Mt Baker Opening Day: No Lift Lines!


By Dylan Hart

“We have the deepest opening base in the history of Mt. Baker and great skiing and snowboarding conditions continue with lots of deep powder and cold temperatures.”

Writing a positive opening day report about Baker is easy as charging five bucks for a rub-on wax. In fact, most ski resorts in Washington don’t have to try, the snow just happens to fall there at an alarming rate and frequency.  As of November 13th, Mt. Baker had 67 inches at Heather Meadows and 72 inches on Pan Dome, once again proving itself as a mountain to be reckoned with.

Of course what do I know; I didn’t even ride the chairlifts.  And since I didn’t even grow up here, I had to enslave other people to help me embellish this write-up.


As for me, I headed out with Bart Patitucci and my dog Tima to rebate a gap from the previous day (we had held out due to poor visibility for cameras.)  With sunny skies (what?!) and cool temperatures, the day was set to be just perfect. We shot a few different features while waiting for the light to reach our gap and eventually got down to business.  As a two-man team it is not easy capturing stills and static video shots and we eventually drained the video camera’s battery running back and forth to hit stop and record. It’s too bad we can’t train Tima to hit the record button, or ride with everyone else on the chairs.

Going for gold is easy when you live in California, but going for gold in Washington, switch, is much harder. To shoot sharp images it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s just hard.

As the light began to fade, we ended up getting a few more cool shots and I again realized that you get motion blur if the strobe is too hot. Over discussions of processed food, agriculture, and sustainability, we drove home tired and happy.  I feel confident in saying that everyone up there had a great day chair lifts or not, and no matter what they say about El Nino, I’m still stoked.


Bart Patitucci. Backside 180 Tail Grab. All photos Dylan Hart




Switch Back 1.


Destroying the evidence.

Meanwhile in the liftline:

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iPhone cinematography courtesy Sam Griffin

“The November 12th opening at Baker was blessing of mountain therapy.  It did not have to happen when it did.  Rumors of El Niño were drifting around in late summer, but a few weeks of cold and wet is all that it took to give Mt. Baker hardcores one of the their best opening days in history.   And yes, this was a day for the hardcores indeed, since who the heck else has their shit together by Nov. 12th?  I can’t say that I did because without my avalanche transceiver to hike out of bounds, I was watching my favorite big lines getting shralped for the first time of the season.” — Sam Giffin

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  1. […] weeks earlier than expected. I sat helplessly and watched mid-November opening day coverage for Baker, Stevens Pass, Crystal Mountain – the lot. And here I am in Wyoming, it’s the first of […]

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