SPOT TO SKI: MT. BAKER
'Elevation 4,300 to 5,000 feet; average snowfall '50 to 75 feet; usual snow cover 25 feet; skiers last year 44,000; season November 1 to July 30
Mt. Baker, northernmost peak in Washington's snow-choked Cascade Range, rises in some of the most spectacular high-mountain skiing in the country, 58 miles from Bellingham (nearest big city) and 150 miles from Seattle. Main ski runs are in Heather Meadows below Panorama Dome at the top of the 3,500-foot Mt. Baker double chair that whisks 800 skiers an hour up 800 vertical feet. Three expert runs—from a half to one mile long—Chute, Heather and Pan Face—radiate from the Dome and meet at Mt. Baker Lodge. For intermediates and beginners there are four rope tows scattered strategically through the rolling, wide-open slopes. Touring is tops, and skiers willing to climb from the lift to the upper ridges like Kulshan (above) get runs of three miles or more. Baker's tremendously deep snow is the delight of experts and, except for the frequent packing job done by the Ski Patrol, would be the despair of beginners. Local experts, a thoroughly partisan lot, say if you can ski the snow fields on Mt. Baker, you can ski anywhere. Tips: ski school teaches deep snow skills, road from Bellingham is good, but carry chains. Prices at the Lodge run $3.50 (dorm) to $10 (double). Entertainment and clothing is strictly informal. Come prepared to ski.
SPOTS COAST TO COAST
TD—top slopes, depth in inches; BD—bottom slopes, depth in inches; CR—ski crowd last weekend; SN—inches of snowfall last weekend
Mt. Baker, Wash.: Chinook storms closed up Heather, Chute and Upper Razerhone last weekend. Skiing fair on Pan Face and Austin Pass. Shuksan Arm ski school for family units got under way. TD 64, BD 68, CR 100, SN 20.
Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.: Wet weather has kept snow cover down. TD 5-10, BD 5, CR 500, SN 1.
Stevens Pass, Wash.: Skiing fair last weekend. Road open after ice closed it previous weekend. TD 48-50, BD 35-40. CR 1,500, SN 2-3.
Grouse Mt., Vancouver: Wet snow thinned ski crowds last weekend. Tyee Christmas party held at Noseeums. Upper lift will run daily from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6. TD 48-56, BD 16-22, Blueberry Bowl 36-56, CR 300, SN 12.
Mt. Hood, Ore.: Lower lift and Betsy tow operated last weekend. No skiing at Govt. Camp. TD 50-56, BD 48-52, CR 1,200, SN 10.
Big Bear Lake, Calif.: Moonridge operated under snow from improved snow machine, had only skiing in area. BD 4-12, CR 150, SN (artificial) 12.
Squaw Valley, Calif.: Lack of snow closed Flying Saucer and Tram last weekend. Second and third bowls usable but icy. Mambo Meadow and Sunset Boulevard were closed. Upstairs cafeteria open in new lodge. Downstairs cafeteria bar and ski shops will open within week. TD 18-24, BD 10-12, Second Bowl 18, some bare spots.
Sugar Bowl, Calif.: New Lincoln lift opens only for sightseeing Dec. 16 pending more snow on upper mountain. TD 24-36, BD 12.
Other Spots: Reno, Nev. lift not running. Yosemite, Calif.: good, TD 14, BD 13, CR 900; Mt. Shasta: no skiing, T bar scheduled to open Dec. 23; Edelweiss, Calif.: no skiing; Mt. Baldy, Calif.: no skiing. Mt. Rainier, Wash.: skiing good.
Sun Valley, Idaho: Good to excellent skiing last weekend. Holiday accommodations sold out. New Holiday Hut opened for after-ski dancing. Baldy TD 32, BD 36, River Run 20-26, Canyon 28-32, Dollar Mt. 18-24, Half Dollar 18, valley floor 12.
