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TR: Coupon Goes Skiing!


Coupon
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Hello! As some of you know, I really enjoy skiing, so I would like to share some of my adventure with you guys! I plan to mostly have Mt. Baker trip reports here, but I may include some other ski areas in the mix as well!

 

Here is what I plan to hit this year:

-Mt. Baker (A ton!)

-Stevens Pass (A few times)

-Whistler-Blackcomb

-Grouse Mountain

 

These ones depending if I have time:

-Lake Louise

-Revelstoke

-Summit at Snoqualmie

-Crystal Mountain

 

November 25th

Today was my first day of the season at Mt. Baker! It was a bluebird day and crowds were minimal. I didn't take many pictures since we rarely get bluebirds here so I wanted to ski a lot. I am very fortunate to have Mt. Baker as my home mountain as it holds the record for the highest amount of snow recorded. They got 1,140 inches of snow in a single season (1999). That is over 95 feet of snow over the season! We also average over 700 inches of snow a season. It is all natural too. ;D The ski area has 8 chairlifts and all of them are fixed grip quads. There are also 2 ropetows, one at each base area, for the beginners. The layout of the ski area is confusing at first, but it makes more sense once you get used to it.

 

Here is a trail map courtesy of Skimap.org:

 

PDF file!

http://skimap.org/data/191/7/1353192642.pdf

 

Here are my reviews and descriptions of each chairlift:

Chair 1: Originally a double chair, Chair 1 was the first chairlift installed at Mt. Baker. The double got replaced by a Fixed Grip Quad (FGQ) made by Doppelmayr for the 2008 season. The lift starts at the Heather Meadows base area and terminates at the top of Panorama Dome. Due to recoloring of 2 trails, Chair 1 serves most of the expert ("Black Diamond") runs on the mountain. There are two Double Diamonds you can access from this lift, Gunner's Bowl, and the Chute. I personally love this lift as it accesses two of my favorite runs; the Canyon, and a former-"blue" called the Blueberry Cattrack. This lift can easily be lapped as there is a mid-station right at the bottom of Panorama Dome.

 

Chair 2: This FQG was made by Riblet and serves the main bunny hill for the ski area. All the runs of it are "Green". To access it, you have to ski down a hill from Heather Meadows, or access it from Chair 4. I personally love this chair as it almost never has a crowd which means I can just blast the runs. There tons of groomed sub-trails here not shown on the trail map which contain great airtime moments. The thing I hate about this chair though, is that in order to get back to Heather Meadows, you have to ride this lift...

 

Chair 3/4: This FGQ was made by CTEC(?) and is the main connector between the Raven Hut restaurant and Heather Meadows. All runs of this lift are Blue. There are 2 Blacks and one Green that come off the lift though. The main trail is the Cat Track which is a pretty fun as you need tons of speed to go up the small uphill part unless you want to walk up it.. The Chair 3 part of the lift is really easy to lap too as it is really short and accesses fun terrain. This lift also has a mid-station which only allows you to disembark from either side.

 

Chair 5: Originally two side by side Doubles, Chair 5 is now a FGQ. All terrain of this lift is Blue except for Gabls which is the mountain's third Double Diamond. This is probably my favorite lift as the terrain is very varied. There are steep hills, rolling bumps, and some nice tree skiing opportunities. This chair leads to White Salmon lodge, Chair 7, Chair 8, Chair 6, and Chair 4. This lift also leads to the Legendary Banked Slalom course which is located in a sweet natural half-pipe.

 

Chair 6: Also a FGQ, Chair 6 serves the same terrain as Chair 1. I personally try to avoid this lift and I only use it when I feel like lapping the Canyon or any of the Blacks that lead to Raven Hut.

 

Chair 7: The oldest FGQ at Baker, Chair 7 serves one run; a simple Green. D: I dislike this chair as it takes forever and since the terrain isn't nice. The only noteworthy item from this lift is the half-pipe which is unmarked on te trail map. I only use this lift to access Chair 8 or Chair 5 in the morning.

