Home Sweet Home
Mt Baker: Everyones home mountain
The rugged terrain of the Northern Cascades is littered with high peaks, but I chose the one up North as my home. It is not for the faint of heart, at least not where I go. It is a mountain that demands your respect, but will welcome you with open arms. If you are looking for a place to shred that has a ski in ski out hotel you should plot your course for another 2 and a half hours North and bring your passport because Baker might not be what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a place with great snow, great people, and great runs, Baker is where you should be.
Baker: A breif History
Mt Baker, also known as Koma Kulshan, is an active volcano located in the North Cascades on the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It is 10,781 feet tall and has a prominence of 8,812 ft. If you have never been there, its pretty easy to find. It is quite literally at the end of Highway 542, so just get on 542 and head East and eventually you’ll run into it. Its pretty hard to miss.
Oh the places i have shred
But I always come home…
I have gone up and down the Northwest Corridor and even further East in search of the best Pow and when it comes to the Cascades, Baker wins by far, but its not just the snow that makes Baker the best, it’s the people. Like I said before, I have been shredding all over the place since I was 7 years old, but only Baker has had the people that make me want to come back. As I get on the chair, no matter where I am at I always yell the same thing, just a cheerful, “Thank you my homie.” Elsewhere, at places other than Baker I will receive a nod at best, whereas at Baker the responses are always along the lines of a cheerful shout of, “Go shred brotha!” or a word of warning such as, “Watch out for Gunners today bro! Heavy sluff coming down, don’t get covered up!” These are the things that bring me back because the fact of the matter is, it is expensive to use any mountain, regardless of where you are at, so I would much rather spend my money and time at a place where I feel like the people actually care about me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have been to some pretty amazing places. Whistler, for example, was incredible. Great runs, fast lifts, and great snow. Lift tickets are extremely expensive but that is expected at a resort like that, but it just didn’t have the friendly neighborhood feeling that Baker provides.
I got the same vibe from Whitefish, Montana. This is truly the only place that beats the Kulsh when it comes to snow. The snow there was truly remarkable, but hey, it’s the Rockies, what do you expect right? Anyway, so the snow was great and the lifts were awesome, they even had a rope tow to a back country spot that was absolutely gnarly, and the restaurants were dope too, but that vibe I so desperately want just wasn’t there.
A love hate relationship
Like you have with your asshole cousin that’s an asshole, but he’s also pretty gnarly on a board, but he’s still an asshole so you’re like, “Fuck this guy but he’s dope so fuck me.”
Stevens Pass. If Baker was Luke Skywalker, Stevens would be Vader, only because everyone secretly thinks Vader is dope but you have to not like him because he’s the bad guy. Before I get into this anymore, I have to give a small backstory. I grew up in the small town of Stanwood, Washington. Stanwood is located almost directly in between Baker and Stevens so naturally, a lot of my friends chose to go to Stevens. I chose Baker obviously, but, being a poor high school student, I could not afford to drive myself there so I had to settle with rides to Stevens. This is where the “He’s kinda dope” part kicks in because Stevens on a good snow day can be absolutely filthy, but that shit is rarer than a blue moon on a leap year. (Ok so it’s not that rare, this winter has actually been pretty good to Stevens but still, fuck it.) On a great snow day, there are parts of Stevens that can be awesome, but the vibe just isn’t their either.
To sum this all up, Baker may not have the best amenities, but it has the best people, the best snow, and the best vibe in the NW.