Mount Baker

Well, I have – perhaps predictably – fallen way behind in keeping the family travel blog up to date. Be that as it may, here’s a quick writeup on our Christmas 2009 trip to Mount Baker.

Ben in the Mount Baker Parking Lot

Sam and Ben are both incredibly avid and, I daresay, highly competent skiers. A lot more avid than I am, and WAY better at it. I like skiing when it’s sunny, warm and not very steep. Sam would happily spend all day skiing off a cliff in a rain storm. I also found out on this trip that Sam is really, really good at “boxes”. These are wood or steel structures that they build in the middle of a ski run for kids to do tricks off of. Hopefully I will insert some pictures below.

Sam and Jake (Jake's the one on the left)

For this trip we took along Sam’s friend from school, Jake. Jake and Ben got along really well, which was slightly surprising (Ben can be a bit exasperating at times!) but all for the good.

Mount Baker Trail Map

Mount Baker is not actually on top of the Mount Baker that you see from the highway; the highest skiable point is 5,089 feet whereas the top of Mount Baker is well over 10,000. Furthermore, the mountain most visible as you are skiing is actually Mount Shuksan. I think that is the peak you can see from Vancouver to the right of the big snowy dome of Mount Baker, but I’m not sure about that.

Anyway, Mount Baker is probably 2x-3x the size of the local Vancouver mountains, and 1/4 to 1/2 the size of Whistler (depends whether you are measuring vertically or horizontally). The best thing about Baker… no lineups! None. Zero. Nada. Never. And, one assumes we were there on their busiest week of the year.

If you can read this map, the boys spent most of their time on “Chair 4” (Baker is the only mountain I’ve been to that merely numbers its chairlifts. Everywhere else gives them cool names, such as “Solar Coaster” or “Harmony Express”). That’s because that’s where the terrain park was.

Riding UpChair 4, Mount Baker in the Background

Skiing three days in a row is a lot of skiing, for me. Not for Sam and Ben! The last day, today actually, December 30th, was only a half-day as we had to vacate the cabin we had rented and make the trek back to Vancouver.

Bottom of Chair 4

I like this picture, the way the bottom of the lift is almost entirely surrounded by white. We skied this lift over and over and over and over. The first day was cloudy; the second, absolutely clear; the third, torrentially snowy.

Triumphant Ben!

Flying Jake

Sam Coming Off a Box

Sam. My Favorite Picture. 2 seconds before a major wipeout.

Airborne Jake #2

Break Time!

Sam Coming Off Another Box

Mount Shuksan

Last Picture!

We did a bunch of other stuff this Christmas, too. Hopefully I will add this to the travel blog later!

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