Mt Baker On Skis

One of the reasons I moved to Vancouver was because of what surrounded the city: mountains. 

Since moving here, my friend Ty has taken me under his wing and is showing me the best peaks in the area. He's also gotten me into back-country skiing (or ski-touring), and over the May long weekend we summited Mt. Baker in Washington state. 

(For those that are unfamiliar with the sport of ski-touring, as I was until November last year, it's a combination of cross-country skiing and downhill skiing. To go up the hill, you put something called a "skin" on the bottom of your ski that provides you with traction (they're synthetic now, but I'm sure that back in the day they used to be actual seal skins). When you get to the top, you adjust the bindings, take off the skin and its downhill skiing.)

 A view of the peak from the logging road, after about 20 minutes into the trip - we drove to within about 2 miles of the trailhead, and then hit snow so strapped the skis on and started going up. 

A view of the peak from the logging road, after about 20 minutes into the trip - we drove to within about 2 miles of the trailhead, and then hit snow so strapped the skis on and started going up. 

 Not sure who took this photo, but it's a beautiful one, and not even the steepest part. 

Not sure who took this photo, but it's a beautiful one, and not even the steepest part. 

 This was our camp for the night, after about 4 hours of traversing through the forest, and going uphill. 

This was our camp for the night, after about 4 hours of traversing through the forest, and going uphill. 

 Sunset from our camp. 

Sunset from our camp. 

 Going up on the second day. 

Going up on the second day. 

 A view from the peak of Mt. Baker: about 10,700 feet/3,200 meters above sea level. I took a nap on my backpack when we got there. 

A view from the peak of Mt. Baker: about 10,700 feet/3,200 meters above sea level. I took a nap on my backpack when we got there. 

 The crew, from left to right:  Backcountry Pete, Kerry, Parker, Ty 

The crew, from left to right:  Backcountry Pete, Kerry, Parker, Ty 

 Another view from the peak - it really shows you how much higher Mt. Baker is than the surrounding mountains. 

Another view from the peak - it really shows you how much higher Mt. Baker is than the surrounding mountains. 

 Part of the descent - it was steep! I didn't ski this part, but slid down on my ass and used my ice axe as a brake. 

Part of the descent - it was steep! I didn't ski this part, but slid down on my ass and used my ice axe as a brake. 

 Ty skied down the toughest, most technical part and ripped it up. 

Ty skied down the toughest, most technical part and ripped it up. 

 Conditions at the bottom were spring-like: after we got below the tree line, we followed this glacier water runout channel. 

Conditions at the bottom were spring-like: after we got below the tree line, we followed this glacier water runout channel. 

It was probably one of the coolest trips I've ever been on. But also one of the toughest. I'm sure that for the crew I was with, this was an easy little weekend trip into the mountains, though. 

I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Ty, Pete and Kerry for having me along on the trip. I was definitely the rookie, and there was no way I could have even considered going on the trip without them. 

If you liked these photos, you might like a few other posts about hiking that I've done in the last year or so: 

Tommyhoi Peak (visible from Mt. Baker) 

Surfing and Hiking in New Zealand

Hiking Tasmania: Quamby Bluff

Haleakala (Maui)

Waterfalls, Rainforests and Sand Dunes: New Zealand Hiking

The Pinnacles: New Zealand