Opening Day at Mt Baker: Better Than the First Day of School

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Item: Baker Opener 2011
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Opening day is kind of like your first day of school—getting out of bed early again after a summer of leisure, returning to a lot of familiar faces sporting new outfits. And who the heck is that new girl? Well I guess in the case of Mt. Baker today, that girl from last year, La Niña.

In what has been one of the most hype-filled pre-seasons to date, expectations were undoubtedly high for Baker’s opener—and in classic Baker fashion, it delivered far more than we could have imagined. Three feet of unseasonably cold, fresh snow sat atop a somewhat thin base, but light feet and an eye for buried debris provided blower face shots through a lifting storm until lunch time. The Shuksan side of the mountain was the spot until 10:30, when Chair 6 loaded up for a new wave of untouched from Canuck’s to North Face and beyond. Although myself and a couple of other accompanying freqs had to leave at noon—after all, someone’s gotta make magazines—we departed thoroughly saturated and hungry for more under emerging blue skies.

With Whistler-Blackcomb and Crystal Mountain also firing up the lifts today, and Stevens Pass ready to pop tomorrow, I imagine the first day feeling is universal throughout the Pacific Northwest. Winter’s back—don’t forget to set that alarm clock or you might miss first chair.


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