birth of snowboarding T Going for the glory at Ski to Sea T A look at Mt. Baker, the volcano T Olympics on the cheap T Hot bikes
2 Mount Baker Experience
The Birth of Snowboarding Thank your lucky stars. If you wanted to go snowboarding 45 years ago, you would have been riding a Snurfer. Then came Sims and Burton...
Going for the glory Have you put your team together for the Ski to Sea Race? It’s time to start thinking about who gets to ride and who gets to paddle.
10 Cool Gear You’re riding on the snow now. But soon you’ll be looking for new wheels. Here are some of the bikes waiting for you in local shops.
12 It’s not the boom that counts It’s the lahar. We’re standing on a live volcano and when it goes, well, you heard what happened to Harry Truman at Mount St. Helens?
15 The Olympics on the cheap From now til March 21, the Olympic celebration keeps on happening. Best of all, lots of fun can be had for little cash.
19 Regional Map
On the cover Nick Ennen by Ryan Duclos www.bellinghamphotographer.com Photo by Tyler Mitchell
s Michela Hackett
This is where it all HAPPENS...
Printed in Canada Vol XXIV No. 2
Address: 225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 Tel: 360/332-1777, Fax: 360/332-2777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.mountbakerexperience.com Next edition: Early May Ads due: April 16 Publisher/Managing Editor/Layout Patrick J. Grubb Associate Publisher/Advertising Manager Louise H. Mugar Graphic Design Karena Crotto Contributors John Brunk, Ryan Duclos, Grant Gunderson, Jake Lunden, Tyler Mitchell, Dave Tucker, PJ Wren Advertising Sales Martha Alvarado, Janet McCall Office Manager Heidi Holmes
Welcome to the Mount Baker Experience, the quarterly recreation guide for and about the Mt. Baker area, published by Point Roberts Press, Inc. Locally owned and operated, the company also publishes The Northern Light, All Point Bulletin, Pacific Coast Weddings and Waterside in Blaine, Washington. Point Roberts Press is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, chambers of commerce in Whatcom County and the Bellingham/Mt. Baker Convention and Visitors Bureau. The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and are offered for the general interest of readers. We welcome your letters; however, the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor. For circulation and rate information, or to send your letters, please address to: Mount Baker Experience, 225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230, fax them to 360/332-2777 or email email@example.com.
find it online www.mountbakerexperience.com: Read the current issue of Mount Baker Experience here, and find all the archives as well. www.mtbaker.us: Find the latest information about the Mt. Baker Ski Area, including snow amounts, events and trails. www.mtbakerchamber.org: Discover the area’s businesses. www.weather.com: Get all the weather you need. www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/northwest/traffic/bordercams: Need to know about border delays? Find out here. www.facebook.com/MountBakerExperience Mount Baker Experience 3
The birth of snowboarding By Jake Lunden Athletes from across the globe have trekked to our corner of the world this month, eager to give their all for glory in a sport that didn’t exist a few scant decades ago. Olympic snowboarding has been around for a dozen years, one of the most recent additions to the winter games. It first debuted in the 1998 Nagano games, amid international hoopla and fullfledged media circus. Yet 30 years before, the modern snowboard was yet to be sold, built or even designed. Anecdotes of the first snowboard span the 20th century. Stories of clumsy plywood boards and modified sleds jockey for position with lunch trays and anything ever used to slide down a hill for elusive title of first, a subject of much debate and little decision. It wasn’t until the ’60s that snowboarding put down some definitive roots. A child’s toy, a failed shop-class project and over a decade of tinkering paved the way for the first modern boards. While one true inventor remains elusive, snowboarding has a host of founding fathers, who spent the ’60s
and ’70s innovating new concepts mostly independent of each other. Some say snowboarding was born in the not-soillustrious snowy hills of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Junior high shop class student Tom Sims had his heart set on building a custom skateboard, but the wheels for the project never materialized. The year was 1963, and Sims’ shop teacher okayed the 8" by 34" ‘ski board,’ now housed in a museum. Others contend it started with the Snurfer, a portmanteau of snow and surf. One seemingly endless Michigan winter, Sherman Poppen daydreamed of a better way for his daughter Wendy to take to the hills. Finding his daughter had become the most popular girl on the block, Poppen, a chemical engineer, brought the idea to mass production. Over half a million sold in one year and the entrepreneurial Poppen started Snurfer competitions. Despite the Snurfer’s success, it was a far cry from today’s snowboards. There weren’t any bindings, though riders took a hint from skateboarding and opted for grip tape. Snurfers came with a rope at the nose riders held for stability, and
steering was tricky at best. Skiers took little notice of what was regarded as a children’s toy, but the Snurfer gained a cult following among riders who saw greater potential in the board. Among the Snurfer’s devotees was a young Jake Burton Carpenter. A native Vermonter, he was raised on skis, but never stopped dreaming of surfing . He took to the Snurfer, and modified it with his own designs and a pioneering first at the 1979 National Snurfing Championships: bindings. His fellow competitors went up in arms, but judges allowed him to compete and he won. Carpenter had clearly improved upon the Snurfer, and his designs eventually morphed into what would become Burton Snowboards. Fellow would-be surfer and snowboarding pioneer Dimitrije Milovich was braving hills at Cornell University on cafeteria trays, dreaming of a way to take his love of surfing to new, wintry heights. In one of Milovich’s favorite surf magazines Wayne Stovoken penned a letter to the editor about a design he was working on for “snow surfing” gear. Intrigued, Milovich sought out Stovoken in 1970, and the two formed
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a partnership. After dropping out of the engineering program in favor of Utah powder two years later, Milovich turned Stovoken’s 6' 20-pound redwood prototypes into lightweight boards with a uniquely forked ‘swallowtail’ design. Rudimentary bindings in the form of a strap kept riders on the board which, like a surfboard, had a leash. Stovoken returned to New York after just a year, but Milovich stuck it out, patenting the Swallowtail design and later forming Winterstick in 1976. Despite a little good press, the boards never fared well commercially and Milovich went on to open an engineering firm. By 1980, snowboarding began to come into its own, if only as blurbs in the back of skateboarding or surfing magazines. There was still no hard and fast definition of a snowboard, as wood or composite boards drew their inspiration from skateboards, surfboards, skis and of course the Snurfer, but the sport was gaining some modest popularity. Jake Burton Carpenter incorporated metal edges onto his boards, with other companies soon following suit. Inspired by skis, the edges gave greater maneuverability to the boards. Around the same time, Tom Sims landed a contract with a large company to produce his skate and snowboards, allowing for greater exposure. Promoters of the sport held a small snowboarding contest in 1981, but it was snurfer Paul Graves who organized the first National Snowsurfing Championship in 1982. The Vermont event drew together pioneers of the sport, with Jake Burton Carpenter and Tom Sims both competing. Mainstream press covered the event, with an untold number of youth learning about snowboarding for the first time. Carpenter saw his sales go up every year, but it wasn’t until 1984 that he broke even. By the mid 1980s, snowboard