I’d planned to head to Whistler last weekend, but when I checked the snow forecast and saw that it had had three inches of snow to Baker’s two feet there wasn’t much of a contest. I grabbed my passport and headed for the border.
Outside the ski area numerous slides were visible, including the one in the picture above that extended across three ridges on the Shuksan Arm. However when I chatted to a guy on the chairlift who’d skied Herman Mountain that morning, he said the snow had already stabilized really well on that side of the bowl.
I arrived 24 hours after the storm ended, so there wasn’t much untracked snow left inbounds. I was lucky enough to grab one run through Gunner’s Bowl to the Canyon right after it opened, and a couple of subsequent runs where I was only crossing a handful of tracks. As the Canyon area tracked out I took a couple of runs through the Danger Zone and the Chute, where the snow in the lower part of the run was fantastic. Then I headed for Pan Face and spent the rest of the day happily charging through the deep snow, exploring new lines and finally getting some extended time on soft snow after the long, long drought at Whistler.
Later in the day some light cloud drifted in from the north, shrouding Shuksan’s peak and casting strange light over Panorama Dome. I grabbed one last, quick run through the trees to the Raven Hut, then rode the final chair past the Legendary Banked Slalom course to the ski out. Given the snow at Baker and the fact that yet another dry week followed at Whistler, I had no regrets about my decision to head south for the day.