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Author Topic: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16  (Read 17194 times)
Glacierbrains
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Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« on: 11/17/13, 12:35 PM »

Skied at Mt. Baker Ski Area zone yesterday and I was pleased with the ski quality of the conditions. Snow was reactive though, and there were a lot of people out who were "testing" the conditions without really knowing it. I saw three slides kicked, which took all the new snow down to a thin, rocky bed surface. One slide was triggered when a rider launched a 10 footer into the top of the face going down the prow to Bagley lakes and triggered a fast slide that propagated for the entire upper face of the little chute (50 feet or so) and most of the way down to the lakes, but was luckily restricted to a gulley. My party and two others were close to the slide as it rushed past. A bit unnerving to have some people up there who clearly weren't considering other people's safety. Crowns were 12''-approx 20". Runs were on the ramp going from artist point down to Bagley Lakes and laps underneath the prow in some small trees. Face Shots. It was easy to find good ski terrain that was not sliding.
« Last Edit: 11/17/13, 12:46 PM by Glacierbrains » Logged

At least it's not Yawgoo Valley....
Lynden Don
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #1 on: 11/17/13, 01:53 PM »

Your right about alot of people that have no regards for anyone else on the slope.  We are lucky that our snow pack solidifies so quickly.  I've taken a number of guys from Colorado out in the backcountry and they are all amazed that we don't have more avi activity.

Don
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str8ryder
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #2 on: 11/17/13, 09:16 PM »

What is unnerving is the recent trend to skin from the bottom of the slope up, spending the entire day under the face, and tracking out the runout of lines that should be skied top to bottom. Why place a skin track in a location where people drop in on top of you all day and debris goes rushing by?  Much better to be in avalanche terrain with your board pointed down hill at speed and gear all buttoned up rather than skinning up with your pants down. In addition this approach undercuts the bottom portion of some of the best lines.  The proper skin route is back to Austin then up towards Artist.  This route avoids getting slid out by people from above and you are only on the slope when you are skiing it. Skinning out Bagley then up heading up Table from the bottom is a no go.
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T. Eastman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #3 on: 11/17/13, 10:00 PM »

[quote A bit unnerving to have some people up there who clearly weren't considering other people's safety.]
Quote

As the number of BC skiers increases such behavior will become more frequent... 
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KW
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #4 on: 11/17/13, 10:11 PM »

We are seeing this all over the place in BC. Crazy steep up tracks everywhere. Overlapping ski tracks. I have told groups to wait and not ski over top of the uptrack and with deer in the headlights look they drop not knowing what they just did. That is an education thing more course more time with guides help solve those problems. The challenge is there are groups that don't want to spend the money and invest in their safety.

There is something to be said about mentor-ship and learning from the generations before you.  Without people to show us the way many of us wouldn't have had the adventures we cherish.

Really three strategies..
1) Ski far off places that are hard to find for most new skiers
2) BE that guy and make comments and suggestions to enhance the safety of your group and others.
3) Take people under your wings and show them the etiquette.


rant over....

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silaswild
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #5 on: 11/17/13, 11:03 PM »

Why place a skin track in a location where people drop in on top of you all day and debris goes rushing by?
Please understand I don't want to start an argument, but I'm concerned.  Should anyone be skinning or skiing in such a location on a day like that?  It sounds too dangerous for both.
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r1de
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #6 on: 11/18/13, 12:41 AM »

Please understand I don't want to start an argument, but I'm concerned.  Should anyone be skinning or skiing in such a location on a day like that?  It sounds too dangerous for both.

^^^
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--
-bp
aaron_wright
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #7 on: 11/18/13, 08:28 AM »

This is why I'll wait a bit for the "first powder day" frenzy to die down, too many kooks out and about. I understand the argument about not being out on days like this, why chance it? I also see way too many skin tracks in dangerous and inefficient terrain. If you have to ski on days like this choose a safe up track, for that matter make it a habit to set safe skin tracks that avoid exposure ALL the time. Good habit will go a long way to keeping you safe and alive.
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flowing alpy
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #8 on: 11/18/13, 08:55 AM »

huge skis with wall to wall skins and minimalist binders under the lightest fancy gear carried by strong climbers driven by a hormone fueled craniums make going up steep shit way easier.
b
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Mofro
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #9 on: 11/18/13, 09:15 AM »

huge skis with wall to wall skins and minimalist binders under the lightest fancy gear carried by strong climbers driven by a hormone fueled craniums make going up steep shit way easier.
b

Totally agree and maybe even resemble that characterization, yet there is still a right way and a wrong way to climb a slope.  The right way has >90% to do with minimizing exposure to avalanche terrain and the last 10% for minimizing effort. The best up tracks accomplish both.
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not always bad
Jason4
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #10 on: 11/18/13, 09:55 AM »

