, and many of my friends have offered to pitch in 10  or 20 bucks after I posted the story on facebook. Hopefully he will have enough for a new board soon and will be back out lapping Herman every day in no time!

As for myself, before breaking my bindings this trip convinced me that I needed to buy new boots, but now I'm ready to buy both. I've got some money saved up so I can ski to my heart's content while I do independent study the next two quarters, but both new boots and new dynafits would wipe most of it out.

I figure I'll probably buy boots new because they are the most important piece of gear to get right but if anybody here could cut me a deal on some Dyanfit bindings it would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Shredding,

Posts: 153

Re: December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
« Reply #1 on: 12/20/12, 05:26 PM »

Sounds like a rad day! Sucks about your gear.


Posts: 46

Re: December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/12, 02:27 PM »

Nice TR, Herman is my favorite for easy access

Might not be the fastest but I get where I'm going!

Posts: 77

Re: December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
« Reply #3 on: 01/03/13, 05:30 PM »

I'm sitting here with Woods now. He's got something to say
"I need another board Howie breaks sticks"  Embarrassed 

Posts: 73

Re: December 14, 2012, Steep and Deep at Baker
« Reply #4 on: 01/09/13, 08:29 PM »

Nice guys! Way to kill it! Sometimes, that is also my credo, " Turn or Burn!" Hope the new splitboard is a coming!
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