After many years of skiing on the North Shore mountains of British Columbia and looking across the border to the north face of Mt.Baker in the North Cascades, I knew one day I had to ski it. A lot of factors have to come into play to pull it off — weather, work, desire, motivation and fear.
I had a friend across the border, Dan Helmstadter who was living in a van down by the river with his dog, who I knew would be a good partner to ski this. He had recently skied the Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier, and had solo skied the line a few years ago.
We we’re ready for the one day assault and quickly made the hike to the glacier. We simultaneously climbed the lower ice section, then Dan belayed me up on the steeper part and slogged up the snow slope in a whiteout to the summit.
We we’re now in a full on whiteout but I was happy to be clicked into my skis. In one way the whiteout helped — I didn’t feel the exposure. We slowly made the descent by following our tracks and surprisingly had great skiing. It worked out even better with the clearing on the lower glacier.
In memory of Chris Hansen.
Skiers: Andy Traslin,Dan Helmstadter
Story by: Andy Traslin