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Author Topic: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry  (Read 3344 times)
dberdinka
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March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« on: 03/24/14, 12:52 PM »

72 hrs post-storm with 5" of new, cold temps and sunny skies, time to go skiing!   

With a true alpine start views were dramatic both before and after sunrise.   A devious skin path followed by some true wallowing landed us on top by 9 am.   The ubiquitous skin-track-followers arrived soon after asking if they were somewhere else entirely.   

We dropped a 1000 lb bomb on a north-facing slope and, contrary to NWAC or the local ski patrol, we discovered the new snow to be very reactive. Presumably sliding on hoar frost that had developed during the clear weather.  It didn't step down and propagation was fairly limited so we deemed it all good and it was.  Much billowing powder ensued.

By now the sun was beginning to show it's effects with small sluffs and pin wheels so we beat a hasty and only slightly harrowing escape back to the parking lot well before noon.   It's been a long wait but the last week has finally delivered on the blue-bird powder days I spend a good part of the year dreaming about.   Life is good!








« Last Edit: 03/24/14, 02:09 PM by dberdinka » Logged
cumulus
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #1 on: 03/24/14, 02:28 PM »


fun summary, fantastic pics!  I was there, just a little, even tho I wasn't.

The 1,000 lbs is metaphoric, yes?
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Stefan
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #2 on: 03/24/14, 02:56 PM »

That top photo is a winner.

1000 lb bomb = cornice, I presume?
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Jim Oker
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #3 on: 03/24/14, 03:27 PM »

Nice pics.

Gotta love folks who follow skin tracks w/o knowing where they are going...
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dberdinka
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/14, 03:30 PM »

Yes a cornice.   Approx 10' long by 4' wide.  Figure a very approximate 60 cubic feet at 16 lb per cubic foot.  Fun stuff.  
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Jason4
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #5 on: 03/24/14, 05:08 PM »

When we saw you traverse out into the bowl below your boot pack from the highway we were convinced that you were headed for the same objective that we were.  We were relieved when we crested the saddle at the false summit and saw your trail go straight up to the true summit.  We took a different way to gain the ridge further east of you and looked for your tracks on the north side without any luck but I'm sure it was a magnificent run.  We were in the notch on Saturday just below your boot pack started but turned around and followed our skin track back down to the lake the way we had come up.

Nice pictures!
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
runningclouds
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #6 on: 03/25/14, 10:19 AM »

Nice pics! We found lots of sluffing on N aspect but overall the stability was very good (true, our booms were limited to 180 lb of flesh).

What an awesome day, I almost forgot what it is like to ski powder on a sunny day.
We planned to ski the Stoneman but by the time we got to the col on Mt. Herman S side (we followed the tour as described in the new Martin Volken guidebook) there were 4 and likely more people ahead. We turned and skied the bowl between Herman and Mazama Dome, including three superb runs on Mazama's N face.

Few more pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/sets/72157642880855904/

I hope the Spring will turn out better that the winter. Have fun everyone!


* 2014-11-118.jpg (227.41 KB, 800x800 - viewed 768 times.)
« Last Edit: 03/25/14, 01:15 PM by runningclouds » Logged
Jason4
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #7 on: 03/25/14, 12:38 PM »

RunningClouds-
You could only see 4 tracks in the couloir from the HM parking lot when we left around 3pm.  I don't think that anyone else was in there after that.  I think the snow that you got was probably in better shape than anything SE facing.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
runningclouds
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #8 on: 03/25/14, 01:49 PM »

jason, thanks, I completely forgot to look up at the stone man when we left. We were pretty happy with our tour, and you are right the final run on E side of Table was uneven. Were you one of the guys skiing the Stoneman?
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Jason4
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #9 on: 03/25/14, 02:21 PM »

Were you one of the guys skiing the Stoneman?

Yep. Cheesy
It was me and my girlfriend on splits and a couple friends of ours on skis.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
runningclouds
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #10 on: 03/25/14, 04:34 PM »

Sweet. Congrats!
How was the entry? Was the snow affected? Any public pics?
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Jason4
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Re: March 23, 2014 Baker Backcountry
« Reply #11 on: 03/25/14, 06:02 PM »

Thank you!  It was my first time in there even though I've been looking at that line for 24 years.

My GF dropped into the entrance chute first with the intention of staying high where she would have line of sight down the rest of the main chute.  The shaded snow seemed to be ok but as soon as she traversed out into the sun effected snow she cut a shallow wet slide loose.  It flushed out the bottom and I got to rip it top to bottom.  Luckily I didn't really find much in the way of crust but the snow was definitely variable. 

Some friends of ours saw us from the same notch that you did and said that a loose wet slide had crossed our skin track behind us so I feel in hindsight that a much earlier start to beat the sun would have been prudent and we were walking a fine edge of possibly being too bold. 

I've posted a handful of pictures on instagram but nothing to any other photo hosting sites.  I didn't shoot much with my good camera on Sunday, just a bunch of gray storm shots on Saturday.
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Free your heel, free your mind.
Fix your heel, fix your problem.
- Pred, 2013
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