After winter finally showed it’s snowy face through most of February and March, a weather window opened and we were eager to take advantage of it. It was my first time up Mt Baker in March, so I was keen to make the trip happen.
Upon arrival, we met a group of seven people touring around Baker who had seen an avalanche rip off the N Face. Concerns arose, but we were confident we had a safe a fun itinerary lined up for a different side of the mountain.
The next day we woke up to a gorgeous day with good temps and sunny skies, making for a smooth and safe trip to the summit. We all descended the Roman Mustache Couloir then down the West Face, with fairly stable high quality snow along the way. The sun was hitting the face all afternoon, but things remained safe.
Jason Hummel was behind the lens as always, capturing the beauty Mt Baker has to offer, so we separated into four different lines on the descent. Mike skied a traversing left line. Jason and I skied in an out of slots and icefalls (where a guy like Jason seems to be the most comfortable). Then James charged the most direct fall line and most aesthetic run. Apparently this chute variation down the middle of the West Face might not have been skied before.
After skiing my 5th ski descent variation on Baker, I can say the west side is a good alternative to the Roman Headwall if you are looking for something a little more committing but not as scary as the North Face. It was James’ first trip up Baker, and judging by the glimmer in his eyes, it won’t be his last trip.
Hummel’s images from the trip will be popping up on the site soon enough.
Skiers: Andy Traslin, Mike Traslin, Jason Hummel, James McSkimming