Where's Jono?

Riding and roaming with Jono

Mount Baker, Washington • Jan 22nd, 2023

From Winthrop I had to hop over to Minneapolis for a few days of work. When I came back to Seattle, I hung out with my brother and his wife Friday night and Saturday spending our time eating, hiking and playing Dominion. I was going to head to Whidbey Island that night, but the snow conditions were looking good and I wasn't sure when else I could ski Mount Baker. I booked a cheap hotel in Bellingham and headed north. 
I left Bellingham at 6:30am and got a spot near the entrance of the upper lodge. I had an hour to kill, so I explored the lodge before getting geared up. While in there, a car caught on fire right outside of the lodge which caused some excitement. 

I was on the fifth chair up C1 and the first thing I noticed was how raw the mountain was. The chair goes right up a big face with lots of chutes and cliffs. It was an experts only chair and I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into. 

At the top there were 4 inches of new snow and I pieced my way down to the bottom of C5 looking for something a bit less aggressive to warm up on. Heading up the chair on C5, I met John Grinter who knew the mountain well and offered to show me around for a few laps. 
The visibility was low and it was much easier following John around so I could see which way the terrain was falling. We hit a lot of fun runs and he told me about the history of the mountain on the lifts back up. In the 90s he snapped a pic of Mark Friesen dropping a big cliff in Baker that was featured in Snow Boarder Magazine.

For one of our runs it cleared up enough to see the peaks all around us. It looked nothing like the Cascades and a lot more like the Alps. I was enjoying the view and skiing too much to stop and snap a picture. That ended up being the only completely clear run of the day.  

Thank you John for the tour of the mountain!
After we parted ways I skied a couple more laps and stopped for a quick lunch. The soup and bread at the Raven Hut Lodge were 👌. I headed back up C6 found the Canyon. It was a narrow, reasonably steep run at the base of two large cliffs. The sights were awesome and I lapped it twice to wrap up the day. 
Mount Baker ended up being a great detour. Glad I drove the extra hours to make it happen. I headed down the mountain and continued my way Whidbey Island. I got there just in time to have a feast with my uncle, aunt and grandparents.

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