designs were taking a more consistent shape as pointed-nose, flattailed boards made it on to the scene. Major ski manufacturers were jumping on the snowboarding bandwagon and by the end of the decade the modern snowboard shape emerged. Countless regional snowboarding events popped up on East and West Coast mountains, often sponsored by manufacturers eager to show off their new products. Mt. Baker played a seminal role in the history of snowboarding 25 years ago, with the first Legendary Banked Slalom. Among the first ski areas to welcome snowboarders, the perfect topography – one of the few mountain resorts with a natural halfpipe – proved a logical choice to host the event. Tom Sims was first through the 15 gates that inaugural year, riding one of his company’s boards to victory. Snowboarding’s popularity was growing steadily and manufacturers were finally starting to turn profits, but snowboarding was facing strong resistance from ski resorts. While most resorts had neither seen nor heard of snowboarding during the 1970s, resorts frequently prohibited snowboarders in the ’80s, citing safety and insurance reasons. Noting that a small handful of resorts did allow them, snowboarders didn’t buy this reasoning. Younger and definitely more countercultural than skiers, snowboarders embraced their persecution complex. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Gen-X youth were coming into their own in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and snowboarding was the athletic equivalent of punk rock, rebellion and sticking it to the establishment. Breaking rules had never been so fun. Somewhat ironically, the ban on boarding and maligning of boarders drew youth to the sport in droves. Unsurprisingly, ski resorts realized the error in turning away thousands of paying customers. In 1985 snowboarders were banned at over 90 percent of ski resorts, but only a decade later just as many welcomed them. Mt. Baker Ski Area was definitely ahead of the curve, being one of the first to welcome snowboarders. Say what you will about champagne powder, there’s nothing like Baker crud for building a jump or halfpipe. It may have been the great snow that led to snowboarding’s early success here, coupled with the excellent terrain. Or perhaps it was a strong liveand-let-live attitude, or that local skiers didn’t take themselves as seriously as their Aspen, Tahoe or Vermont counterparts. Unknown in the ’60s, a curiosity in the ’70s and widely mocked in the ’80s, snowboarding went from pariah to mainstream by the ’90s. The sport that would get you kicked off most mountains 10 years earlier was the most talked-about event at the 1998 Nagano Games.
All photos by Tyler Mitchell
Mount Baker Experience 5
Looking for glory ... The 2010 Ski to Sea Race Story By Jake Lunden hatcom County turns itself inside out every Memorial Day, as athletes from all over make their way from the heights of Mt. Baker to the shores of Bellingham Bay. The 90-mile race draws hundreds of teams, and with them hordes of spectators to cheer them and to share glory or ignominy. Based on an old Bellingham slogan “From ski to sea in 60 minutes,” the race was inspired from early 20th century relays and the Bellingham Chamber of Com-
merce’s desire to showcase Whatcom County’s recreation opportunities. Mostly loggers and outdoorsmen well versed with Whatcom County’s terrain, the 14 original participants of the 1911 Mt. Baker Marathon made their way from Bellingham to the mountain and back by any means at their disposal. Trail running and mountain climbing, horses, early Fords and even a train helped racers get to Baker and back again. There was no set route, so racers forged their
own. The winner the first year was Joe Galbraith, who took over 12 hours to complete the distance. The race was held again in 1912, but 1913 marked the last year of the race. According to local lore, the marathon was stopped in 1913 when Vic Galbraith, a cousin of Joe Galbraith, fell into a crevasse while racing down the glacier. He was found six hours later, nearly dead. Comprising teams rather than individuals, a set course, and rejecting motorized vehicles in favor of more athletic events, 1973 was the
Photos by Jon Brunk 6 Mount Baker Experience
by leaps and bounds, resulting in a surprise victory in 2008. “The first year, people at the finish line were like, ‘Bagelry? Really?’” says Ryan, “Because we came out of nowhere.” By repeating their success in 2009, they cast all doubts aside. “When we won in 2008, people thought it was just a fluke. It was fun to prove them wrong.” If it seems like half of town is racing in Ski to Sea, the other half is watching. For more information on forming a team, watching events, the parade, Fairhaven Festival or Ski to Sea Junior, visit www.skitosea.com.
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level, competing in Ski to Sea is a tremendous amount of fun. The race features a diverse array of skill levels, and while many teams compete just for fun, some non-professional athletes surprise their friends and even themselves with strong finish times. Two-time winners The Bagelry exemplify the achievements of local, non-professional athletes. None of the co-ed team members are pros, and all are local to Bellingham and Puget Sound, according to Ken Ryan, who owns The Bagelry and sponsors the team. Over the last couple of years, the team of talented locals advanced
after ringing the ceremonial bell. The legs of the race have seen their fair share of change as well. Originally comprising downhill skiing, cycling and canoeing the Nooksack River, running (1975) crosscountry skiing (1983) mountain biking (1991) and kayaking (1992) came later. Sailboats first made the saltwater leg in 1980, with 50 boats waiting at the mouth of the Nooksack River on a windless day. When a breeze finally did come up, the boats crossed the finish line en masse, making for an inconclusive win. Before mountain biking, canoeists often found themselves stuck in the mud at the mouth of the Nooksack if it happened to be low tide. The race is competitive, but with 14 divisions teams can find competition in their niche based on age, gender or skill level. Forming a team is easy thanks to the Ski to Sea website, which allows a team captain and their seven best friends, family members, workmates or any combination thereof to sign up (registration begins March 1). Interactive message boards and individual team site pages on the website let Ski to Sea athletes keep in touch and share information with their fans. Teammates can post pictures, company logos and other team information. Regardless of your teams’ skill
the mountain roads through the towns of Glacier and Maple Falls and onto the flat farmland around Everson. At the banks of the Nooksack River, the cyclist hands off the baton to teammates five and six, starting the two-person canoe leg. This 18mile stretch leads through farmland and meadows, ending in the town of Ferndale. One of the original events, it has the distinction of being the only cancelled leg of route, when spring rains raised the river to unsafe levels. From the riverfront Hovander Park in Ferndale, the seventh teammate makes a nine-mile trek via mountain bike to Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham. While having made it from ski to sea, the final seventh leg takes the eighth teammate who paddles a kayak from Squalicum Harbor across the bay to Maritime Park in Fairhaven, where he jumps ashore and runs across the beach to ring the brass bell, making for a dramatic finish in front of hundreds of cheering spectators. The race has changed somewhat over its 36-year history, as teammates went from passing batons to team necklaces, and now an electronic chip card worn on a wristband. Swiped by the first teammate on Mt. Baker, it is swiped again by the kayaker at Fairhaven harbor