What is unnerving is the recent trend to skin from the bottom of the slope up, spending the entire day under the face, and tracking out the runout of lines that should be skied top to bottom. Why place a skin track in a location where people drop in on top of you all day and debris goes rushing by?  Much better to be in avalanche terrain with your board pointed down hill at speed and gear all buttoned up rather than skinning up with your pants down. In addition this approach undercuts the bottom portion of some of the best lines.  The proper skin route is back to Austin then up towards Artist.  This route avoids getting slid out by people from above and you are only on the slope when you are skiing it. Skinning out Bagley then up heading up Table from the bottom is a no go.

Quoted because I would have said the same thing but been a bigger dick about it.  I have heard a lot of similar comments from others that are part of the older generation around here and have been touring in these parts for a long time.

I have great concern for parties below me that are taking their time and safely moving down as a group.  The smart skin track out typically is far enough out in the bowl that sluff isn't a concern and small slides don't run far enough to reach the track.  I have very little compassion for people that are skinning directly up underneath stuff that I've been riding for 20 years. 

The best skin track takes you back out to Terminal lake and then parallels the groomer up to Austin Pass without exposure to avalanches from above and without putting a trench in the runout for other skiers.  The ski area is starting to get grouchy about climbing on the groomer as BC skiers are taking parking away from lift ticket and cheese burger buying alpine skiers.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #11 on: 11/18/13, 09:56 AM »

Whenever this conversation comes up, I'm reminded that beginners are taught to "climb what you ski", which is often good advice, especially in unknown terrain.

In the case of the Blueberry Chutes, I don't know the experience level of those setting the steep-slope uptracks. I don't ski Baker much, but the added objective hazard of strong/aggressive skiers coming down those lines would lead me to avoid the bases of those chutes anytime after a storm.

In the same vein, with a more-familiar area, it wasn't that long ago that the Slot could be regarded as a snow climb, or a route you could ascend from the base. These days, it's almost certain that someone(s) will be entering from the top and ski-cutting on any day you'd want to be in there. Furthermore, it's not possible to see 80% of the couloir from the top; even conscientious parties can't tell you're in there.
« Last Edit: 11/18/13, 10:01 AM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

Jason4
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #12 on: 11/18/13, 10:11 AM »

I have very little compassion for people that are skinning directly up underneath stuff that I've been riding for 20 years. 

I should clarify that my intolerance is particular to skin tracks under the ridgeline between the ski area and Table Mountain because there is such good access to the east end of the ridge and a safe way around.  There are other skin tracks in the area that are just as exposed but don't get me so agitated because there aren't such obvious alternatives: Herman Saddle/Diamond Trees and the false summit of Herman come to mind.

I'm also very bothered by people that set the ski traverse in below the Beast/Headwall at the top of Oi Valley.  It something that was common and then died down but last year I saw it make a comeback.  That is a dangerous traverse for both the people on it and also the people coming down from above.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
Scotsman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #13 on: 11/18/13, 10:17 AM »

Solution: Avoid places where other will be:  There's a lot of space out there....it may take some extra effort but don't go to areas that you KNOW will be filled with other people.

Easy Guide.

#1 Read the TAY trip reports.
#2 Avoid going to the area where the latest TAY report says  it was good.
#3 If upon reaching your selected TH and you see lots of other people.......go in the other direction.
#4 Enjoy stress free skiing away from other groups.
#5 Don't post a TAY TR when you get back.
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aaron_wright
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #14 on: 11/18/13, 10:20 AM »

^^^with age comes wisdom
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danpeck
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #15 on: 11/18/13, 10:32 AM »

I'm reminded that beginners are taught to "climb what you ski", which is often good advice, especially in unknown terrain.

I think this makes sense when you are conscientiously choosing to ascend a safe line… when you are not in an avy zone… ascending a ridge or mellow slope… then it makes sense to Ski back the way you came up because you are familiar with the snow pack etc.

I think it makes sense to clarify for beginners and all of us what it means to conservatively skin up and ski what you climbed.
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Scotsman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #16 on: 11/18/13, 10:36 AM »

^^^with age comes wisdom

It took me a while... Wink
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Jason4
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #17 on: 11/18/13, 10:54 AM »

Solution: Avoid places where other will be:  There's a lot of space out there....it may take some extra effort but don't go to areas that you KNOW will be filled with other people.

Great advice when time and snowpack allows, unfortunately there is only one road up north that is maintained above 3000 feet and from there the current snowpack dictates where I can go without fear of (another) coreshot.  There are some other choices but the lower the snow line goes to longer the approach becomes and pretty soon some of those areas will be shared with snow machines. 

