SPOT TO SKI: MT. BAKER
'Elevation 4,300 to 5,000 feet; average snowfall '50 to 75 feet; usual snow cover 25 feet; skiers last year 44,000; season November 1 to July 30
Mt. Baker, northernmost peak in Washington's snow-choked Cascade Range, rises in some of the most spectacular high-mountain skiing in the country, 58 miles from Bellingham (nearest big city) and 150 miles from Seattle. Main ski runs are in Heather Meadows below Panorama Dome at the top of the 3,500-foot Mt. Baker double chair that whisks 800 skiers an hour up 800 vertical feet. Three expert runs—from a half to one mile long—Chute, Heather and Pan Face—radiate from the Dome and meet at Mt. Baker Lodge. For intermediates and beginners there are four rope tows scattered strategically through the rolling, wide-open slopes. Touring is tops, and skiers willing to climb from the lift to the upper ridges like Kulshan (above) get runs of three miles or more. Baker's tremendously deep snow is the delight of experts and, except for the frequent packing job done by the Ski Patrol, would be the despair of beginners. Local experts, a thoroughly partisan lot, say if you can ski the snow fields on Mt. Baker, you can ski anywhere. Tips: ski school teaches deep snow skills, road from Bellingham is good, but carry chains. Prices at the Lodge run $3.50 (dorm) to $10 (double). Entertainment and clothing is strictly informal. Come prepared to ski.
SPOTS COAST TO COAST
TD—top slopes, depth in inches; BD—bottom slopes, depth in inches; CR—ski crowd last weekend; SN—inches of snowfall last weekend
Mt. Baker, Wash.: Chinook storms closed up Heather, Chute and Upper Razerhone last weekend. Skiing fair on Pan Face and Austin Pass. Shuksan Arm ski school for family units got under way. TD 64, BD 68, CR 100, SN 20.
Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.: Wet weather has kept snow cover down. TD 5-10, BD 5, CR 500, SN 1.
Stevens Pass, Wash.: Skiing fair last weekend. Road open after ice closed it previous weekend. TD 48-50, BD 35-40. CR 1,500, SN 2-3.
Grouse Mt., Vancouver: Wet snow thinned ski crowds last weekend. Tyee Christmas party held at Noseeums. Upper lift will run daily from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6. TD 48-56, BD 16-22, Blueberry Bowl 36-56, CR 300, SN 12.
Mt. Hood, Ore.: Lower lift and Betsy tow operated last weekend. No skiing at Govt. Camp. TD 50-56, BD 48-52, CR 1,200, SN 10.