beginning of the modern Ski to Sea era. Since the early ’70s, teams of amateurs, professional athletes, local talent and visitors from the world over traversed the route from Baker to Bay. In its current form, the race has seven legs, each a different sport on the route to Fairhaven. The Bellingham Ski-to-Sea parade and a Fairhaven street festival round out the festivities, along with other events for spectators throughout the course in Whatcom County. The seven legs combine winter sports with more fair-weather activities, to show that in Whatcom County you really can have it all. The first leg requires two figureeight loops by cross country skis around the Mt. Baker ski area, 4.5 miles in total. Passing the proverbial baton, the second teammate is the downhill skier (or snowboarder, as of 2004). It’s not as easy as it sounds: the skier or boarder has to hike up the hill with their gear before they can strap in and ski back down. From there, a third teammate runs eight miles on the Mt. Baker Highway, bringing the race out of the snow and onto lower ground, where the baton is passed to teammate number four. At 36 miles, cyclists cover more ground than any other teammates, weaving down
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Winter hiking: It’s in the cards
By Jake Lunden ike bears in a den, most hiking boots wait out the winter in some dark out-of-the-way place, when short days and disagreeable weather put even the most avid hikers into hibernation mode. Excuses seem to outnumber potential trails, and hikers curse the dark winter days while dreaming of high-
er ground and warmer weather. Author and hiker Craig Romano sees things differently, arguing that winter is a fine time to recreate. Making the case for winter hiking is his latest work, Winter Hikes of Western Washington, a collection of 50 hikes all suited for winter weather, packaged together in
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a deck of 50-6"x5" cards. Despite (or perhaps, in spite) of winter weather, Romano hikes western Washington year-round. The cards showcase favorite western Washington hikes accessible year-round, where snow-free hiking is almost always a given. Published by The Mountaineers Press, the innovative card format takes its inspiration from urban walking guides to San Francisco, and allows day hikers to carry all the information they need on a single card without toting an entire guidebook. “It’s been a hit so far,” says Romano. “People have been loving it.” The cards include 20 never-beforepublished hikes, and are designed to alleviate much of the hassles of planning. Hikers can pick a card, hit the road and go take advantage of short winter days and soak up as much sun (or rain) as possible before dark. The hikes are easy to get to, with good driving directions. “All but one of the hikes is off of a main, paved road,” says Romano, so hikers can access them without four-wheel drive, and most hikes do not require permits or passes. “Just get in the car and go.” Like Romano’s other guidebooks,
each card lets you know if you if you’ll be sharing the trail with dogs, horses or mountain bikes. Advantages to winter hiking – and Romano has a laundry list – chip away at excuses to hold off for warmer weather. With far fewer hikers on the trails, you’ll get easy access to solitude unmatched in summer, and you can leave the mosquito repellent at home. The lack of leaves allow for entirely new vistas and a greater chances of spotting birds and other wildlife. Driven out of high country by cold and snow, elk, deer and other fauna are more prevalent in the lowlands – especially without the summer crowds of hikers to scare them away. An avid birder, Roman says winter is a phenomenal time to watch for flying wildlife. Wide-open views and low winter light transform even the most familiar trails into entirely new experiences. Romano points to local favorite Fragrance Lake, a hike that boasts impressive waterfalls only seen in winter. In many of the hikes, the babbling brooks and lazy creeks you see in summer take on new life as thundering waterways thanks to winter rains. With a nod to western Washington’s diverse geography and microclimates, the cards cover a variety of coast, forest, meadow and freshwater areas from the Columbia Gorge to the 49th Parallel. For those of us fortunate enough to live in the Northwest corner of the state, Romano included over a dozen hikes spread throughout Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan and Island
counties. In our region, “most guidebooks tend to be Seattle-centric,” says Romano, but the Skagit County author made sure that his hikes appeal to readers throughout the region. Close-to-home winter hikes Romano includes are Oyster Dome (which he says looks amazing in the winter sun), Squires Lake, Cama Beach, the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, Hoypus Point, Ebey’s Landing, San Juan Island’s American Camp and more. And while it may be always raining somewhere in western Washington, there is strong showing of drier hikes thanks to the rain shadow. Though trail running through the driving rain may seem a little crazy to some, the ever-energetic Romano is winning over fair-weather hikers to the joys of hiking year round. And he certainly raises some good points. For many of the 50 hikes, summer is a crazy time to go. “Most people are going to go see the rain forest in August or September … when they’re dry. You want to go see them in winter.” You may not have 70 degree days, late-evening sunsets or wildflowers, but you won’t have mosquitos, crowded trailhead parking or busloads of tourists, either. Winter Hikes of Western Washington By Craig Romano Mountaineers Books, 2009 Available at REI, Village Books, Amazon.com. $15.95
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Get Ready For Spring Sports By PJ Wren Spring is my favorite time of year. When I close my eyes and think of spring, I can smell the fresh lawn clippings, hear the birds chirping and feel the warmth of the sun on my face. Ahhhhh … like I said, it’s my favorite time of year! And if you love sports, then you must love spring as well. The crack of the ball against the bat, the sound of the golf ball slicing into the air, the feel of the wind when racing down a mountain on two wheels, the solitary pleasure of hiking a mountain, or running your morning run. These are all experiences that confirm that Spring truly is amazing, and every year it breathes a breath of fresh air into our stale, gym workouts. Before you head out there, and into your favorite sport of choice, incorporate these exercises to give your body a tuneup and a chance to get ready for what’s about-to-come during these wonderful months ahead.
of your feet. Kick your heel straight back while making sure that your back stays flat and that your hips don’t rotate outwards. Fully extend your leg and squeeze your glutes at the full extension. Pull your leg back into the starting position and repeat 20 times. Wrap the tubing around the other foot and perform 20 reps on that side. Tip: Tubing, such as the tubing used in this exercise and some of the others, is an inexpensive workout tool that is easily transportable.
Softball/Baseball The key to hitting a baseball - or softball - hard and long is located right in your mid-section. The power behind your swing starts with your core and travels outward to the arms and then finally, one hopes, to the bat. Try this exercise, specific to the obliques (responsible for twisting your torso) and the transversus (responsible for protecting your spine), to hit the next ball long. This exercise, accompanied by my father’s favorite saying, “Keep your eye on the ball and swing like you mean it!” should help you find success at every at-bat. Russian Twist on ball Grab onto a light dumbbell, or medicine ball, and lie face up on a stability ball, positioning your feet hip width apart, your hips bridged up high by squeezing your glutes and positioning the dumbbell or medicine ball directly above the chest. Maintaining your bridge positioning in the lower body, rotate through the torso (not your shoulders!) digging the ball into the shoulder and pulling it down the side of the arm. Pause and then slowly return back to your start position. Do 15-20 repetitions leading to your left side and then perform the same count to the right. Tip: A stronger core will also improve your throwing abilities as well as your overall speed - both on and off the field.