 

Chair 8: Chair 8 is the longest lift on the mountain and serves the same terrain as Chair 5. The only difference is that Chair 8 ends higher than Chair 5. The ride time is about 15 minutes so I don't use it often.

 

Time for the pictures!

 

Right after a turn on the road, you see an amazing view of Chair 5!

 

The snazzy new signs located around the ski area!

 

The top of Chair 8 from the top of Chair 5.

 

Looking down at Chair 5's terrain.

 

Looking up at Chair 5's terrain.

 

Looking at Chair 4 with Mt. Shuksan in the background.

 

Chair 3 with Mt. Herman in the background.

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Coupon
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Wow some of those pics are fantastic. I've always wanted to go skiing one day. It doesn't help that the closest resorts are 5-6 hours away from where I live.

 

I actually might consider a ski trip when I have more money to spend since there's a ski resort/indoor water park a few hours from here.

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Great pictures! It looks like they've got pretty good conditions up there already. Hopefully Utah's are decent for me when I go over New Year's, because I want to have a reason to bring my ski report thread back for a third season.

 

I'll be sure to keep an eye on this thread, as there are a number of ski areas in the Pacific Northwest I hope to visit one day (including Mt. Baker and pretty much everything else on your list).

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  • 1 month later...

Night skiing at Stevens Pass! (1/20/13)

Trail map from Skimap.org:

 

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Stevens Pass is a ski area located at the heart of one of Washington's Cascade mountain passes. Stevens is 1,125 acres which is only 125 acres more than my home mountain, Mt. Baker. The ski resort doesn't get a ton of snow, but they still get an impressive average of 450 inches a year. There is a backside of the ski area, but it is closed at night since it isn't lighted. Most of the blue runs are lit and all of the green runs are lit. None of the black diamond runs are lit though. 6 out of 10 lifts are open for night skiing including the resort's two high-spreed quad lifts; Hogsback Express and Skyline Express. Other lifts that are open are two doubles; Brooks and Kehr's Chair (Big Chief) and two triples: Daisy and Tye MIll. The snow conditions on the lit runs was meh as the surface was ice and there were bumps everywhere. Overall, I think Mt. Baker has more challenging green and blue runs compared to the ones at Stevens.

 

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I apologize for the bad picture quality. My camera doesn't take good night photos. D:

 

The resort's three lodges. Tye Creek lodge on the left, Granite Peaks lodge in the middle, and Pacific Crest on the right.

 

Most of the lit area looking from Showcase off of Kehr's Chair.

 

Daisy, the beginner lift. (Yes, those chairs are pink.)

 

Hogsback Express's lower station. Skyline Express's station is almost identical.

 

Looking up Hogwild which is a run off of Hogsback Express.

 

----

Enjoy!

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  • 2 months later...

AMAZING day at Baker last Sunday. 13 inches new and it was snowing all day. The sun even came out for a while!

 

My favorite place on Earth! <3

 

Early morning turns on North Face which is a black diamond.

 

My new favorite run, Pan Face, mid morning.

 

Who said its never sunny in washington?

 

2nd to last run of the day on Lower Canuck's.

 

Nothing like marked runs inside Extreme Danger Zones! (Pan Face) The chairlift that is visible is Chair 1.

 

Panoramic view from the top of Chair 6.

 

it was almost lunch time when i took this and look how many tracks there was!

 

Enjoy!

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^That sucks! There is only about a month until the season ends here. :c

 

I managed to take some more picture today, Sunday the 24th, Overall, it was a really fun day and the slopes were void of people.

 

A view of Mt. Shuksan.

 

Looking up at the main blue runs at the resort that come off of Chair 5.

 

Such a beautiful mountain!

 

Gunner's Bowl and the entrance to The Canyon.

 

Making my way down an unmarked black diamond called Sticky Wicket

 

Nothing like skiing on the edge of a 40 foot cliff!

 

I'll close this report off with a nice picture of Shuksan.

 

Enjoy!

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  • 1 year later...

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