Spot Checks: Mt. Baker Stump Jump
The Northwest has some very prime spots for building the classic cheese wedge kickers we have become oh so accustomed to seeing in the snowboard world. It also has some very unique jump spots just off the beaten path that allow you to use the natural terrain (or in this case the destruction of) and the features it provides to give you a perfect platform to catch some air with a very minimal time investment. Often times when you are running with a small crew or the weather isn’t favorable for investing 5 hours into building a wedge its nice to have an old stand by to fall back on that you can go session regardless. In these cases you just have to think natural.
The Stump Jump is a prime example of a natural feature that can usually provide pending a few variables that come into play due to its locale. The jump itself is in a clear cut area resting between switchbacks on a logging road in the Mt. Baker backcountry. At the top of this clear cut there is a stump that is precariously perched on the top of a cliff that sits high atop a southwest facing slope. The jump is naturally formed by falling and blowing snow depositing and stacking up atop the stump and forming a natural kicker. The short steep run in comes from directly above and funnels between two other smaller stumps. The run in provides ample speed to set you up on the stump for the perfect takeoff. Once you crack that ollie off the lip the stump and underlying cliff drops off about 15-20ft to flat so its important to carry it out about 20-25ft to hit the sweet spot and catch tranny. Before sessioning the spot you will want to do a quick snow-check run or two on the faces’ left and right flanks. Due to its geographic location it tends to be very susceptible to load and tends to want to release. It can also hold hidden objects in the form of other stumps resting just below the snows surface in the landing. Its almost a double edged sword. This jump has been seshed by some of the best riders in the world. It has also claimed some of the best riders in the world due to the aforementioned hidden stumps, just ask Eric Jackson and he’ll tell you.
On Monday I made the journey out into the backcountry with Nick Ennen. Nick has been owning this feature for years. He’s logged more time on this jump than probably anyone I know. He owns it and knows how to read it well and hit the sweet spots in the landing. I remember one day last season I watched him stomp cab five, front rodeo five and switch back 3 back to back to back. After a few snow-check powder runs it was go time. Nick sent it as usual. The snow was deep and the shredding was exceptional. The sledding was amazing too. It was a good day just like all days snowboarding. If you ever get a chance to head out and check this feature I’m sure you’ll have a good day. Who knows, maybe you’ll even run into the Northwest Legend that is Nick Ennen and he’ll line you up.
I watched him stomp cab five, front rodeo five and switch back 3 back to back to back.