Hiking For the sport of hiking, it is crucial that you strengthen the muscles surrounding the knees. The knee joint, which appears to be a simple hinge-joint, is one of the most complex joints in the body and it is due to this complexity that it is more likely to be injured than any other joint in the body. Unfortunately, we tend to ignore our poor ol’ knees until something happens to them that causes us pain. This can easily be remedied, however, if we take good care of our knees now - before there is a problem. Try the following balance and strength exercise to help aid you (and your knees) to a continued healthy and happy life together. Around the Clock Lunges Stand on a BOSU ball. Keeping your hips level, lower your left leg to the ground a good step in front of you – like the a 12 o’clock position on a clock. Lunge downward and then push through the front of the foot and bring that leg back on top of the BOSU. Now, step back to what would be a 6 o’clock position on a clock with that same left leg and lunge again. Come back up to the BOSU and step out to the left side of the BOSU and perform a side lunge. Perform the same round with the other leg. Aim for 3-5 rotations of the clock. Tip: When lunging, think about coming straight down with your back knee while keeping your front knee over the ankle. I see a lot of people perform a lunge by lunging forward and pushing that front knee ahead of them. This causes too much force on the patella, which will result in a sore knee as opposed to a stronger knee.
Running Running is one of the greatest sports around. It’s not one that I watch on television, mind you, but it is one that I encourage all my personal training clients to try. What other sport can burn 400-700 calories in less than an hour, increase bone density, improve your heart and lung function, allow you to perform it wherever you are and whenever you want, and give you some amazing looking legs? Alright, I admit, running may not be for everyone, but for those of us who do run, I suggest this butt-building exercise to counteract all the stress and work the quadriceps and hips do with each stride we take. Heel Presses Start on your hands and knees with a band handle in each hand and the loop of the exercise band wrapped around one
Mountain and Road Biking I’ve been a mountain biker on and off for many years and the one thing that always surprises me when I start off the season is how much of a beating my upper body takes. My legs are okay after that first ride but, wow, I can’t say the same for my shoulders and upper back and neck. Same goes with road biking. Maintaining that forward flexed position can be fatiguing for the first few rides until the body becomes accustomed to supporting your upper body and absorbing the impact of the road and trail. Try the following exercise to not only improve your upper body strength, but your core strength as well. Plank & Toe Taps Start in a plank
position with both hands on top of the medicine ball. Keep your back flat, hips down and shoulders lined up over top of your hands. While maintaining your plank position and keeping a soft bend in your knees, start alternating toe taps. Perform 40 taps total. Tip: To further increase the strength of your shoulder, perform a push-up right after this exercise with the medicine ball. Position the medicine ball under the right hand with the left hand under the left shoulder and perform 4-10 push-ups. Roll the ball to the left hand and perform another 4-10 push-ups. By performing the same muscle group back-to-back you will see faster and greater results. Kayaking/Canoeing Kayaking and canoeing is essentially the same paddle mechanics, with the exception of one sport having you alternate side to side with each stroke, while the other has you returning to the same side. It is pretty obvious that the arms are used fairly heavily with each sport, the core musculature should also not be forgotten when training for performance. As mentioned in the baseball/softball series earlier in the column, all of your power starts from your core and travels outwards to the arms. The core is also relied on to maintain your posture while paddling, as well as providing the power for the actual twist motion as you apply your down stroke with the paddle. Give this oblique twist exercise on the BOSU ball a try to prepare you for a day’s on the water. Oblique Twist Sit on top of a BOSU ball with an 8lb hand weight or medicine ball in your hands. Pretend that you are a puppet and the “puppeteer” is pulling your strings taunt, causing you to sit up tall and straight. Maintaining this posture lean back until you feel the abdominals grab and then lift up your feet. Find your balance, and place the medicine ball in front of you. Using your waist, turn side to side with the medicine ball. Aim for 20 twists each side. Tip: If this hurts your lower back, keep your feet on the ground and drop your bum down on the BOSU ball. The BOSU will provide some support while your spine learns to support itself. PJ Wren is a personal trainer and fitness trainer who has been training people’s “inner-athlete” for over 14 years. She can be reached at www.fitnesswithpj.com
Mount Baker Experience 9
an early look at what’s new in bikes for 2010
Raleigh Cadent FT-3 A venerable name in biking, Raleigh is back in a big way. The FT-3 performance hybrid features Shimano Tiagra derailleur, carbon cross with alloy steer tube RE2P geometry. Check out Fairhaven Bike & Ski for Raleigh, Specialized and other makes.
Transition Covert The Covert is Transition’s all-mountain, do-it-all bike, designed for ultimate versatility. Six inches of rear wheel travel mated to a lightweight aluminum tubeset creates a bike perfectly balanced between weight and strength. The Covert builds up to between 28-32 lbs for the complete bike, and is the optimal choice in efficiency for long days in the saddle. A Covert frame with rear shock starts at $1,559 USD and complete bikes start at $3,300. Transition bikes are headquartered locally in Ferndale. Transition bikes are carried by Drop N’ Zone in Bellingham.
Ibis Mojo HD Definitely one of the hottest bikes around, the Ibis Mojo HD is the longer travel bigger brother to the Mojo and Mojo SL. The HD has 160mm of rear wheel travel, up 20mm from the other Mojos. Brian Lopes says “The angles, stiffness, and that added amount of travel all are huge factors that translate into the ability to ride steeper, rougher, more technical terrain with more ease and confidence.” Ibis bikes are available at Fanatik Bike Co. in Bellingham.
10 Mount Baker Experience
Gary Fisher Paragon One of the Platinum Series constructed of butted and hydroformed aluminum, the Paragon features SRAM X.9 front and rear derailleur, Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic disk brakes with Fox F80 suspension. Gary Fisher bikes are available at Kulshan Cycles in Bellingham.
