Our annual year end ritual took place this year at Mt Baker. Eileen, Tyson, Ian and I went up Baker via the ski area, and scouted into the backcountry in
the late afternoon. In darkness, we picked our Snowdomia location. It was a nice flat area, close enough to get back to the parking in 1 hr, and had enough
snow for us to build a village.
My mission was to recon the location and to report back to the crowd the day when I went back into the city. I drew up the map and here it was, the secret
location was born. Slowly, we had our first treasure hunters, Hans and Byron came in the following day using the treasure map.
Snow conditions was unbelievable. We had over 2 feet of snow drifts every night. The first night, I stayed with Eileen and Tyson in a snowcave. And I was
trying to build snow cave kitchen. When I got out on the 2nd day, the snow drift had already covered our car.
When I came back after 2 days, the site had totally changed. Snow had covered the entire area by a few feet. The original snowcave was now buried at least
4 feet below compared to the new ground level. I started digging my one-man small cave next to the original cave. It was quite primitive comparing to Eileen
The next day after I woke, I found out my cave door was facing the snow drift, resulting in so much snow accumulating overnight. I decided to close my the door
and started renovating my cave. My first goal is to lower my bed, so that I had more head room, and then excavate another doorway towards Eileen & Tyson's. After
about 3 hours, my new room was borned. More head room, I could stand up in my room, a small built-in wall kitchen, lots of storage and
Tyson started excavating a firepit / Amphitheater on New Year Eve, and at least we gathered up and enjoyed a few moments of campfire. Though the heavy snowing
drove some of us back down to the cave, as wind picked up at the evening, our entire party had moved into the 2-bed cave. Amazingly it accommodated about 10
people. Our countdown moment was enjoyed with a total of 18 people in the cave.
This is the original cave, after the 1st night.
I was trying to quarry snow blocks, and at the same time digging a cave kitchen!
Ian's daily chore. (3 MB).
Packing out ... on my 2nd day
Back to the parking lot
Remember this picture, this is what the original cave looks like.
Guess what that 2 holes are ?.
When I came back, the same cave looked like this, already buried a few feet down.
I skiied in instead of snowshoeing in.
Funny enough, after I arrived, we went back down ....
At the parking lot, Tyson's and Ian's cars were buried after 3 nights.
From the other side, Ian's car was invisible
Firelogs, .. yeap, we carried them up to Snowdomia.
Wind Snow Storm (9 MB).
Cathy, Damian and Andy built this wall, without this wall, the snow drift will just bury us alive.
The next morning, Ian dug himself out AGAIN ! Just like every other day. Poor guy.
My one-bedroom cave after I spent a night in it.
Tyson was digging the firepit and amphitheater.
What the heck was it ? Just a wall ?
No, this is the communal urinal. THe wall helps block the wind when you are doing your business.
My newly renovated one-bedroom, equipped with kitchen, gloves box, ceiling light.
Waiting for the countdown, we played a game ? What's that game again? (Ian, Kerry, Tyson, Jeff, & Eileen)
Another angle ... (Trey, Sandra, Ian, Hans, Kerry, Tyson)
The lone man was enjoying the fire ..
The firelog, remember ?
Burning the "bad ken" .....
Snow became heavy, but we are stilling enjoying the fire. (Andy, Jeff, Cathy, Syd, Rebecca, Sandra, can't recognize ...)
Waiting for the west coast countdown.
More celebration pics ....
This is another big cave, built by Brenton, Andy, Damien and Cathy (Photo by Kerry)
Thank you Damien, ... for digging us out in the morning.
My truck after 2 nights.
This is Moutn Kia (Ian's car).
Stage one, clearing the doorway.
Stage two, just drive without the windshield cleared.
Stage three, drive blindly and pull out.
Stage four, clear out everything, in front of the snow garage.