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Author Topic: January 22, 2005, Baker  (Read 19246 times)
mjb266
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January 22, 2005, Baker
« on: 01/23/06, 08:29 AM »

Well, didn't have any company so I headed up towards Herman Saddle to have a look at all the snow. Stayed fairly low as I was solo but made some observations through converstaion and looking around. There was a decent wind crust on the north side of Table. A skier coming through the trees said he'd triggered a fair sized slide that scared him a bit. He'd been out on Saturday as well and said that the wind had made a substantial crust between Sat and Sun. Lots of skiers and snowboarders were out on Herman and conditions seemed real stable over there. The sun loosened things out a bit when it was out...but that wasn't when I was up there. I managed to hit the pea soup just right. couldn't see much and almost skied right into the stream that cuts through the basin. I wonder if there are stream wells that are similar to tree wells. Probed the depth in the bagley lakes basin and couldn't reach the bottom with a 315cm probe.

What struck me was the number of people up there and the lack of postings on this site.
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ron j
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #1 on: 01/23/06, 09:04 AM »

Quote
...What struck me was the number of people up there and the lack of postings on this site.
You may be on to something, mjb266.  Some of those ingrates may be just using us and not giving back.  Wink
Nice report, by the way.
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jack
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #2 on: 01/23/06, 07:34 PM »

there are a ton of people up there every weekend and i dont think any are TAYers. i gave up with the TRs earlier in the season. Wink

by the way, i managed to time it perfectly too. skin up was nice and sunny, ride down was nice and white out...
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Gregg_C
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #3 on: 01/24/06, 03:04 AM »

We are out there, just having too much fun to write about it.  Skied 5 k by 2 pm in absolutely wonderful conditions.  Headed in when it warmed up and the warm front moved in.  Early starts are always a good idea in the Baker BC.
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Charles
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #4 on: 01/24/06, 06:43 AM »

Quote
What struck me was the number of people up there and the lack of postings on this site.

I've been wondering about this as well. With all of the new snow there have consistently been reports from all of the major winter areas except Baker. Why is this? My first thought was that since Markharf is elsewhere contracting malaria, there has been nobody skiing/boarding in the Baker backcountry, but mjb266's post indicates otherwise (as do the follow-ups).

My second thought was that everything in the Baker backcountry is a secret stash, and of course nobody wants to reveal their secret stash. There are a couple of problems with this idea, however. First, I've skied in the Baker backcountry enough times to know that most of what gets skied is not even close to secret stash material. Second, even when people ski their secret stash they still can, and some do, report on the snow/avi conditions that they found in a general but still very useful way (providing elevation, aspect, pitch, etc), without revealing the location of their secret stash.

So if skiers come to the TRs to get conditions info, then go out and ski the Baker backcountry, why is it that they don't contribute back with their own reports of conditions info? It's a mystery to me.
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Marcus
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #5 on: 01/24/06, 08:04 AM »

I've discussed this a bit with some of my friends -- here's my theory.  Last year was so poor that most of the decent skiing was to be had only around Baker or Rainier, a good 3-4 hours for most of the posters here.  Given that the folks on this board are the most likely to be skiing regularly, no matter the conditions, perhaps the bulk of the TAY crew is exploring Snoqualmie and Stevens and other areas and giving the "long-distance" driving areas a break?

I know I am -- it's a treat to be able to drive for 45 minutes and get to ski...
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dberdinka
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #6 on: 01/24/06, 09:01 AM »

In the last two posts there seems to be a notion that if your a backcountry skier you must read/post here.

I don't think thats the case, at least around Baker.  The BC there is packed as usual.  Bagely Lakes Basin must have had a couple hundred sets of tracks after the weekend.

Conditions reports for Skyline, Bullion or Paradise really have little value for a place 100+ miles away so even though there are not many TRs I don't think people are simply leeching info of this site.  This site for whatever reasons is simply Seattle-centric in its users.

