Some believe the practice of being fashionably late originated with the grand balls held by French aristocracy in the late 18th century. The idea was that hoity-toity fancy-pants hosts would wait for a large crowd to gather before making their opulent appearance. Widely adopted by the rest of western society, it’s become common practice to show up past the indicated start time of any given soiree. The same goes for concerts. Although, you wouldn’t sincerely believe that aristocrats, artists and emcees coined this practice, would you? Yeah, right. The truth is: Mother Nature started this shtick.
For seven of the last 12 years, Washington’s Mt. Baker Ski Area has begun spinning its lifts before Thanksgiving. The 2021-22 season wasn’t one of them. Despite early season snowfalls blanketing the North Cascades in November, atmospheric rivers and subsequent flooding quickly followed. Skiers and snowboarders waxed their planks and gathered at Nature’s stage only to hurry up and wait for her to come back on. The vogue delay forced everyone to remember that the best events don’t often start “on time.” And although Mother Nature began jamming a bit later than expected, when she finally did, she came out playing all the hits.
On December 14 the Mt. Baker Ski Area opened for a special Passholders Appreciation Day. Storms deposited around a foot of fresh the night prior. The blizzard kept raging right up until chairs started spinning promptly at 9 a.m. As folks melodically took to the slopes, the snowfall ceased. The sun shuffled in and out of the clouds, providing peeks at surrounding peaks and illuminating magical moments on the mountain. Shredders rocked steadily through the morning powder ballad before moving onto serenading sidehits and grooving groomers in the afternoon. Within mere hours of opening the show felt in mid-season swing, and the crowd was vibing with every second of it.
This winter Mt. Baker saw a slower kickoff than some, sure, but many are claiming it’s the best opener they’ve experienced in years. Well worth the wait, Mother Nature graced us with a deep, bassy base that sets us up strong for the season. The following is just a sample from that opening day anthem, a little taste of the tune. The fashionably late, unequivocally great start of another prodigious party at the Mt. Baker Ski Area.