Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mount Baker Ski Season Opens With Snow Falling on the Puget Sound Lowlands

Saturday, November 20, snow flurries have been dropping flakes on the lowlands of Western Washington. Tootsie Tonasket in Tonasket, on the east side of the Cascades, also is seeing snow falling.

With snow falling in the Puget Sound lowlands it seems like today was a good day to open the Mount Baker Ski Season. With 35 inches on the ground at Heather Meadows and 45 inches at the Base at Pan Dome, Mount Baker was ready to go today. Tomorrow all 8 chairlifts will be operating out of both base areas.

Mount Baker is the second most active of the Cascade Mountain volcanoes. With only Mt. St. Helens doing more rumbling than Mount Baker.

Only Mount Rainier has more glaciers than Mount Baker. If you don't count Mount Rainier in the equation the volume of ice and snow on Mount Baker is greater than all the other Cascade volcanoes combined.

Mount Baker is 10,778 feet tall, making it the 3rd highest mountain in Washington and the 6th highest in the Cascade Mountain Range.

Mount Baker is often the snowiest location in the world. In 1999, the Mount Baker Ski Area, which is actually about 8.4 miles to the northeast of Mount Baker, set the world record for snowfall in a single season, stacking up 95 feet of the white stuff.

The mountain road to the Mount Baker Ski Area is not for those who have any fear of heights. Or are unnerved when the road gets a bit slippery. I remember one winter sliding off the road on the way back down the mountain. A group of Canadians kindly lifted my antique 65 Mustang back on to the road.

In the below YouTube video you will get a little look at the drive up to the Mount Baker Ski Area, during heavy snowfall. And you'll get a real good look at the ski area and skiing. At one point you'll see that the snow level is way up in the fir trees, enabling a guy to ski through the branches....

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