22 Feb Mt Baker ski area, big and tiny
As Mt Baker, a ski area in northern Washington state, is getting pummeled by snow this year, it’s amazing to think about the scope of this little ski hill on the massive flanks of heavily glaciated, active volcano Mount Baker. Well, actually, the ski hill is on the arm of Mt Shuksan, but nearly hugs the ridgeline over to Mt Baker. What amazes me about this little ski hill is not just the amazing amount of snow it gets every year (1140″ in 1998-99) or the access to phenomenal sidecountry skiing, but how it’s still just a tiny sliver of the volcano massif (inbounds ski hill as outlined in blue in the picture here) and how the highest lift served peak is 5689 vertical feet below the summit of Mt Baker, ie. more than the entire vertical drop of Whistler/Blackcomb or Revelstoke, the most in North America. The real world, via Google Earth, can still blow us away.