Road Trip: Mt. Baker, WA

Road Trip: Mt. Baker, WA

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 by in Contests, INTERVIEWS, SNOWBOARDING

If you live & Snowboard in the PNW, you know about the legendary resort: Mt. Baker.

In fact, if you are a snowboarder anywhere in the United States, chances are you have heard the tales. If you haven’t been to Baker or have no idea what I am talking about, read this now:

This article is a highly recommended recipe for a road trip to Mt. Baker.

Step 1: Gather Friends & Pack Your Bags.
To begin, you will need some of your best friends. This is a key ingredient to the Road-Trip-Soup. Pick friends wisely, remember 2 things:
1.) You’re going to be stuck in a car with these people for hours.
2.) You’re mission is to shred & destroy everything, so bring shredders. (No sissies allowed)

Pack your bags and don’t be afraid to bring extra of everything. Baker is nestled deep in the Northern Cascades and… surprise! It’s wet as shit up there. You will get wet, be prepared. What you bring is up to you.

If Bags are packed for murdering steep pow-lines, move on to step 2.

Step 2: THE Place to Stay.
This step is a little secret of mine that I will now leak to you lovely readers (feel special).
If you’re going to Baker and need a place to stay, stay here: It’s called L&L Vacation Rental and it’s owned by my good friend Lee Clont’s and his wife Laurie (L&L). I’ve had the pleasure of climbing Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams with Lee, he and Laurie are two of the nicest people you’ll meet.

It is located in Maple Falls, WA. (40minutes from Mt. Baker Ski Resort’s parking lot). The lodging is one large room complete with a kitchen, a full bathroom, stove, bed, & foldout futon, the works. There is plenty of floor room to walk around and spread out to relax. Just down the road is a market and gas station for supplies (beers). My friends and I stay there every year for the Legendary Baker Banked Slalom weekend (the coolest event in snowboarding). I am so grateful to L&L for letting us stay there each year, it is a serious good time and the perfect place to stay.

Step 3: Getting There.
If you are interested in staying at the L&L, here is the info:
L&L Vacation Rental
7770 Ambridge Rd.
Deming, WA 98244

I Live in Portland, OR so it takes 6 hours to get to Mt. Baker. The resort is practically in Canada. From Portland Drive North on I-5, pass Seattle, Pass Bellingham, and take exit #255, go strait until you hit the parking lot of Mt. Baker, it is seriously that simple. If you don’t live in Portland, why not plug in the address of L&L Vacation Rental to a GPS and cruise on up? I recommend you stop in Bellingham to stock up on food (and beer) for the trip before you drive the last stretch.

Note: Leaving your entire camera bag in a parking lot in Bellingham while taking photos in front of a sign that says, “Cool Beans” at 11:00pm – not recommended.

Second Note: Leaving Portland at 6:00pm for a 6-hour drive to Baker – Also not recommended.

Step 4: Shred & Destroy
Mt. Baker is an epic Mountain. The resort holds the world record for most snowfall in one season: 1,140 inches.

The chairs are numbered 1-8. From Chair 8 there is amazing back country access, so if you have a avalanche gear (transceiver, probe, etc.) head there. A small hike will allow you to ride amazing terrain. Otherwise, most of Mt. Baker Ski Resort is pretty much back country. The possibilities are endless and the terrain is wild. Chairs 5 & 6 have the most jaw-dropping terrain. If you happen to be there during the Legendary Baker Banked Slalom, you will get to ride Chair 5 with your favorite pros from all over the world. I was Lucky enough to ride the chair and shoot the shit with Travis Rice this year. Hustle to explore as much of the resort as possible in the time you have, it is EPIC.

You will find signs warning you of EXTREME DANGER ZONES. Make sure to read the sign before you pass by it, they are not joking. With that being said, some of the best terrain in the country hides in the EXTREME DANGER ZONES. If you’re not smart you can die, so don’t read this and go off and kill yourself. If you are smart and you are an experienced rider, you can ride huge pillow lines and steep chutes all day long. A true powder day at Baker is a dream to be had. The PNW is prone to big snow dumps throughout March and April, so there is still time to take this trip. Pray to the snow gods.

Note: Riding with a friend- highly recommended.

Step 5: Evidence
To make your friends jealous or to show Uncle Bob how cool you are, bring a camera. Get some evidence of how wild this place really is. The rest is up to you. Ride your heart out and try to get a few days in a row. When you’re done shredding you can check out some local bars in the towns of Glacier or Maple Falls, hopefully catch some live music while you try to collect yourself after an amazing day at Mt Baker.

Take the trip and email us your evidence.
Written by: Jack Hewitt

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