Sick Days: The Cascades, Washington

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words and photos: Mike Yoshida

Last season in the Pacific Northwest was a wild rollercoaster ride. There seemed to be a new pattern happening with the weather. It would start out with rain in the mountains that would gradually turn to colder and colder snow, and then end with a glorious high-pressure system that would last for a couple days until it warmed up and ruined the powder. This cycle happened four or five times, back-to-back, and nearly made it impossible to time a snow trip correctly. Luckily for our crew, which consisted of Matt Belizile, Matt Wainhouse, Pat McCarthy, and Dave from Mo Pros, we caught that high-pressure system and had two of the sickest days out in the Cascade backcountry.

Pat had rented an RV for us to stay in and we camped out in the wilderness on the south side of Mt. Baker for three days. All in all, it was a very short trip but being off the grid with no internet and no cell service made it refreshing to focus on barbecuing and shredding the Cascades' finest terrain.

Since our trip landed mid-week, we had the place to ourselves. We literally did not run into another crew the whole time, besides the occasional sledneck or two.
The Matts made quick work of the terrain we were lucky enough to ride and we worked a zone that had two really nice stepdown jumps. During our second day on-hill, the temps soared and we were forced to find shaded faces so that the snow was preserved well. By the third day the snow was toast, but we cruised up for one last roost, to enjoy the high alpine sunshine and fresh mountain air one last time.