An Unlikely Start to the ’11-’12 Season

By:  Allen
October 13, 2011


I have skied powder plenty of times before, just like I’ve skied under the full moon before. I’ve even skied Mount Baker before, but I don’t think I’d ever imagined that I would be skiing powder under a full moon on Mount Baker for my first turns of the ’11-’12 season. Sam had to work the next day, so a night mission was the only option. I met him at his house at 9:30 p.m. and we headed for the mountain.


The storm was just blowing over and we were trying to figure out if Baker was still socked in. On the drive up to the trailhead she made a silver moonlit appearance and we knew we were in luck.


Just a few days earlier we had been having a wine infused discussion about how we needed to “go for it” in more marginal and questionable conditions. Tonight was our chance to put our money where our mouth is.


The clouds were still in and out as we geared up in the lot, but we had a good feeling.


One sketchy river crossing and 2000′ of dry-land approach later we had fresh snow, a glacier, and some of the best views I have seen in a long time.


We didn’t know how far up we wanted to go. After encountering this crevasse which had been well hidden by the slope angle we decided it might be time to enjoy some stress free turns.

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Read about the author:   Allen
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: VTah Part II – February 2009 Storms

14 Comments

  1. christian
    wrote on October 13th, 2011 at 8:52 pm  
    1

    wow. awesome headlamp streak shots! …and pow.

  2. Sam
    wrote on October 13th, 2011 at 11:14 pm  
  3. Ben
    wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 12:38 am  
    3

    That looks awesome!!! Probably a good decision to play it safe w/ new snow, nighttime and big crevasses!

  4. court
    wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 3:58 am  
  5. Harvey44
    wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 7:31 am  
    5

    Allen or Sam… how do you figure exposures in the dark?

    • Sam
      wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 11:46 am  
      6

      short answer- trial and error. The light meters on our SLR’s tend to be pretty good at metering in low light though so there is a decent starting point. The focus is the more challenging problem.

  6. James Wells
    wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 12:16 pm  
    7

    Wow, I really love the moonlight shots. Day or night it’s one of the greatest places anywhere.

  7. I'm_a_crappy_skier
    wrote on October 14th, 2011 at 4:27 pm  
  8. bushman
    wrote on October 15th, 2011 at 8:03 am  
    9

    thank you A&S for sharing. Pretty sketchy seeing that crevass, makde you pause and check out the route down as you hiked I’m sure, betcha didn’t have your “help, help, I’ve fallen in a crevass and can’t get up” buttons with you. Worth the risk no doubt. Many thousand moons ago this nut skied undermoonlight w/out headlamps on a thinly-treed slope; trees contrasting snow give depth perception that otherwise was blind for lack of light. What you guys did, even with the lamps, had to be a lot harder/sketchier than that, and phots make it appear much lighter than it was. nice opening runs with pics and story to start the season.

  9. Allen
    wrote on October 15th, 2011 at 1:59 pm  
    10

    Honestly we just stopped when we started getting to the crevasses. We had glacier gear with us and I’m sure we could have gotten up through them but we decided that the ski down would have been too stressful. The snow on the way down was fantastically consistent which made the skiing very easy and the headlamps were really only for showing up in the pictures, since we don’t have a remote flash. On the drive up it was tempting to think we were going to go way up but once we got up there it was rather cold and also the middle of the night so we decided to keep it short and sweet. We didn’t get home until 6am even with the short ski.

  10. Sam
    wrote on October 16th, 2011 at 4:24 am  
    11

    The further I get from this trip, the more surreal it feels. RE the crevasses, as allen said, we pretty much stopped at the danger, the drive home at 6am was WAY sketchier

  11. Brian
    wrote on October 24th, 2011 at 1:34 pm  
    12

    Absolutely fantastic pictures!

  12. jumpin jimmy
    wrote on October 27th, 2011 at 9:23 am  
    13

    just saw this cool TR and sweet night photos…Inspiring as usual, boys

  13. whitewoodchuck
    wrote on October 29th, 2011 at 5:26 pm  
    14

    Just came across the TR – FKNgorgous!! Keep rackin up them fun points!

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