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mjb266
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #7 on: 01/24/06, 09:08 AM »

I know that some are exploring other areas, but there were literally hundreds of tracks on Shukan Arm, Table, Herman and the rest. I for one would love to hear reports and to see pictures...at the least I would like to know about snow conditions. It becomes a matter of safety. That being said. I asked everyone I passed if they'd dug a pit and not a one had. Don't people do this?
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Marcus
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #8 on: 01/24/06, 09:27 AM »

Quote
In the last two posts there seems to be a notion that if your a backcountry skier you must read/post here.

.....

This site for whatever reasons is simply Seattle-centric in its users.


That's not what I intended at all.  I do think that the folks who regularly post/peruse this site (given the "Turns All Year" idea) are probably more likely to go a little farther in a bad snow year.  That may be because it's "Seattle-centric", which is probably because Seattle/King County is the largest population center and ALSO has a hell of a lot of folks who kill their free-time on the computer at their desk jobs (like me).  Maybe I'm full of it.
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #9 on: 01/24/06, 10:30 AM »

Nonetheless, the ratio of folks who post to those who lurk is rather high (read the numbers on how many readings posts get, and talk to Charles if you still don't believe it). Perhaps there are just a few Bellinghamites who read TAY, but there are plenty of lurkers who could share some useful info or even poetry if that's what they have to contribute in return for what they receive here...
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jack
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #10 on: 01/24/06, 01:18 PM »

Well, I'm guilty as charged. I ski the Baker BC just about every weekend.

In the beginning of the year, when I was always looking for partners, I posted here looking a couple of times and didn't get any responses. Mostly I would hook up with people in the parking lot. After a while, I gave up asking if people were TAYers. I always just ended up explaining what TAY was, and they gave me a look like I was some crazy Internet lurker. So I gave up.

Now, my regular partner is a great rider, but a pretty darn slow skinner (she is new to the BC thing). This has pretty much confined me to the Bagley lakes area. There are a million people out there every weekend regardless of conditions. Even if it's a white out and avy forcast is high, there is still something somewhere to yo-yo (usually back in swift creek).

Personally, I rarely dig pits, because by the time I get there, the area I am riding is pretty tracked. Also, in the Bagley lakes basin several other parties can almost always can see you.

Just like I don't really think everyone wants to see ten Paradise TR's every Saturday and Sunday, I figured there really wasn't much point in me posting a TR every weekend (not that anyone else posts anything). Chances are, the place was skied out, regardless of conditions.

It was a little discouraging not finding any TAYers in B'ham earlier in the season, but I came to the same conclusion that TAY was much more Seattle centered. Unfortunately MRNP is about a 6 hour drive from here, so I don't branch out much. HW20 tours seem more committed, but if anyone is down for a tour, PM me  Grin

if people want, i wouldnt mind posting a pics every weekend, but i thought it would get fairly reduntant.
« Last Edit: 01/24/06, 01:21 PM by jack » Logged
curmudgeon
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #11 on: 01/24/06, 02:08 PM »

For the last six weeks, I have been hitting low vis days and staying around the Bagley Basin area (the "Seattle Chutes").  I have too much respect for Baker's backcountry to belittle it with a flurry of Blueberry Chute TR's.

When I get out to Ptarmigan, or Upper Mazama Bowl, or the Stoneman, or Lake Ann -- you'll hear about it.

(Unless, of course, it is a secret stash!) Grin
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jack
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #12 on: 01/24/06, 02:38 PM »

Quote
For the last six weeks, I have been hitting low vis days and staying around the Bagley Basin area (the "Seattle Chutes").  I have too much respect for Baker's backcountry to belittle it with a flurry of Blueberry Chute TR's.

When I get out to Ptarmigan, or Upper Mazama Bowl, or the Stoneman, or Lake Ann -- you'll hear about it.

(Unless, of course, it is a secret stash!) Grin



thats pretty much what i was saying in less words.

BTW, when you want to get stone man, email me Grin
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #13 on: 01/24/06, 03:06 PM »

C'mon, guys, you can at least try to invoke envy among those of us who can only get to Snoqualmie in a one hour drive from home by posting some info on the snow conditions now and then, even for the mundane fog tours (what, no tree skiing easily accessed up 542??)!