I'm not looking to reduce the numbers.  I'm stoked that they're stoked.  I'd like to see people not set a skin track straight up a good line and expect the people above them to not ski it.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
Scotsman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #18 on: 11/18/13, 11:07 AM »

dictates where I can go without fear of (another) coreshot. 

I'm not looking to reduce the numbers. 

There's your problem right there....I used to be afraid of the coreshot.......No more! Be not afraid...coreshots are a badge of honor....they're only tools...and when skiing pow who needs good bases!

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............




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Jason4
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #19 on: 11/18/13, 12:40 PM »

There's your problem right there....I used to be afraid of the coreshot.......No more! Be not afraid...coreshots are a badge of honor....they're only tools...and when skiing pow who needs good bases!

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............

Truth on both topics. Cheesy
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
d542east
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #20 on: 11/19/13, 01:43 PM »

I've thought about this subject a bit and have considered what an (online?) bc ski guide to the area accessed by hwy 542 would do to increase awareness of good local skiing etiquette. It seems there aren't really that many secrets anymore in the area, and it will always be pretty easy to get away from the crowds by just going a little further away from bagley/swift/herman. It might make the area slightly more crowded, but I doubt it, and it could be an amazing online resource for recording very localized snowpack analysis if setup in such a way as to allow comments/pictures to be recorded specifically to individual runs. Maybe people would even stop booting in the skin tracks! (what a pie in the sky idea that is)

My thinking is that by laying out a guide akin to climbing guidebooks you have the opportunity to get information out to specifically the folks that seem to be creating problems, i.e. those that haven't had the opportunity to ski in the area for a long time and gain local wisdom and good etiquette. Of course there's the Baldwin guide, but it is different in scope.

The obvious huge downside is that the thing becomes a tick-list for egos. Not rating the difficulty, simply including objective info such as vertical drop and slope angle would help a little, but I can certainly still see this becoming a problem, perhaps even a litigious one. The other pitfall is that it takes the (very enjoyable IME) research and discovery of new zones out of the equation. I'd hate to kill the adventure off like that. Perhaps restrict the guide to just bagely/swift/herman?

Do the pro's outweigh the cons? Would this help or just create more work for the BMRC?
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T. Eastman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #21 on: 11/19/13, 06:05 PM »

People don't buy guidebooks to learn etiquette...

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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #22 on: 11/19/13, 06:20 PM »

True; people usually buy guidebooks to learn about good places to go in a new environment. Nonetheless, their behavior is influenced by guidebooks. One little dotted line denoted "traditional avalanche-safe approach" will find many followers.

In the particular case of that side of Table Mountain, it's hard to imagine anyone's secrets being bared by an alpental.com-like photo or two.
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joke
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #23 on: 11/19/13, 06:29 PM »

I've thought about this subject a bit and have considered what an (online?) bc ski guide to the area accessed by hwy 542 would do
And, so it came to pass that I was inspired to make my yearly post on TAY.

This... is a bad idea.  I must admit that if such a thing were to exist, I would likely frequent the site as I do this one.

There absolutely are, however, still many well-kept secrets up the Nooksack valley.  I even know a few of the best runs that can be had in the Bagley area on the most crowded of days by walking no further than any other member of the crowd.  The other access points are mostly characterized by long approaches which will deter the crowds in any case.

Selfish secrecy is not the only reason I don't like this proposal.  I also think it would be potentially very dangerous.  The landscape up there changes almost daily.  To put a guided description of how to get to chute 2 on the front face of false-Herman, for example, will lead someone to a pretty scary run in even the best of conditions.  Following the same description in early or late season could be deadly.

I'd prefer to advocate the practice of slowly earning knowledge of terrain anywhere - including popular areas like 542.  Exercise caution, and ease your way into learning an area over the course of years - not by just jumping into something after reading about it on a website.

Approach it like this, and you'll live long enough to discover the secrets.  Let's not make it easier and more tempting for folks to get into dangerous situations.
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T. Eastman
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Re: Bagley Lakes/ Artist Point Nov 16
« Reply #24 on: 11/19/13, 07:51 PM »

Last season when I saw over 100 people in the Bagley Basin all doing their own adventuring, I decided that skiing at Cypress in Vancouver, the most used XC area in Canada, offered more solitude...

... and a higher margin of safety.  I love touring and have been at it for some time but the shitshow I sawin the Baker backcountry that day was unreal. 

I'm glad I enjoy XC skiing on weekends...
« Last Edit: 11/19/13, 09:39 PM by T. Eastman » Logged
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