Mt. Baker 25th Legendary Banked Slalom February 5-7, 2010
s Temple Cummins
s Duncan Howatt
Maelle Ricker T
s Kai Janson, race contender, and coffee roaster extraordinaire. s Maria Debari, 3rd Place Pro Women
Photo by Pat Grubb
Photo by Pat Grubb
2010 Legendary Banked Slalom Winners Division
Pro Men Pro Women Pro Masters Masters Super Masters Grand Masters Mid Masters Women Masters Women Amateurs Older Amateurs Younger Amateurs Juniors Next Generation
Temple Cummins Maelle Ricker Tim Carlson Jonathan Martens Bob Satushek Jim Taylor Gorio Bustamante Tanya Simonson Martina Nemcova Craig Newbury Austen Sweetin Gus Warbington Cody Warble
1:43.08 1:49.88 1:50.73 1:48.37 2:35.52 2:06.89 1:54.40 2:02.30 2:04.93 1:46.57 1:47.76 1:55.14 2:00.43
Gig Harbor, Washington Squamish, British Columbia Monroe, Washington Bellingham, Washington Deming, Washington Mount Vernon, Washington Seattle, Washington Bozeman, Montana Boulder, Colorado Glacier, Washington Lake Forest Park, Washington Bend, Oregon Edwards, Colorado
35 31 35 32 62 55 42 29 19 26 18 14 10
s The Next Generation; left, Milo Malkowski, 2nd (Seattle), Hank Kennedy, 3rd (Glacier) and Cody Warble, 1st (Colorado). Photo by Pat Grubb
All photos by Tyler Mitchell except where noted. Mount Baker Experience 11
Mount Baker: The Not So Quiet Giant In The Backyard Story & Photos By Dave Tucker The ice-mantled, steaming cone of Mt. Baker is an active volcano right in our backyard. There was a “failed” eruption in 1975, when magma rose into the volcano but did not erupt. Steaming gas plumes, sometime dirty with old ash, rose hundreds of feet above the volcano’s Sherman Crater and were a common site from the lowlands. The increase in heat flow melted or broke up the Sherman Crater glacier to a large extent. The mountain was closed
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to climbing, and fears of mudflows prompted the closing of Baker Lake, on the east flank, to recreation. Baker was briefly the focus of much study, although monitoring methods were relatively primitive then. Sherman Crater, which forms the prominent notch seen from the lowlands, is just south of the summit plateau, and has dozens of active gas vents, or fumaroles. These spew 150-200 tons of carbon dioxide and about one ton of hydrogen sulphide per day – both
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is the perfect stop on Mt. Baker Highway 542 when headed to and from Mt. Baker Ski Area. Plan on stopping for a bite to eat at one of several restaurants, pick up some groceries, and even fill up the gas tank. Maps of the area are available free at the Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, located on the northwest corner of 542 and Silver Lake Rd.
lion years ago. At the time, a thick sheet of glacial ice lay over the region, one of the numerous glacial advances out of Canada. In the vicinity of Table Mountain, Ptarmigan Ridge, and Heather Meadows, a great volume of gassy magma erupted through the crust and through the overlying ice. The result was a devastating caldera collapse eruption, 100 times the size of Mt. Saint Helens in 1980. The evacuation of this magma chamber caused the overlying rocks to subside at least 3,000 feet, leaving behind that much ash filling a caldera, or large crater extending six miles by three miles across. This is the Kulshan caldera, first described only in 1996. It probably looked something like the much younger caldera at Crater Lake in Oregon. The huge gaping crater left behind was quickly filled with a lake. Following glacial erosion of the caldera walls, sediments deposited at the bottom of this lake now sit on top of the caldera-filling ash around Coleman Pinnacle. There are several other old volcano remnants like this one – few are very easy to visit, and like The Bastile, none would be recognizable to the nongeologist as a volcano today. Mt. Baker itself is constructed of hundreds of separate lava flows that erupted from Carmelo Crater. This crater, on the mountain’s summit, is now filled with at least 275 feet of glacial ice, and apparently has not been active for around 10,000 years. Since that time, activity has been focused at Sherman Crater. Eruptions from Baker itself tend to be small; there is nothing in the geologic record hinting at anything like the Mt. Saint Helens eruption. The last eruption of any size was around 6,500 years ago, when a smallish eruption at Sherman Crater spread black volcanic ash east and northeast in a thin layer for perhaps 50 miles. A layer of this ash can easily be seen in trail cuts and along the roadside in Heather Meadows, as well as most other trails on the mountain. However, volcanic mudflows, or Please turn to the next page
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of these gases come from a magma body lurking below the volcano. The historic record of eruptions from Mt. Baker is poor; there are reasonably creditable reports of several small steam explosions in the 19th Century, probably similar to those in 1975. An eruption in 1843 spawned very localized ash deposits, and led to lahars, or volcanic mudflows, which ran down the east side drainages of Boulder, Park, and Morovitz Creeks. Mt. Baker geology has been largely neglected until the past decade or so. A thorough study of the volcanic history was first published only in 2003. This paper focused on the construction of Mt. Baker and other volcanoes in the immediate area. From that work, we now know that Mt. Baker is only about 40,000 years old. It is only the most recent of several volcanoes which over the past one million years or so make up the Mt. Baker volcanic field (MBVF). A study will be published later this year by the U.S. Geological Survey detailing the past 10,000 years of volcanism. Many people know that the jagged peaks of the Black Buttes high on the west flank are the remnants of an older cone. This volcano was larger than Mt. Baker. Black Buttes lava flows extend further than those of Mt. Baker, even poking out under Baker’s skirts to the east. Black Buttes was active from around 290,000 to 375,000 years ago. Much of this period was during one or more periods of Ice Age glacial advances, which probably ate away at the rock of the Black Buttes cone even as it was erupting. There are remnants of other volcanoes in the MBVF. The Bastile is at the very south end of Skyline-Chowder Ridge north of Baker, and can be seen across the Coleman Glacier from Survey Rock at the end of the Heliotrope Ridge Trail. This old volcano forms a little peak on the ridge crest, and is survived by lava flows along Bastile Ridge to the west. The granddaddy eruption from the volcanic field occurred 1.15 mil-
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Mount Baker Experience 13
Continued from page 13
lahars, are more dangerous than ash eruptions. Remember the 1980 Toutle River lahars at Mt. Saint Helens, or the repeated lahars following the much larger 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines? The largest lahar identified from Mt. Baker occurred about 6,600 years ago, just before the black ash eruption. Floods of mud and boulders descended down all the east side drainages toward Baker River, as well as the middle fork of the Nooksack River. This “Middle Fork lahar” left behind a 30-foot-thick deposit of mud, rocks and logs around Deming and Nugent’s Corner, and probably continued all the way to the Fraser River. Wait a minute; the Fraser? Yes, because it seems that 6,600 years ago, the Nooksack flowed down the modern Sumas River channel and on to the north, rather than west through the county to Bellingham Bay. It was probably the big lahar that plugged up the drainage at Everson, and diverted the Nooksack westward in an old channel left over from glacial times. A repeat of this lahar would now threaten Whatcom County cities. The drainage divide with the Sumas River at Everson is only a few feet high, so Sumas and Abbotsford, B.C. are also at risk. What is really ominous about this dangerous volcano is that the Middle Fork lahar, and virtually every other one identified, did not result from an eruption, but simply from gravitational collapse of the upper flanks of the volcano. This is because the circulation of sulphurous gases through the rocks around Sherman Crater weakens the rock and turns it into unstable, slippery clay, prone to sliding.
