Sunday, April 24, 2016

Springtime is Volcano time...Baker...Bike...Board...Beer...



Springtime is Volcano time. The solid snow season we've had this season has set up Volcano season perfectly. April's weather can typically be hit or miss but this week-end everything lined up.

The Glacier Creek forest service road 39 that leaves the Mt Baker highway has been closed from a washout since fall 2015. The forest service has gated and locked the road at mile one which has made access to the popular Heliotrope Ridge / Coleman Deming route very challenging. Danielle, Kathia and I hatched up a great idea to attack this route using electric bikes. The thought of having Mt Baker to ourselves in April was more than appealing so the plan was set and we headed south to the Blue T Lodge and Chair 9 for Saturday night accommodations and fresh pints.



At the pub all signs pointed to Mt Baker!


We decided to pedal right from the pub / room so we left the front door at 4:30am and called it an alpine start. Kathia didn't have an electric machine so I drove her a couple of miles to the locked gate and gave her a head start while Danielle finished her tea.          


There was a warning in the room....  


The climb was surprisingly difficult even with the electric assist bikes. We were weighted down and the grade was relentless from 900ft to 3700ft and 10 miles of distance where we finally hit snow.        


It was clear no one had been here in a while and we had the place to ourselves!


After a short bushwhack stint we were on Grouse Creek and making our way up towards Heliotrope Ridge....  


I love the spring contrast....


The mood improved when the sun finally hit us as we neared the ridge....  




And the views improved as we stepped onto the Coleman Glacier....  


She's a beauty!




It was quite an experience having the entire Colman Glacier to ourselves with no tracks in sight! I doubt we will ever have this opportunity again....  



Baker's icefalls are spectacular!


At the Baker Colfax col we had some nice views of Baker's sister, Rainier....    


The Roman wall was Rhymed up as usual....  



It's a rare day when you can skin all the way to the Roman wall and most of the way up it and this was one of those rare days!    



Only 100m before the summit plateau there was a strange 10cms of corn sitting on blue ice and it made for a couple of scary moments trying to skin. The skis went on the back and a 15 min boot pack was required....
 

On the summit we met 3 others who came up via the Boulder Glacier and watched them ski the crater....  


She was steaming....  


Stoked for an April Baker summit....  


Stoked enough top dance....


From the summit we looked back at our Squamish hometown mountains Sky Pilot and Mt Garibaldi....  


Garibaldi and Mamquam....


The Judge always looks dominating....


As we dropped in the light over the Gulf Islands and Puget Sound put on a nice show....    





She's a beautiful ski....  


Happy girls.... This was Kathia's first time on Baker!  



We even got a moonrise!


Our final turns down Grouse Creek were smooth and creamy....  


We located our steeds and pointed them downhill....



This was a great way to finish the day!      



Back at the gate we celebrated our victory in the warm temps and evening sun....      


Our ride finished at Chair 9 where a massive Pizza and cold pints awaited us. Cheers to more spring Volcano missions!  


                       

4 comments:

  1. Hey Pat,

    Long time no see! This sounds like a wicked adventure up BAker. What are your thoughts on the Scapegoat. I've broken two Solutions so am looking at getting something different.

    Cheers,

    Hayden

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Hayden.... Nice to hear from you. I'm fully in love with the ScapeGoat in pretty much all conditions. They really dialed in the Camber and effective edge and once you ride carbon you won't go back. Good luck....

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