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Mount Baker: A snowboarder's paradise

And the skiing isn't bad either

Mount Baker holds the world record for the most snowfall in a season. It measured 1,140 inches (95 feet) during the 1998-99 season. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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If you are looking for epic snow for snowboarding and skiing, then Mount Baker should be your destination. Mount Baker holds the world record for the most snowfall in a season at an unbelievable 1,140 inches during the 1998-99 season -- that's 95 feet of snow!  Mount Baker is consistently one of the first ski resorts to open each year, and it's not a soft opening with a few runs, but completely open with all lifts running.

The Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham makes a great base for your snowboard and skiing adventure. The hotel is located in the heart of Bellingham and has a heated indoor pool and spa, which hits the spot after a long day of skiing. The hotel will offer two ski packages this winter, said Lisa Mudd-Keenan, marketing manager.

"We can offer a rate of $125 per night, including two gourmet coffees from Chinuk Coffee Bar, which will open at 6 in time for the 6:30 a.m. bus departure on the Airporter Shuttle/Bellair Charters, which runs a ski bus during the winter. Dates and hours vary at The other package would include the Baker Ski Bus and is available on weekends and holidays (holidays are posted on the Mount Baker website and go along with Bellingham School schedule). This rate is: $134/$153 single/double. This package includes one night, two gourmet coffees and the Baker Ski Bus ticket for single/double," she added.

The Sheraton is the only hotel that offers the Baker Ski Bus pickup.

Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham, 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, 360.671.1011,

Snowboarding is very popular at Mount Baker. According to the World Snowboarding Guide (, "Mt. Baker has a rich history of snowboarding, and legend has it that pre-fat skis, seeing a skier here was a rare sight! Baker was one of the first resorts to welcome rather than ban snowboarders 60 years ago, and beyond just becoming a place to ride, its gnarly terrain and huge snowfalls helped it become and remain a snowboarding Mecca. Every February, the mountain hosts the legendary Banked Slalom race and has done so since 1985. It still attracts hundreds of competitors and visitors every year."

The Mount Baker Ski Area offers a Best for Beginners lesson package, which includes an all-day ski or snowboard rental, a beginner chair lift ticket, and a 1.5-hour lesson for $49 or $44 with a military discount. There is also a $5 military discount on lift tickets. The ski area averages 682 inches of snowfall on 1,000 skiable acres.  There are eight quad chairs and two handle tows that service 38 runs.  There are two base areas, White Salmon, which is open daily, and Heather Meadows Day Lodge, which is open on weekends.

Mount Baker Ski Area, Mt. Baker Hwy., hours vary based on weather, typically 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., base area opening 8 a.m. for tickets and rentals, Deming, 360.734.6771, Snow phone 360.671.0211,

Bellingham is about a three-hour drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and is close enough for a weekend ski trip. Check the travel section on for more articles about Bellingham and Mount Baker.

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