The face of winter
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
“The meteorological faucet has been turned on for the winter,” Pacific Northwest meteorologist Cliff Mass wrote on his popular blog last weekend, noting that the dry season was officially kaput. What this means concerning seasonal snowpack is still up in the air but, for now, those hoping to hit the slopes sooner rather than later will have to make do with the voyeuristic thrills to be had by watching the action unfold on the big screen.
Skier and snowboarders who’ve attended the Mt. Baker Ski Area’s annual Mt. Baker Film & Art Festival on a regular basis since the event started 19 years ago are well aware that being in attendance is the next best thing to being on the titular mountain, and that’s what brings them out in droves. In addition to viewing a stellar selection of winter sports clips from local and international filmmakers, those with tickets to the show taking place Fri., Nov. 2 at the Mount Baker Theatre can also come early to peruse the newest goods and services from local ski and snowboard vendors as part of a Winter Expo. Plus, the raffle prizes can’t be beat—one lucky person will take home the grand prize of a 2018/2019 Mt. Baker Ski Area season pass. When: 7:30pm Fri, Nov. 2 Cost: $8. Info: http://www.mtbaker.us
Those who procure tickets for Warren Miller’s Face of Winter showing Sat., Nov. 10 at the Mount Baker Theatre will see a familiar scene unfold when professional snowboarders Rob Kingwill and Seth Wescott make a pilgrimage to Mt. Baker to take part in the Legendary Banked Slalom. As the longest-running event in the sport’s history, Kingwill says that at Mt. Baker, “there are so many facets that are important to snowboarding and important to your soul.” The 69th annual event also addresses the legacy founder Warren Miller built as new and veteran athletes pay tribute to the man at destinations both near and far—including British Columbia, Alaska, France, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, and Switzerland. When: 8pm Sat., Nov. 10. Cost: $22. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com
Shredders will also want to make a notation on their calendars for POW Day Film Fest taking place Nov. 12 at Aslan Brewing Company. At the event presented by Hana Beaman of the Vansgirls, those who are wishing winter would arrive already can view documentary short films such as We Heard You Need Gloves, No Reason, Listen to the Eyes, and The Shin Bijayima Story. Plus, a raffle of ski and snowboard prizes will benefit Protect Our Winters, the leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports community. When: 7-10pm Mon., Nov. 12. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.facebook.com/aslanbrewingcompany
Where science meets winter
I love the anticipation of winter—the ski-film fests, the patrol fundraisers, the dusting of snow on ridges. But at this moment, hoping for snow so I can ski powder seems pretty darn trivial. Luckily, something more meaningful is behind that wish.
Mt. Baker Snow School is where powder…
Paddling the Middle Skagit
Skagit River floods are legendary. Since 1900, more than 50 have reached a flow of 100,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). And several, double that amount. Less than half the river basin is regulated by dams and there’s zero prospect of any more.
Launching my kayak into the river in…
Ten miles of terror
It seemed like a foolproof plan. I’d cut out of work early, hike down to the trailhead, hop in our rig, head to the ranger station, grab a couple spare parts for the ailing come-along, drive back to the trailhead and stroll to camp beneath autumnal star clusters.
The first five miles…