Sherman Crater’s fumaroles are constantly releasing clouds of gas, and they roar like jet engines. The stink of sulphur near the crater can be nauseating. Mt. Baker is monitored by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Washington University’s geology department, and the University of Washington. Future eruptions are likely, lahars are almost certain. The lessons learned at Baker in 1975, and since then at Saint Helens and other volcanoes around the world, make it unlikely we will be caught off guard by a future eruption, though collapses could occur with no warning. Every time we look to the east and see a wisp of steam rising from Mt. Baker, we are being reminded that this volcano is very much alive and well. (Dave Tucker is a Mt. Baker researcher and coauthor of the upcoming USGS Mt. Baker report. He can be reached at Dave.Tucker@mbvrc.wwu.edu. A director of the Mt. Baker Volcano Research Center, he frequently gives public presentations on Mt. Baker geology and hazards. His website about local geology, with self-guided field trips, is at www.nwgeology.wordpress.com. He lives in Bellingham.) For more information about Mt. Baker: Videos of the fumaroles in Sherman Crater and the latest information on Mt. Baker, can be found at the website of the Mt. Baker Volcano Research Center www.mbvrc.wwu.edu Real-time earthquake information can be found at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center (UW) website www.pnsn.org/Baker/welcome The USGS Cascade Volcano Observatory website is a gateway to Cascades volcano information www.vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Baker
s This page: Doug Nathe collects Sherman Crater fumarole gases to monitor chemical changes in magma beneath the volcano. Opening page: Steam plumes rise above Sherman Crater in this 2002 view from Boulder Creek, near Baker Lake. All photos by Dave Tucker. 14 Mount Baker Experience
s Dan Irwin, trailing ‘smoke.’
Photo by Ryan Duclos
s Zach Davison soaring over Home Run Gap in the Mt. Baker backcountry. Photo by Grant Gunderson
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March 31 Contact Louise at the Mount Baker Experience 360/332-1777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Baker Experience 15
Your guide to the (free!) venues and events thru March 21 By Pat Grubb You may not have had any luck scoring tickets to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the excitement north of the border. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Olympic fever in the flesh and best of all, there are plenty of things to do and see that won’t cost you an arm or a leg. Besides the actual events, organizers have set up celebration sites across the lower mainland where people can gather to hear music, watch events on big screen TVs, meet Olympic athletes, eat and drink and much more. How To Get There: First make sure you have your passport if you’re crossing the border. Then make it easy on yourself. Even though it’s a straight shot up Highway 99 to Vancouver, all of the sites you’ll want to visit are close to public transportation. Park by a Skytrain station in Richmond or Surrey if you’re going downtown. If you’re going to the Richmond or Surrey celebration sites, guess what? They’re both at the end of the Skytrain track. The Richmond terminus is at No. 3 Road and Westmin-
ster Highway adjacent to the Richmond Center mall. It’s less than 30 minutes to downtown from there. The King George Station is located in Surrey City Centre at the corner of King George Highway and 100th Avenue, just north of the western terminus of the Fraser Highway. The station sits on the edge of a large commuter parking lot. Skytrain will be running later in the day and more frequently to accommodate the expected surge in ridership. Log onto www.translink.ca for schedules, prices and routes. LiveCity Vancouver: The city of Vancouver with support from the Canadian government, has set up two gathering places, LiveCity Downtown and LiveCity Yaletown. Downtown is located at Georgia and Cambie streets, close to B.C. Place and General Motors Place (or what’s being called Canada Hockey Place for the duration of the games). The Canada Pavilion and CentrePlace Manitoba is located here as is Live@LiveCity, a licensed chaletstyle lounge that offers food and drinks. There is a giant screen that will be showing events as they take place and is a good place to meet up with friends in a downtown set-
s The Sam Roberts Band will play at the Surrey Olympic
site. 16 Mount Baker Experience
ting. The site will be open from 11 – 12:30 a.m. daily. LiveCity Yaletown: LiveCity Yaletown is located at David Lam Park at the corner of Drake Street and Pacific Boulevard. It will feature live local, national, and international entertainment each day and evening, ending every night with an exciting closing show. Giant screens will show highlights of Olympic Winter Games sports coverage and visitors can enjoy interactive Olympic pavilions, Vancouver House, and best of all – it’s free. LiveCity Yaletown will be open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily. Organizers have a few tips for visitors. Dress for the weather. It’s Vancouver so rain is not an infrequent weather occurrence. Wear rain gear with a hood and try to leave your umbrellas at home. Expect line-ups and get to know your new neighbors. Don’t bring chairs and travel light. You never know when you’ll be subject to security checks so small handbags are best. This is especially true if you are attending an actual sporting event. Speaking of which, be prepared to be flexible. As events get closer, expect to see prices drop for some events. Already, tickets on Vanoc’s Fan to Fan exchange seem to be coming down with some pretty close to the original face value. Even if you were skunked on the original auction, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to nab something. Note: the prices on the fan to fan exchange are for the number of tickets being offered, not a per ticket price. If you see two tickets for X number of dollars then that’s the price for both of them. It’s not very well explained on the site. For more info or updates, go to www.livecityvancouver.ca. Robson Square Celebration: On Robson between Hornby and Howe streets, this site features an outdoor skating rink, a zipline, multimedia displays and live television broadcast. Free. 2010 Aboriginal Pavilion: Located on the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on W. Georgia Street, it is only minutes from the LiveCity Vancouver site and features performances and the Aboriginal Artisan Village and Business Showcase. The legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie highlights the opening night performance series at the Chiefs’ House on Friday, February 13. www.fourhostfirst nations.com O|ZONE Richmond: There was no way Richmond was going to get left out of the excitement. Just minutes from the terminus of the new Canada Line Skytrain, the site stretches from Richmond City Hall into Minoru Park. Huge ice art, exhibits, massive high-definition screen, outdoor skating, exhibits, food and beverages (Holland Heineken House anyone?), arts and entertainment. If you’re into music, this is the
