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| |-+  October 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  October 27, 2006, Table Mountain, Mt.Baker
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Author Topic: October 27, 2006, Table Mountain, Mt.Baker  (Read 2161 times)

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October 27, 2006, Table Mountain, Mt.Baker
« on: 10/27/06, 03:57 PM »

With only two possible days left in October to get my monthly goods, I was determined to get up to the fresh snow today. I had been waiting for the arrival of new snow. Forecasts had indicated that as much as 6 inches could fall on Thursday in the Ptarmigan Ridge area along with other snow showers during the week. What fell wasn't really enough for what I had hoped to do.

   I had read that the Artist Point road would be closed off this week. So I was surprised to see the gate open and the road freshly plowed. Did they know that I was coming? Is someone making it easy for me?The few inches of snow would have made for poor skiing and road hiking is rarely interesting, so I drove up the road. It soon became apparent that the plowing was not complete. I met the plow a little ways past Austin Pass. The driver told me nicely that I shouldn't be here and that he was clearing the road for DOT workers on sign removal detail.  It occurred to me that I should ditch my skis since I would otherwise have to carry them back up. I left them by the road in Austin Pass and carried on down to the ski hill parking lot. I was organizing my pack when the plow truck driver walked over to me and asked if I would like a lift to my skis, which I gladly accepted. He ended up taking me all the way to the Artist Point parking lot.

   So by 9:30 I was hydroplaning across the pavement to the Table Mountain trail, under a weeping grey sky. There was just enough (and sometimes not really enough) snow to tour. I planned to play on the slope that is covered with more vegetation than exposed rock. However, the vintage Baker cement had not adequately covered the hard obstacles underneath and the turning wasn't really fun. My next plan was to tour/hike several miles to the permanent snow fields on Ptarmigan Ridge, which should have better coverage. I wasn't really surprised to see snow slides where you would expect them on Table's south side. They did get me thinking though. It was getting warmer,winds were picking up, visibility was poor, I was alone, the snow was setting very hard and heavy, and did I mention, it was raining? So I turned around and skied all the way to Austin Pass. I met the road crew at the base of Pan Face and got the photographic evidence that my skis and I had made it to the mountain in October.

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Git down, Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Telemark..What do you mean it is a turn not a religion?
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