Here's a B'ham skier and a nearby skier looking for folks to get out with, Jack (I can vouch for skiing ability, BC savvy, and fun quotient, though the data is a 11 years old)...
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curmudgeon
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #14 on: 01/24/06, 03:14 PM »

OK, here is a TR for Saturday:

Up and down the Swift Creek trees.  30 degree slope, 600' runs.  UP and down. Snow good.

C'mon -- you don't need that kind of stuff from Baker  That's a Paradise TR!!  Grin Grin

(Asbestos underwear in place)

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Jim Oker
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #15 on: 01/24/06, 03:32 PM »

Actually, sounds a lot like Silas' report from Snoqualmie this past Saturday. Maybe there's not much to envy up on 542 after all!  Wink
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dberdinka
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #16 on: 01/25/06, 03:03 AM »

Then again maybe there is......Just before sunrise on Tuesday morning.  TR: Great views in all directions and refrozen wind crust on all exposures.   Cheesy

nice baker photo

[edit: replaced photo with link because it was blowing out formatting - too wide. -Charles]
« Last Edit: 01/25/06, 03:43 AM by admin » Logged
curmudgeon
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #17 on: 01/25/06, 03:44 AM »

That's a painting, right?  No way that's a photo!!
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Charles
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #18 on: 01/25/06, 04:20 AM »

I'm getting the impression that people here view the purpose of trip reports in widely differing ways. Maybe some see trip reports mostly as "achievement reports" while others see trip reports as "conditions reports"? I would tend to be on the conditions end of the spectrum. I agree that something like, "30 degree slope, 600' runs.  UP and down. Snow good," is not what I'm looking for when I read trip reports. There are lots of recent examples of the type of report that I find useful, containing information on snow conditions and how they varied with elevation, time of day, aspect, pitch, and forest cover.
 
I agree that multiple trip reports from similar slopes in the same area on the same day aren't that useful, but that doesn't really seem to happen very often. More common seem to be consecutive day reports from the same place, and I find those useful because I can learn how the snow is changing (assuming the report has useful snow info in it). There are also some areas that have such a wide variety of snow micro-climates that a few reports from the same day aren't necessarily redundant (lowly Snoqualmie comes to mind). It has seemed to me that for the most part people don't post a truly redundant report as a new thread, but instead will add their observations to a thread that someone else started. I think this is also useful, because different people can perceive the same snow conditions differently.

I was curious about how this month's reports have been distributed regionally, so I counted them (thread-starting trip reports per seven day period centered on the weekend listed):

[table]
[tr][td]Area[/td]
[td] 21st-22nd [/td]
[td] 14th-15th [/td]
[td] 7th-8th [/td]
[td] = 3wk total[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Baker[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]0[/td]
[td]0[/td]
[td]= 1[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Stevens[/td]
[td]2[/td]
[td]4[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]= 7[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Snoqualmie[/td]
[td]3[/td]
[td]7[/td]
[td]3[/td]
[td]= 13[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Crystal[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]4[/td]
[td]3[/td]
[td]= 8[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Paradise[/td]
[td]4[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]5[/td]
[td]= 10[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Eastside[/td]
[td]0[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]1[/td]
[td]= 2[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Oregon[/td]
[td]3[/td]
[td]2[/td]
[td]0[/td]
[td]= 5[/td]
[/tr]
[tr][td]Other[/td]
[td]0[/td]
[td]2[/td]
[td]3[/td]
[td]= 5[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

For this most recent three week period, there were five times more reports from Oregon than from the Baker area!

An earlier poster wrote, "there seems to be a notion that if your a backcountry skier you must read/post here." That's not at all what I meant. I was referring to people who already read here and raising the question to those people about why they don't also post here, eg. with snow conditions reports. With almost 1000 registered members, and many multiples of that of unregistered readers ("lurkers"), it seemed to me unlikely that none of those thousands were Baker skiers.