Aspen, Colo.: Skiing good after fine weekend snow. Denver U. edged out by Colorado U. and Western State College for first defeat in 21 ski meets. Stan Harwood (Colo.) won downhill; Henning Arstal (Denver), slalom; Mack Miller (Western State), cross-country; Peder Pytte (Denver), jumping. TD 30-34, BD 16-20, Ruthies Run 16-30, Spar Gulch 20-30, Dipsy Doodle 20-34. CR 200, SN 7.
Hidden Valley, Colo.: Upper valley good, lower valley fair last weekend. Lower lift did not operate. Trails 1, 2 and 3 closed. New 2,200-foot disk lift opened. TD 24, BD 8.
Arapahoe Basin, Colo.: Upper Basin good. New lower Pomalift and both chairs operating. Upper Poma will operate by Dec. 25 TD 28-36, BD 24-28, CR 1,100, SN 10.
Alta, Utah: Major runs open, and skiing good. Younger hot shots taking to knickers. TD 47, BD47, CR800, SN 23.
Brighton, Utah: Skiing good last weekend. Mambo and Wagon Road excellent. TD 66, BD 52, CR 2,400, SN 8.
Other Spots: Big Mt., Mont.: Good to excellent, some brush showing. BD 21-32, TD 32-38, Mully's Mile 24-48, Toni Matt 18-26. Snow King, Wyo.: All trails open. TD 18-20, BD 10-12, CR 100-150, SN 2-4. Santa Fe Basin, N. Mex.: Main slope 16-18, good, Midland closed. TD 18-20, BD 16-18. Berthoud Pass, Colo.: skiing good on all trails. TD 30-36, BD 24-32.
Terry Peak, S. Dak.: All trails open, will run daily until after New Year's. TD 30-35, BD 35-40, Holy Terror 30-35, CR 500, SN 5.
Iron Mt., Mich.: All slopes open last weekend. TD 3-9, BD 3-9, John Paul 8-12, CR 400, SN 2.
Boyne Mt., Mich.: Snow machine on Hemlock stacked up 6 to 12. All other slopes TD 1, BD 2, CR 200, SN 0. T bar and chair operated last weekend.
Rib Mt., Wis.: Area closed last weekend. Annual Record-Herald ski school to open Dec. 27.
Stowe, Vt.: Skiing on Toll Road, Standard and Tyrol only last weekend. Area had thin but durable base, some top cover. Sharp edges were in order. TD 10-12, BD 5-9, CR 500, SN 1.
Mt. Snow, Vt.: All lower trails open last weekend. New beginners' chair to be ready by Dec. 31. New Norse House ski shop open.
Dutch Hill, Vt.: Good snowfall provided fine base. CR 200, SN 10.
Mad River, Vt.: Opening day last weekend found only Porkupine Trail skiable, with hay covering rough and bare spots. TD 4-10, BD 3-10, CR 75, SN 6.
Bromley, Vt.: Only Lord's Prayer open last week. TD 10-12, BD 8-10, CR 125, SN 13.
Bosquets, Mass.: Artificial snow kept skiers going on Russell slope over weekend when adjacent fields were closed. BD 6, CR 900.
Whiteface, N.Y.: Skiing off upper highway only. TD 14-18, BD 0, SN 4-10.
Belknap, N.H.: Thin base wore down under weekend crowd. Northland metal skis seen here for first time. TD 3-8, BD 1-6, Red Hat 3-6, bare spots. CR 750, SN 9.
Mt. Tremblant, Que.: Only north side trails open last weekend. TD 3-8, BD 2-6, Sissy Schuss 3-7, CR 40, SN 5-6.
Other Spots: Lac Beauport, Que.: lifts running small crowd, thin cover; Mt. Jasper, Que. Novice slope open, trails closed. Cannon Mt., N.H.: no skiing; Cranmore, N.H.: lower Ski-mobile running; Black Mt., only J bar running, skiing fair; Intervale: will operate daily after Dec. 22; Jiminy Peak, Mass. saving cover for holiday crowd; Pico Peak, Vt. closed last weekend; Okemo, Vt. closed last weekend.