Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mt. Baker

My friends Robert and Kyle are grad students by day and crazed ski junkies pretty much the rest of the time.  They're going for Turns All Year - skiing at least once in every month this year.  There's a bunch of people in the Pacific Northwest with similar aims and they have a website where you can get trip reports and the latest chatter about where you might find some pow.  My last time on skis had been in June with these two and I'd had a great time.  So when Robert said he'd read that there might be some powder on Mt. Baker I was definitely up for a one day summit attempt. 

On Saturday night we stopped by the Wallingford Taco Truck to fuel up and crammed four guys worth of skis and gear into Robert's car and headed for the trailhead.  By 11 we were in our sleeping bags dreaming of turns and hoping that all the cars in the parking lot didn't have similar plans.

5am came waaay too soon.  So we napped a bit more, puttered around, and hit the trail by 6:45.  The first bit was in the forest.  But once you broke the tree line, the views were spectacular.


We crossed some crevasses

A snow bridge

And admired weird formations in the snow

With the late start.  Kyle and I decided to not push for the summit (10,778 ft) and instead waited at 9,200 ft for Robert and Clement to top out.  They had made the wise move to conserve energy and climb faster with skis whereas we had boot packed the whole way.  It was a gorgeous day and napping in the sun helped the wait pass quickly.

Then we got to carve!

Back down the pesky snow bridge

And remember to stay between the lines crevasses

By the end of the day we were exhausted, but all smiles

And the mountain was absolutely stunning

Check out the full set of pictures here.

Update: Wanted to add a link to Clement's photos of the trip.  He's also put up a trip report that my French is not quite up to the task of reading. The auto translated version is pretty entertaining though!

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