Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baker Banked Slalom Day 2: Race Gates or Access Gates?

Mt. Shuksan looms over the Arm

My choice was obviously access gates. The sidecountry access at Baker is amazing. At the top of Chair 8, a patrolman checks your beacon and you leave the resort (if you want). After that point, you better know what you're doing because the only avalanche control that happens past that gate is natural or accidental. We were treated to some good stability yesterday and my friends knew the spots, so we were also treated to some sweet snow on Shuksan Arm. My only regret is that I'm not in good enough shape to make the hike without sucking some serious wind. That first pitch is a doozy.

Not Shuksan Arm, just a pretty picture
As for the race, well that went on just fine without me. I didn't get any video like I'd hoped, maybe tomorrow. Most of my friends qualified for the finals. Good for them, bummer I might not get to ride with them Sunday. I didn't demo any new boards, either. Hiking for pow is all-consuming. If you don't go, you'll never know. Hanging out in a new place with friends who can show you where to drop without fear of a cliff-out, I wasn't thinking about much other than getting the goods. Tomorrow, my legs might have me thinking otherwise. Maybe groomers on next year's boards taking video of The Gravitron. Maybe you'll get some more sweet shots of snowy peaks with fewer tracks than people.

The real highlight of Saturday: salmon BBQ, bonfire and beer garden


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