I have a flexible schedule with school this quarter, and am determined to make the most of it. Thankfully the weather and conditions have been cooperating the past few weeks. I decided to head up to Cerise Creek with Lee, Sharon and Tyler a few days ago. The snow was amazing, the weather superb, and the skiing incredible. Not bad for April!
We left the trailhead at a comfy 9:30, and carried our gear into the hut. We arrived to find some fellow Bellinghamsters there. After a quick chat headed out for Matier, the highest peak in the Joffre group (although I don’t pay much attention to height out here in the coastal lowlands). My newly lightened pack felt great, and we enjoyed sun and clouds on the way up the Anniversary Glacier. We were able to skin partway up Matier, and then switched over for the short boot to the summit.
Above, I made a pano of the region. No secrets here, this area is well known.
As I was starting up the bootpack, a slow roaring sound erupted behind me. At first I looked around for an avalanche, but realized I had accidentally deployed my Blackjack airbag pack. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, I’m just glad it wasn’t in 50 mph winds. After a quick embarrassed laugh, I spent a few minutes packing it up, and proceeded to lug 6 lbs of useless airbag hardware up to the top.
First run we skied down the rimed up ridge of Matier, then hiked a few minutes over to a small subpeak, and skied some beautiful steep powder off that. We realized we had some more time before dark, so Lee, Tyler and I skinned back to the bootpack, while Sharon, who couldn’t stay the night, skied pow back to the car.
We made it to the top and decided to head down the NE facing Twin One Glacier. We side slipped through some steep rime of the summit ridge, and ended up on an endless expanse of blower powder. We picked our way through the massive crevasses of the twin one for 3,100 feet, still nicely covered by the thick coastal snowpack. We made it back to the hut just before dark, made dinner and caught some much needed sleep.
And here’s a sweet video Tyler put together of the trip.
I lay in bed reminiscing about the great turns that day, and excited about the plans for the next day, which promised the same stellar weather and snow.
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.