Mt. Baker is known for its storm days -- deep, heavy snow is the norm. But storms in the Pacific Northwest also tend to bring cloudy skies and temperatures that hover around the freezing level, meaning that when it pops blue, the backcountry can be tracked by lunch, leaving nothing but mashed potatoes and sun-baked lines until a new band of moisture swings in to bury the Cascades.
This year, however, the early season started out abnormally cold -- through the Christmas holidays, arctic fronts hung around through multiple storm cycles and produced an unprecedented number of bluebird days and blower powder. This gallery was shot during sunup to sundown sessions in the Mt. Baker backcountry on some of the shortest days of the year; featuring riders Forrest Burki, Shaun McKay, Byron Bagwell, Sky Rosveld and Liz Daley, it should be evidence enough of the exceptional start to the season.
Since then, La Niña has brought a warming trend and mixed rain and snow. With the Legendary Baker Banked Slalom on the horizon, let's hope for a return to bluebird and blower.Launch Gallery »