Tag Archives: mt baker

Reimagining Recreation

  “If we approached rivers, mountains, dragonflies, redwoods and reptiles as if all are alive, intelligent and suffused with soul, imagination and purpose, what might the world become?” “Who would WE become if we participated intentionally with such an animate earth?”                                       …

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A Beautiful Bad Idea

 I was sprawled out yard-sale style on the Coleman Glacier, high on the slopes of Mt. Baker. One ski was broken. Blood was splattered across the snow. A quick check revealed a perfect circular puncture wound in my thigh from where I’d impaled myself with a broken pole. I was shocked and embarrassed. But mostly, I was crushed. Could I …

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A Mt. Baker Circumnavigation

As I stumbled down the rocky Swift Creek Trail in the dark, every side creek, ravine, and small gully was simply gushing—all tumbling into Swift Creek in the valley bottom below.  Soon I would have to ford this creek at a notorious crossing, and my apprehension was on the rise—was it my imagination or did Swift Creek sound louder every …

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Winter Bliss at Artist Point

The mood of a Pacific Northwest winter is defined by monochromatic clouds and a never-ending somber grayness. The dampness that muffles sound also softens the edges of the scenery. There seems little depth to the view as layers of fog and mist create a two dimensional portrait of the world. Shadows hardly exist.   But luckily, the Mt. Baker Highway …

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Gear Spotlight: Garage Brand Skis Made for Right Here

Smaller ski manufacturers, often called garage brands, have been proliferating across the ski industry. Similar to how small, local breweries have popped up everywhere to accommodate specific local tastes, smaller regional ski manufacturers are now designing their skis with local terrain in mind.  Lib Tech, which manufacturers on the Olympic Peninsula, does a lot of their product testing at Mt. …

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Light & Shadow: Winter in the Mt. Baker Backcountry

  The Mount Baker backcountry is magical in black and white. Ever-changing light and shadows continually transform mountain peaks and slopes, highlighting the power and the allure of nature. The backcountry in winter reveals the quiet solitude, the delicate texture of the snow, roiling mountain storms and the infinite sky. The clear air, angle of the light, tonal contrast, shapes …

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Graduation Day

I am inescapably and resoundingly middle-aged. I have been a college student for three years now, liquidating savings and borrowing heavily against presumed future earnings. Recently—remarkably—I graduated: thirty years almost to the day since I finished high school. Early that morning I drove to the mountains for a celebratory ski in the Mt. Baker backcountry, my excuse being that I …

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Doppelgänger on Mount Baker!

Whether you climb up the mountain or go down the hill to the valley, whether you journey to the end of the world or merely walk around your house, none but yourself shall you meet. –   Maurice Maeterlinck, La sagesse et las destinée (Wisdom and Destiny) 1898   Early this year I got a call from a long-time climbing buddy: how …

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Dangerous Powder: The Deadly Pitfalls of Tree Wells

It was June and we were just outside the Mt. Baker Ski Area near the Bagley Lake Parking Lot. My children—who have grown up skiing and climbing—were horsing around in the snow. They were sledding, throwing snowballs, rolling around and pretty much doing everything that they could to get soaking wet in spring isothermal snow. I wasn’t paying super close …

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Top Ten Winter Hikes in Whatcom County

Winter has descended upon us. Skyline Divide, Yellow Aster Butte, and all of your other favorite high country romps are now— thanks to a thick shroud of snow—pretty much off limits until next summer. But there’s no need to put away your hiking shoes. There are scores of low country hikes that for the most part remain snow-free all year …

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