place to be. Artists and groups scheduled to perform include Tokyo Police Club, Bedouin Soundclash, The Stills, Our Lady Peace, the Canadian Tenors, the SFU Pipe Band, Wintersleep, Wonderbolt Circus and many more. A highlight of the site is B.C. Street, a look and celebration of the best of B.C. from the Kootenays to Sooke. In the Main Stage area, an interactive experience allows you to try out your best slapshot, ski through a forest or take a virtual ride in a bobsled. Hang on! Other highlights include exhibits from The Museum of Civilization, First Nations artists building a traditional longhouse, a massive Ice Gate created by artist Gord Halloran and Holland Heineken House. HHH has long been a fixture at Olympic events. Each night will feature medal ceremonies for Dutch athletes and performances by Dutch artists and DJs. Food and drink are definitely a highlight – the venue stays open until 2 a.m. www.richmondozone.ca Surrey 2010: Not to be outdone, Surrey has spent piles of money to create Olympic excitement. Located at the corner of King George Highway (remember him?) and Old Yale Road, it offers convenient access to the Skytrain station into Vancouver and Richmond. Another free site, it’s open Wednesday through Sunday with varying hours. There are lots of shows that will appeal to all ages. Blue Rodeo, the RCMP Musical Ride, Daniel Wesley, Hot Hot Heat, Sam Roberts, Jully Black, Dan Mangan, Alex Cuba, 54-40, Odds, Marianas Trench, Wide Mouth Mason, Wintersleep, Tokyo Police Club, Randy Bachman and many more. Again, all free. www.surrey2010.com One of your best resources is the 2010 Olympic Games Free Attractions Guide (www.vancouver access2010.com/2010-olympicgames-free-attractions). Here you’ll
find out about street performances, shows, performances and more. You’ll definitely want to visit the various pavilions and ‘houses’ showcasing nations from around the world. Granville Island has been turned into the French Quarter, the historic Roundhouse Community Center is now Casa Italia and Doolin’s Irish Pub is now Irish House (get your Gaelic on!). The Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park is German Saxony House, Science World is now Sochi (Russia) House and Club Bud at the Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street will be party central for five nights. Cultural Olympiad Sporting events aren’t the only things happening in Vancouver. From now until March 21, there is a huge variety of cultural experiences to be had, ranging from circuses to theatre to light shows. For more information, go to www.vancouver2010.com/cultural-festivalsand-events/ Some samples: Florence K Quebec-born jazz-pop chanteuse and pianist Florence K dazzles the audience with her vocal and songwriting abilities in many languages, including French, English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. She performs Saturday, February 27 at 9 p.m. at Performance Works on Granville Island. For ticket information, call 604/872-5200. Cirque Éloize: Rain Cirque Éloize has been creating magical performances since 1993. The company expresses its innovative nature through theatricality and humanity, combining circus arts with music, dance and theatre. Performances take place Thursday, March 18 through Saturday, March 20 at The Centre for the Performing Arts,777 Homer Street, Vancouver Visit www.mountbakerexperience.com for web links and updates during the Olympics. So go ahead and make plans to enjoy the Games!
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WHAT’S HAPPENING GRAHAM’S RESTAURANT MUSIC PERFORMANCES: Thursday, February 18, Bent Grass; Tuesday, February 23, Grahams open mic; Saturday, February 27, J B Quartet (Winter Olympics); Saturday, March 13, Spoonshine and Saturday, April 17, War Pigeon. All shows start at 9 p.m. Must be 21+ to attend. www.grahamsrestaurant.com or call 360/599-1964. 9989 Mt. Baker Highway, Glacier. HIKE ALGER ALP: Sunday, February 21, 10 a.m. Mount Baker Club. A five mile round trip hike up local hill. Views of the Chuckanuts and Squire Lake. Meet at Sunnyland school, Bellingham. For info, Ron at 715-1753. www.mountbakerclub.org NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AND POETRY: February 27, 7 p.m. Deming Library with Cindy Minkler & Lotni (aka Richard Elm-Hill). Cindy Minkler will play Lakota/Salish traditional songs on the cedar flute and hand drum and play original piano music. Lotni will play music and read his original poems. Refreshments. For info: contact the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway, 592-2422.
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COMMUNITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Sunday March 7, April 4, May 2 and June 6, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. pancakes, french toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee biscuits & gravy Adults $5; Kids 6-10 $2; Kids 5 & under free. Rome Grange is located at 2821 Mt. Baker Hwy, about 1/2 mile east of the "Y" Road. SQUIRE LAKE HIKE Saturday, March 13, 9 a.m. Mount Baker Club. Walk around Squire Lake and up to the beaver pond. Meet at Sunnyland school, Bellingham. For more info, 734-9463. CHILLIWACK HERON COLONY AND VEDDER RIVER DIKE TRAIL HIKE: Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m. Mount Baker Club. Over 100 nests, up close and personal. Dress for weather and bring border crossing paperwork. Meet at Sunnyland school, Bellingham. For more info, 9663999. SPLIT ROCK HIKE: Sunday, March 28, 9 a.m. Mount Baker Club. Easy to moderate hike of about four to five miles to a natural rock formation near Lake Cavanaugh. Meet at Sunnyland school, Bellingham. For more info, 715-1753. SNOW SHOE ON SLIDE/RACEHORSE MOUNTAINS: Saturday, Aril 3, 9 a.m. Mount Baker Club. Explore a couple of options for hiking up the old logging road system to high points with views of western Whatcom County and Mt. Baker. Meet at Sunnyland school, Bellingham. For more info, 676-9843. MT. BAKER SKI AREA GOLDEN EGG HUNT: April 3. www.mtbaker.us
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Map directory 1 BLUE MOUNTAIN GRILL 974 Hwy 9, Acme • 595-2200
7 NORTH FORK BREWERY 6186 Mt. Baker Hwy, Deming • 599-2337
2 ACME GENERAL STORE Hwy 9, Acme • 595-2146
8 MISTY MOUNTAINS REALTY 8193 Kendall Rd., Maple Falls • 599-2659
3 EVERYBODY’S STORE Hwy 9, Van Zandt • 592-2297
9 MT. BAKER LODGING 7463 Mt. Baker Hwy, Maple Falls • 599-2463
4 NOOKSACK RIVER CASINO 5048 Mt. Baker Hwy, Deming
10 HARVEST MOON BAKERY 7466 Mt. Baker Hwy, Maple Falls • 599-1347
5 DODSON’S IGA 3705 Mt. Baker Hwy, Nugent’s Corner • 592-5351
11 JOOWANA RESTAURANT 7471 Mt. Baker Hwy, Maple Falls • 599-9800
6 KELLEY INSURANCE 103 W. Main St., Everson • 966-3732 619 Cherry St., Sumas • 988-2462
12 MAPLE FUELS WASH-A-TON Corner of Mt. Baker Hwy & Silver Lake Rd. Maple Falls 599-2222
13 CROSS ROADS GROCERY & VIDEO 7802 Silver Lake Rd, Maple Falls • 599-9657
18 HAIRSTREAM 9970 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2443
