MT BAKER, WA, December 15 – For the last couple months I?ve had the same conversation with everyone I run into:
?What have you been doing lately??
?Oh just working and waiting for the snow.?
What they don?t always tell you is how the mixture of aggravation and anticipation has them doing things that might seem a little insane. For some that means organizing 80gb of music and 40 pairs of socks or flying to Hawaii to return a rock (superstition induced). Maybe waxing every piece of gear you own and spending hours doing it, all while wearing full outerwear and pretending it?s not actually 50 degrees and raining in the mountains. Or drinking way more than you normally would and taking hundreds of photos of your roommate?s cat (she?s very pretty). But really, it?s all just a way of staying busy until the snow falls.
Once that snow finally does find its way into the cracks, crevices and creek-beds at Mt. Baker, the natural flow of our lives can resume. So when it finally got cold and stormy last Friday, it was time to make my way up Highway 542. Since Baker wasn?t going to run lifts until Sunday, my best friend and best dog joined me for a hike on Saturday, all the while scoping out where to go first on opening day. It looked a little bare, but I still had high hopes.
After a sleepless night, we rallied out of Glacier early enough to be some of the first on the new Chair 1. Even though large chunks of our normal riding spots were closed off (and rightfully so), we spent the entire morning grinning through all the snow on our faces?and the rest of the afternoon riding stashes the tourists don?t know about.
With achy feet, tired legs, and feeling too lazy to shower just quite yet, I fell asleep next to the fire feeling fully satisfied. It?s finally winter and, for the next four months, we?ll be playing in the snow.