Mt Baker, WA (May 6, 2010) – The rumors were too much to take—two feet of fresh? In May? While this might happen from time to time in Colorado or Utah, it’s virtually unheard of in the Pacific Northwest. So yesterday I dutifully eschewed office duty to head east on 542 and try to find May powder at Mt Baker.
Leaving Bellingham at 6:30am, it felt warm—a little too warm. And, although Byron Bagwell and I reached the nose underneath Table Mountain around 9:30, by the time we had our splitboards ready for riding mode the sun was out—and the sun was hot. Still, the snow rode smooth and creamy, a foot of hot pow trumping the typical Cascadian corn-schmoo that predominates in May. Despite the should-have-been-here-yesterday’s that floated around the parking lot, it was still some of the best post-closing riding I’ve experienced in three years of calling Baker home.
After a quick lap, we went back to the car for solid boards and hiked out the ridge again, this time building a booter into quickly thickening mashed potatoes. And then it started snowing. Again.
Another lap down blueberry chutes led to the parking lot where a mini-quarter session was underway. The sun had reappeared, so we joined in and rode out the end of the day, enjoying spring-like conditions that never really showed up until now.
The lifts may have shut down, but the bootpack/skin track is set and the snowpack is deep. And the pace at Baker right now is one of leisure–kind of a nice change after a spring full of get-it-while-you-can pow days. The snowboard season is far from over in the Pacific Northwest, and the backcountry is empty—apparently a lot of people called it quits when the lifts stopped spinning. Get some.
01 Byron Bagwell
02 Chas Eberle