14 INN AT MT. BAKER 8174 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-1776 or 877/567-5526
19 MT. BAKER VIEW GUESTHOUSE 6920 Central Ave., Glacier • 599-2155
15 MT. BAKER BIBLEWAY CAMP 8444 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2921 16 CANYON CREEK CHALETS 7474 Miller Way, Glacier • 599-9574
19 MT. BAKER SNOWBOARD SHOP 9996 Forest St., Glacier • 599-2008 20 MILANO’S RESTAURANT 9990 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2863
16 THE LOGS 7577 Canyon View Dr., Glacier • 599-2711
21 GRAHAM’S STORE 9989 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2665
17 SCOTT’S SKI SERVICE 9935 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-WAXX
21 GRAHAM’S RESTAURANT 9989 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-1964
17 MT. BAKER HOMES & LAND 9937 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier 599-1900 or 599-1135
22 BAKER ACCOMMODATIONS Snowater, Glacier • 599-1017
18 GLACIER SKI SHOP / WAKE N’ BAKERY 9966 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-1943
map key 1 Business Location
37 Mile Post
Mt. Baker Highway mile posts Mile 1: Junction of I-5 and Mt. Baker Hwy., Sunset Drive. Mile 3: View of Coast Mountain Range in Canada (left). Mile 8: Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Dept. (Right). The headquarters offers a rest area with picnic tables, restrooms and a view of Mt. Baker, elevation 10,778 feet. 360/7332900. Mile 9: Deming Logging Show – second weekend in June. Two-day show: log rolling, tree climbing and axe throwing. Nooksack River Bridge – great fishing spots can be found. Mile 10: Community of Nugent's Corner. Groceries, gas, bank (ATM), bakery, cafe, crafts and other services. Mile 11: U-pick berry farms (right and left). Strawberries in June, raspberries in July and blueberries in August. Christmas tree farms (right and left). Mount Baker Vineyards (left). Tasting room/gift shop open Wednesday – Sunday. Grape Stomp Festival in September. Mile 12: Community of Deming. Stewart Mountain – elev. 3,087 feet (right). Sumas Mountain – elev. 3,430 feet (left). Mile 14: Highway 9 South Junction (right). South to Van Zandt, Acme, Wickersham and Skagit Valley. Attractions: B&B, general store, mushroom farm, and train ride. Nooksack River Forks (right). Nooksack River forks into three segments: the North Fork, which Mt. Baker Highway parallels; the Middle Fork, which heads southeast to the southern face of Mt. Baker; and the South Fork, which heads south into the Skagit Valley. Hwy. 9 follows the South Fork.
Mile 16: Mosquito Lake Road – Bald Eagle Viewing Spot (right). Dec. – Feb. Turn right onto Mosquito Lake Road, drive to the first bridge that crosses the North Fork Nooksack. Park on left shoulder of Mosquito Lake Road Look for eagles. Mile 18: Community of Welcome (left). Grocery store, fire station, senior center and other services. Mile 21: Kendall Creek Hatchery (right). Turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road. The hatchery raises chinook, coho and chum salmon as well as steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout. Mile 22: Slide Mountain – elevation 4,884 feet (right). Named for a landslide on its north face that may have dammed up the Nooksack River in ancient times. Highway 547 North Junction/Kendall Road (left). North to Kendall, peaceful Valley, Paradise Lakes, Columbia and Sumas. Gas, groceries, golf, tavern. Mile 23: Community of Kendall. Grocery store and gas (left). Mile 25: Community of Maple Falls, post office, pay phones, cabin rentals, lodging, restaurants, gas, groceries, liquor, library. Silver Lake Park, Silver Lake Road, 3.5 miles north (left). Park sits on 411 acres around Silver Lake. Mile 27: Farm stand (right). Fresh produce, gourmet foodstuffs. Mile 29: View of Nooksack River (right). Highway ascends a ledge overlooking the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Mile 30: Mt. Baker Scenic Turnout (right). Mile 33: Glacier – elev. 932 feet. Last community along the highway. Fire department, post office, library, general store, restaurants, snowboard shop, lodging, phones. Mile 34: Gallup Creek Picnic Area (right). Picnic tables and
trash cans; no restroom. Glacier Public Service Center (right). Open Memorial Day to October. Rangers assist with hikes and camp planning, and issues permits. Restrooms , picnic area. 360/599-2714, www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Boundary National Forest Scenic Byway. Glacier Creek Road (Rd. #39) to Mt. Baker Vista (right). Mostly paved, 9.5 mile road leads to Mt. Baker view. Mile 36: Douglas Fir Campground (left). National forest camp built by the CCC in the 1930s. Fees charged. Reservations accepted: 1-877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov. Horseshoe Bend Trail (right). Access for guided river rafting tours. Washington State Sno-Park (left). Permit required for snow mobiling or cross-country skiing. Mile 37: Church Mountain – elevation 6,245 feet (left). High elevation trails on the southern slope are often the first in the area to open for summer hiking. Turnouts to view North Fork Nooksack River (right). Mile 40: Excelsior Group Camp (right). National Forest Campground. No water. Fee charged. Reservations only:1-877-4446777 or at www.recreation.gov. Nooksack Falls, Wells Creek Road Road #33 (right). Take Wells Creek Road a half mile down to parking area and fenced viewpoint. Fall plummets 100 feet. Mile 41: Excelsior Pass Trail (left). Mile 43: North Fork Nooksack Research Natural Area (left). Established in 1937, this is a 1,400-acre preserve of old-growth
Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Mile 44: Nooksack River Viewpoint (right). Mile 46: Twin Lakes Road (Road #3065) at Shuksan Highway Maintenance Sheds (left). Twin Lakes is not accessible until early to mid-August. Hannegan Pass Road (Road #32) (left). Popular cross-country skiing area in winter. Shuksan Picnic Area – Hannegan Pass Road (left). Tables, a restroom, Nooksack River views. Mining cabin nearby. Silver Fir Campground (right). Fees charged. Reservations accepted: 1-877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov. Mile 47: Goat Mountain – elevation 6,891 feet. (N.E.). Summer grazing range for one of four bands of mountain goats. Mile 49: View Mt. Shuksan – elevation 9,038 feet. (East). Mile 50: View Mt. Sefrit – elevation 6,015 feet. (Southeast). Mile 52: Mt. Baker Ski area White Salmon Day Lodge (left). Mile 53: Entrance to Heather Meadows. Mile 55: Picture Lake (road forks – stay to the right). Picture Lake – elevation 4,100 feet, provides a postcard view of Mt. Shuksan – elev. 9,038 feet. Vista picnic area (right). Picnic area; no restrooms. Mile 56: Austin Pass Picnic Area (right). CCC-built area sits in a bowl-shaped valley with glorious views. Heather Meadows Visitor Center (right). Open mid-July to September. Mile 58: Artist Point – elev. 5,140 feet. (End of highway). Parking lot surrounded by Mt. Baker’s peak (south), Mt. Shuksan (east) and Table Mountain – elev. 5,628 feet.
Mount Baker Experience 19
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