Mt. Baker opening day – it doesn’t get much better than this

Comments by Seth Hill/

When it comes to most things in life you never really know what you’re going to get. As for the great state of Washington, this is very much the case, especially at Mt. Baker. With a minimum hour commute, it’s hard to be certain of the weather ahead, but if the snow is good, there’s no better place to be.

From mellow groomers to big mountain lines and huge drops, Baker can easily challenge any rider. Just look at the amount of current pros or legendary riders that were bred here or have chosen to call it their home. It’s clear this mountain has the natural terrain and ginormous features to constantly push the envelope of what can be done on a snowboard.

As far as opening days go, I have to say Baker is at the top of my list, and I’m honored to be able to be telling this story. With its long history in snowboarding, and the legendary amount of talent that has graced these slopes, Baker stands alone in its energy and pure passion on an opening day.

With no definite place to stay in Bellingham, we decide to spend the night in Seattle and head up early in the morning. At 5:30 am Dan Manning (Manning Shredtography), Wild Card producer Jeremy Dubs and myself began our adventure north.

After snagging our tickets we joined the crowd of un-showered, snow-thirsty shredder bros to head up the slopes and get all that fresh powder. With no less than 10-inches of new snow on the ground, atop an already solid base, the excited boarders flocked to any and every zone without tracks.

When it comes to the saying “no friends on a pow day,” I take a different approach and “make friends on a pow day.” I met up with Matt Wainhouse, Forrest Burki, Mark Landvik, Nick Ennen, Nate Lynn, and many others for a solid day of shredding. We covered every inch of the mountain, and other than a few quick stops to dry off gear and de-fog the cameras, we never stopped lapping the insanely fun in-bounds terrain.

Baker is well known for its deep powder and epic terrain, and neither of the two were a problem with the 8 chairlifts that were running. With no end of snow in sight, we cruised around the mountain hitting every popper, slash and drop we could find, feeding off the riders around and trying to snap any photo worthy shot. We were lucky enough to bump into owner Duncan Howat, who was nice enough to snap a photo with us and give a quick update about how things have been at Baker.

As I said before, you never know what you’re going to get, and so was the case with the drive home. This gnarly, yet epic weather had brought in some sketchy driving conditions and people were struggling to stay on the road. A seven-car pile up gave us a chance to wind down in the car for a few hours before finishing our trip back south to Seattle.

Once again Baker has cease to let me down. When people say Washington is one of the last real shred capitols, I really do believe them, because this was the best opening day ever.