May 15-16, 2004, Baker skiing
Short version: Russ, Adam, Dan, and I skiied on the
lower slopes of Baker, deciding not to attempt to
reach the cloud-covered summit. A good time was had by all.
Russ: Interested in climbing Baker via N. Ridge, then return by skiing the
Weather report: PARTLY CLOUDY. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
Dan: ...try for another weekend...?
Ania: ...not an option. I got a beautiful red manicure to
match my skis, painted my toenails, and even got lipstick and ribbons to
Skiing with three good looking men, I had to make sure
my nails and lipstick were perfect.
Saturday morning, we left Seattle. At noon, we left the trailhead. The road
was blocked by snow about a half mile before the trailhead, so we added our car
to the long line already parked there. We hiked about half a mile to the
trailhead. Russ had read that it was more direct to follow the gulley behind
the outhouse, but we didn't see a path and were wary of just taking off
bushwhacking, so we started up the trail. After much traversing and climbing
of steep snowy slopes, we arrived at a flattish spot from where we could see
the Colman-Deming glacier. It was just starting to rain a bit. We put up our
tents and enjoyed cheese, crackers, vodka, Cognac, and Amarula.
In the tent. We found all 26 letters of the alphabet on various labels
on gear and clothing.
Sunday 3am: Clouds covered the summit. We decided not to do the North Ridge,
since finding our way across the flat summit and then finding the Roman Wall
rather than a cliff could be sketchy in a white-out.
Sunday 5:30am: We got up and skiied up the ridge, towards the regular route
up Baker. As we began to cross through the fairly abrupt cloud ceiling, we
decided summiting would be less fun than enjoying the perfect snow conditions
so we enjoyed a fabulous ski back to camp.
Dan pointing at summit. We could see as much of it as you can.
We leisurely packed up camp and skiied back down, this time down the
recommended gulley that puts you behind the outhouse. The snow was soft and
fun, and swerving through the trees and around holes was a blast. We kept
our skis on as long as unreasonably possible. For future trips, this is
definitely a more direct approach than the trail, if you can know where to go.
Adam and Russ skiing moss.