For most of you, Mt. Baker is either a place you know or a place you know of. I grew up in Massachusetts riding mostly icy slopes and semi-flat tree runs. Any perspective outside of that was limited to either the imagery of mystical places in magazines and videos or the amount of snow in our backyards.
In sharing my love for snowboarding with you, I suggest that you don’t ride there at all. Besides the fact that they get more annual snowfall than most other ski areas, the visibility is horrible, it’s humid, the snow is heavy, and there are no on site lodging options.
When the snow starts falling, people begin shuffling out from their hiding spaces, filling highway 542 in a frantic pace to get to the mountain. The hordes of snow hungry humans reach the chairlifts to begin their seasonal hunt. Fighting my way into line I reached temporary safety and began my ascent into the storm.
Let the snow continue to fall as we fill ourselves to the brim. Happy shredding and happy holidays!
Words by Pat Harrington. Photos by Justin Parkhurst. Video Tom Haraden.
After a dismal 2011/2012 season in the western U.S., it can easily be said that snowboarders everywhere needed a morale booster. Being at the center of the snowboard universe, Salt Lake City has been one of those overly hyped-up places when it comes to pre-season jabber. With temps reaching the low 70’s last week, people started to become pessimistic whether winter would actually come. Then suddenly as though Ullr had been listening to every season pass holder’s prayers, the skies opened up and began puking the white stuff for three days straight.
When it was all said and done, over three feet of snow had fallen in the mountains and resorts were sent scrambling in efforts to get the lifts running and people on the mountain. In classic Utah fashion, the workhorses up at Brighton Resort busted some serious ass to get the mountain in shape for a November 13th opening. Mouse whipped the diggers into shape, the cat drivers worked over time and Jared Winkler stopped fly fishing long enough to spread the word that this opening would be all time.
Without having set an alarm clock for 7:00 AM in over six months, all the heavies came out of hibernation to score some of the lift serviced goods. Our personal crew consisted of Alex Andrews, Scotty Arnold, Ted Borland, and Yobeat’s own Justin Parkhurst. Without having seen powder in some time and especially on opening day we headed straight for the Snake Creek chair to let our inner powderhounds out of their cages. We even ran into the likes of Cam Pierce and Scott Stevens doing the same thing.
For anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of riding with either Alex or Scotty, let me tell you that both of them are so hyped and energetic on the hill that they will motivate you to slash every pillow and chuck your carcass off of anything resembling a jump. With those two dudes motivating, we followed suits and proceeded to have one of the best opening days in years. Sure, core shots happened and people were rag dolling in every direction; but having blue skies, powder and some seriously aggressive euro carve sessions made this Brighton opener the best in a long damn time.
Thanks to all of the people at Brighton in every department for hustling in order to open up our favorite mountain on such short notice. You guys kick ass. Brighton Resort.
Riders: aaron fraher, sammy blaze, connor gysin, blake payne, corrine pasela, brandon hobush
It’s entirely possible that in an effort to not accidentally reuse a song, editors are now resorting to finding the worst possible songs to put with their videos. Either that, or they actually listen to this in New Zealand. However, the snowboarding is good and that park set up looks mighty fun. Snowpark is open.