"Conditions reports for Skyline, Bullion or Paradise really have little value for a place 100+ miles away." I'm with Marcus about really enjoying the short drive right now to good snow at Snoqualmie and Stevens, and have no desire to do the longer drive to Baker or Paradise with so many good choices close by. But that does not mean that I find no value in conditions reports from Baker or Paradise. On the contrary, I find them to be extremely useful. Because I follow the NWAC forecasts and telemetry pretty closely in the winter, the more first-hand conditions reports that are posted the more I can learn about how well the NWAC info correlates with the real world. This, of course, only works if the conditions report has more details than simply "snow good".

So, if someone already comes here to read, and that someone has backcountry snow info from a trip in the Baker area, and there are no other timely posts containing snow info for the Baker area, and it is not necessary to reveal the location of a secret stash in order to post useful snow info, then why not contribute the snow info?
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #19 on: 01/25/06, 06:09 AM »

Hmmm, I have recent photos of avalanche crown lines, wind-rippled snow, snow-stability testing video, and great skiing photos in the baker area, but I am unable to upload these files easily to this forum. Are there any new developments in this regard, Charles? I think I would post TR's if there was an easy way. Pictures are great information providers (worth a tousand words), and I would probably tend to post TR's if I could add a photo very easily to some text. Note-(creating a web-space, transfering files, and figuring out programs is not my idea of easy). This is why I rarely post TR's, no matter where I ski....P.S.- I enjoy photographic documentation much more than I do writing....Others may not.
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dberdinka
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #20 on: 01/25/06, 06:35 AM »

Toby T:  I thought the same thing until this morning.  Try www.imagecave.com.  Quick, easy and free.  Even gives you the url to link your photo in with.
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jlk
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #21 on: 01/25/06, 06:42 AM »

http://www.flickr.com is the best photo-sharing website I've seen.  It's easy-to-use and free.  Once you've uploaded a photo to the flickr site, click on "See Different Sizes", and choose the size you want to link to.  At the bottom of the page will be the photo's URL, which you can copy and paste into your post here.

For example, here's a shot from the Muir snowfield on Sunday, 1/22/06:

http://static.flickr.com/32/89988100_02506210b9_o.jpg

- Jayson
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jack
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #22 on: 01/25/06, 07:17 AM »

haha, tim place's TR is classic! yeah, thats pretty much what all my TRs would sound like. Charles has a good point though, so if you guys want TRs, i'll give 'em.  Grin

BTW in the lower right of that picture of baker is peak 5628. i have been waitng for that thing to get stable and deep, so if anyone is headed out there, email me  Wink
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curmudgeon
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #23 on: 01/25/06, 07:46 AM »

Here are some more numbers to play with, the Baker TR posts since Dec 1:

Date             posted by        responses

1-Dec            Zap                0
3-Dec            Tomski                0
4-Dec            mjb266                1
6-Dec            tim                5
22-Jan            mjb266               22

Until this latest post, which is more about criticism of Baker's silence than a trip report response, the average response to a Baker TR has been 1.5 responses.

So, Baker folks started feeling that there is no interest in Baker TR's, and that TAY is mostly a Seattle area thing. You want more Baker TR's, then show the love.
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 22, 2005, Baker
« Reply #24 on: 01/25/06, 08:04 AM »

FWIW, I love Baker. It takes me as long to drive to the upper lot as to Paradise, and then there's the Longmire gate roulette to deal with (read this past weekend's reports...). All the B'hammers I've met are great people. The ski area has that mellow feel - more A-Basin than Aspen in attitude and infrastructure. I've even thought about moving to B'ham due in part to the consistent snowpack up there (but the real estate values have gone wild up there lately as far as I can tell). If it's love you want, I'll "high five" the Baker reports - I usually respond to reports if I have something more informational to add, but I can add love too, if that helps keep the pump primed. I'll usually go to Snoqualmie mid-winter if I think that an hour or so's climbing will get me to snow that compares to what's at my bumper at Baker (lessee, climb crappy snow for 1.5 hours vs drive an extra 4...), but Baker is usually my next resort.

Sorry if I'm one of the folks sounding like a critic, Tim - my intent is just to be encouraging to existing members like you and Jack, and to give a prod to the lurkers (you know who you are). I love you guys!
« Last Edit: 01/25/06, 08:06 AM by jim_oker » Logged
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