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January 5, 2013 – Mission Ridge Backcountry

In lieu of skiing in-bounds on Saturday, we decided to spend the day further exploring slopes we like to call the “Back Bowls.”  Eric modified our climbing skins so they would fit our new(ish) skis.  Yay!

The last time we skied the “Back Bowls” was January 1-2 of 2011.  At that time, we were treated to absolutely perfect fluff on a bluebird day.

Saturday…not so much.  You could describe the avalanche conditions as “welded.”  HA!  It was fun, but in a different sort of way.  It was immensely enjoyable just being out there exploring.  (Truth be told, we did find a few soft spots.)

We skied into some trees that were burned during the huge Ellensburg/Wenatchee forest fires of Sept/Oct 2012.  The fire line stopped just short of the Mission Ridge ski area.  Whew!

There is something starkly imposing about burnt trees that remain standing after a fire goes out.  It’s fascinating how something beautiful and impressive can emerge from such destruction.  The black char against white snow in winter is particularly striking…

Lighting captured with the Go Pro 3.

Lighting captured with the Go Pro 3.

Lighting captured with the digital camera.

Lighting captured with the digital camera.

We like to call this area the "Back Bowls."

We like to call this area the “Back Bowls.”

Skiing among burned trees.

Skiing among burned trees.

A tree that survived the forest fire.

A tree that survived the forest fire.

Char

Char

We decided not to ski lower than this.  We'd already dropped about 1300 ft.

We decided not to ski lower than this. We’d already dropped about 1300 ft!

Typical rock formations.

Typical rock formations.

Enjoying the skin up.

Enjoying the skin up.

Mid day light.

Midday light.

Skin track.

Skin track.

Entering the burn zone.

Entering the burn zone.

Burned tree silhouette

Burned tree silhouette.

Black against white.

A bigger tree in the group.

A bigger tree in the group.

My favorite image.

My favorite image.

This is where we first skied the "Back Bowls," in 2011.

This is where we first skied the “Back Bowls,” in 2011.

Pretty needle coloring.

Pretty needle coloring.

June 2, 2007

Backcountry ski:  Scott Paul Trail to 7770 ft up the south side of Mt Baker (Easton/Squak Glacier)

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