I had the pleasure of being invited to check out Mt Baker with my buddy
Shaun Lindsay and some of his friends. The weather was phenomenal and
the mountain itself was "steep and deep".
Shaun's friend Matt Wills hooked us up with sweet digs just below the snowline at Mt Baker. It
had a huge lower level and bedrooms up in the loft. It also had a sauna (big enough for maybe
1 or 2 along with drying ski gear. That's Andrew Arnsberg sitting in the kitchen and Matt's girlfriend
Heather in the kitchen looking on.
The entryway to the lodge.
The drive to Mt Baker from Snowline is about 25 miles, but it's slow driving. We thought we'd get first
tracks, but we wound up being more concerned with staying on the road. The snow was just dumping! Here
Shaun Lindsay is getting his tele gear ready for an epic assault on Baker.
Andy is totally ready for a beating. It turns out that we all got what we would later call "The Baker Wakeup".
This mountain is really something else and I don't think any of us really understood this when we set out.
Andy, Heather, and Shaun all had an incident with a sheer ice face, I ate so much snow in the back bowls
and chutes that I think I gained weight, and I'm pretty sure I even heard Matt say that he was
"a little bit spent" by late day Sunday. See below for some of Jeff's fun.
Shaun's friend from Iowa, Mr Jeff Dunn, here totally buried in snow in the Gabl area. We realized later
that night that we had spent almost the entire first day not only skiing the toughest black diamonds
and double blacks, but mostly the areas that are listed as "cliffs" in the trail guide.
Trail guide and resort information HERE .
Trail guide with notes here
The view from the drive up to the mountain. The resort is to the north of Mt Baker, between Mt Baker
and Mt Shuksan, inside the Mt Baker National Recreation Area.
Shaun rocking out before hitting the snow.
Jeff getting in the mood.
Andy and Matt ready for another great day.
The view up to Hemispheres Chair. Can you believe this is only 5089 feet? It looks like
big pillows of snow that you could bounce around on. At Baker, they have an interesting policy
about backcountry skiing (Hemispheres is in the BC): "Pack a shovel, an avi transceiver, and a friend.
Other than that, have fun and know where you're going." The feeling at Baker was well summarized
when Matt was chasing a runaway ski (he was then only on one ski) down Canyon right past a ski patroller.
The ski patroller (who would anywhere else threaten Matt with cutting his lift ticket for not having a leash)
said, "Great job skiing on one ski. I thought you were going to get that ski."
Shaun and the view out to the west (Mt Baker is just to the left here but socked in).
A sweet piece of backcountry terrain to the south of the resort behind Jeff.
Try to tell me that this terrain isn't amazing!
A sweet shot of Andy Arnsberg with Mt Shuksan in the distance. Matt had previously summited Shuksan
and was telling us that behind the cloud at the summit is this sweet granite summit pyramid. That little
closed sign behind Andy was turned to open later in the day opening up one of the most excellent
fresh powder bowls I've ever skied - called Gunner's Bowl.
The lodge at Heather Meadows was filled with excellent old pictures like this one. I think this
guy definitely went to the U of S to study agriculture.
They also had great shots from the great snow dump of 98-99, when Mt Baker received 1140 inches of snow.
That's almost 100 feet for the non-metric and 30 metres for the rest of us.
In short, Mt Baker was among the best resorts I've ever skied. The terrain was intense, the slopes were
steep, and the snow was amazing. Thanks to Matt for organizing and to Shaun and the guys for their great
Return to picture index