Early Season Epic 2012

Soulryders at Baker Mountain


Getting to the Soul Ryder base in Seattle sometime after 1 am, Kalen and I decided to rally hard in the morning and see for ourselves what was rumored to be happening at Baker.  It didn’t matter that the previous two days we had driven 1,000 miles and she had flown to Tahoe, then to Utah and back just a few days before; girl is a trooper to put it lightly.  But who doesn’t like driving through downtown Seattle at 6 am? With pow on our minds and caffeine in our bloodstream we bombed up I-5 straight to Baker for what would be Kalen’s first Baker experience.

Kalen Thorien Soulryders Athlete


And to say it was fairly typical Baker is an understatement. We heard from at least three people after learning it was her first experience there, that this was classic; with wet enough snow to burn the legs of any Olympian power-lifter (Scandinavian even) and being deep enough for me to cartwheel at least three times before lunch Baker gave what Baker gives best; deep and thick. But I was home.  Kalen was game as ever, and with shooting anything totally scratched, we just searched for secret pow stashes, ran into familiar faces, charged as hard as we could and ran the best runs of the day, on the way to the parking lot.  With the snow coming down in what felt like inches per hour, we were stoked on what the rest of the week would bring, being that it was only Sunday and we had a tough schedule of cabin hot tubing in Glacier, hanging with friends in Bellingham and meeting up with the rest of the crew to go back and find bigger better lines at Baker.  It was the best I’ve ever felt about early season apprehension; if it was this good in early December, my snow snob level would be sky high by January.

Buried in the deep snow


Getting plowed


With a text from David that afternoon reading “I know you guys are solid, maybe take a day to rest up a little. Don’t want you guys to burn out,” I thought for a second maybe taking it easy wasn’t a bad idea. But seconds fly by pretty fast, and the feeling of some of the driest snow I’d seen at Baker in a while had us both realizing that there really was no other option than getting after it as hard as we could.  As with most things in life, who knew how long it might last?