It’s official, Mt. Baker will open Saturday, November 20th. If you live in NW Washington, I hope you take advantage of this winter playground conveniently located an hour east of Bellingham. Washington winters become much more manageable if you just think “Rain in Bellingham means snow at Mt. Baker.”
If you can’t tell by all the posts, I am excited for the mountain to open. I’m a skier, so I’ll write this post from my perspective, but all these things go for you snowboarders too. Here’s some things you really need to do before you hit the slopes.
Re-waterproof your gear. Skiing in the rain/very wet snow/slush is inevitable in Washington, and can be tough on the waterproof coating on your coat and pants. And it’s no fun when it fails- nothing like being soaking wet in 33 degree weather! Treat your stuff with a waterproofing agent like ReviveX. It’s fairly cheap in comparison to buying new gear. I know they sell it at Backcountry Essentials in downtown Bellingham.
Tune your skis. Give them a nice wax, and tune the edges. Get the year started on the right foot! The Bellingham REI offers a free class on Ski and Snowboard tuning basics, the next on being held on November 30th. Or, you can take your skis to a ski shop. Tuning can be a fun event- invite some friends over and make a party out of it!
Tune your body. Get on your bike, go to the gym, run, what ever your exercise of choice is, do it! With our deep, heavy snow, you’re going to need some serious muscles.
Go shopping. Sometimes there’s just no salvaging your gloves with the rip in them, or the skis with a hole in the bottom, or the badly scratched goggles. And sometimes, it’s just exciting to get new stuff! Check out Fairhaven Bike and Ski– they’re local, friendly, and knowledgeable.
Hmmm, I think I forgot some stuff. Last year I got up to Mt. Baker for the first time and realized I had forgotten my poles. The best thing to do is go all the time- you’ll have the routine and gear down in no time. See you on the mountain!