This year for my birthday I got the ultimate gift, brand new skis. Now let me start off by saying I am no avid skier. In fact I haven’t owed a pair of skis since I was ten. I grew up in Ontario skiing mostly Blue “Mountain”. To this day I still feel more comfortable in pizza formation then French fry. I stick mostly to blue squares and green circles. However I love skiing. There is nothing better than the sun is beating down on your face as you are racing (or in my case slowly turning down the slopes). I love seeing the snow covered trees that almost look like they are painted in place. There is pure joy when you feel your skis dipping down in fresh snow. I may not be a great skier, but I sure do love it.
After having a chance to experience some of the best ski resorts in the world, I was excited when I had the chance to explore a real ski town, Mt. Baker.
About Mt. Baker
Mt. Baker is located just a short two hour drive from downtown Vanouver, just across the boarder in Washington. It is the third highest mountain in Washington and it gets epic snow every year. In fact back in 1999 it set the world record for most snowfall in a year, 1140 inches. Mt. Baker is also home to twelve glaciers if you are into climbing. Sounded like the perfect ski weekend getaway if you ask me.
Our Day at Mt. Baker
We drove up Friday afternoon and arrived at our beautiful wood cabin that we found on Airbnb. As mentioned, this is a true ski town which means no village and no hotels. When looking for a place to stay, I highly suggest checking Airbnb for a spot. Our place was perfect, about 20 minutes from the hills and a hot tub for post ski relaxation.
We woke up early Saturday so that we could have a full day on the slopes. The 20 minute drive there was filled with twist and turns and definitely one that you need to be careful on. The views along the way though were beautiful. You went straight in the middle of a forest with moss covered trees surrounding you on either side. As we inched towards the mountain, the moss transformed into snow.
When we got there the snow was even deeper than I imagined. As I was going up the chairlift I had seen some ski causalities buried deep below as well as snowboarders trying to wiggle out of waist deep powder. I knew that this was going to be an experience like no other.
When we got to the top of the first chairlift I was really surprised at just how many options and slopes were open. There were four options of chairlifts to take to a different part of the mountain as well as three different areas you could make your way to.
As we mentioned earlier I like the easier slopes, and with fear of losing a ski to the powder I stuck to the wider hills. I have to say that this was one of the greatest ski experiences I have ever had. The snow was so deep and fresh that my skis glided so smoothly, almost like floating on water.
When you could see through the snow, the views were spectacular. The tall trees sliding down the mountain alongside you, covered in white sprinkles that sparkled in the glimpses of sunlight. On the ground, a few rock formations with water flowing down from one of the glaciers above. It is a real life winter wonderland.
After exploring all sides of the mountain (except for the experts only), my legs were burning from pushing through the thick powder and my stomach growling. It was time to head into one of the three mountain restaurants for a quick lunch. We stopped into the Raven Hut Lounge where we were welcomed and warmed by not one but two fireplaces, and ordered a delicious burger with fries which we chowed down. Just a little side not, this is the smaller restaurant so if it is overcrowded try the White Salmon Day Lodge.
With full bellies and warmer fingers and toes we made our way all the way down to the bottom of the slopes.
Mt. Baker was definitely a unique and wonderful skiing experience. It is challenging with the deep snow, but beautiful views and plenty of slope options sure make it exciting and worth the trip.