Mt. Baker Ski Area is the only place I have visited that I have been truly concerned about too much snow. I didn’t believe that this fear could be possible. I have never seen so much powder in all my life and then I fell in it.
Sweat pouring down my forehead, I tried in vain to get myself out of the snow I had fallen in. My head was above the snow, but little else was. Each time I reached down to push myself up, my arm dug in further. I could see Ben waiting for me only 10 meters away, yet I wasn’t sure how to reach him. Each time I moved I sunk a little further in, just like quick sand. I tried to move my weight onto my snowboard and was able to hump my way out of the predicament. What felt like hours later, I finally reached Ben, exhausted. This was only the first of many similar experiences.
Mount Baker Ski Area is more basic than others. The chairlifts don’t have bars and they are not express chairs, meaning they don’t slow down when you get on and off. This means the chair scoops you up in a hurry and you better hold on tight. After repeating this a few times, it soon lost its fear factor. The runs on Baker and long and winding. There are eight chairs, conveniently numbered from 1 to 8. Chair C-8 is my favourite, with its various options of blue runs, with a few trees scatted in between. The blacks at Baker are generally at the easier end of the black run spectrum, largely due to the volume of snow. Whenever there is powder the number of runs I can do increases exponentially. Thankfully Baker offers plenty of these options.
One of my favourite aspects of visiting Baker is the food. The plates are large and delicious, thanks to their US location. The US sure know how to create portions. At least if you’re not worried about increasing a dress size. Better do a few more runs after that plate of nachos and liter of beer.