Mt. Baker Ski Area in Deming, Washington is synonymous for two things: extreme terrain and deep snowfall. During the 1998-99 season, they set the all-time snowfall record on the planet with 1140″. While a few notable snowy ski resorts set their own records last winter, none came close to this mind-blowing number.

With Mt. Baker getting its first significant snowfall of the 2023-24 season last week, some were wondering when the ski area would open. The Washington ski area doesn’t have snowmaking and relies on a natural snowpack to spin the lifts.

Last week, Mt. Baker gave an answer to this question. Here’s Mt. Baker’s snow report from last Wednesday:

It’s happened … the first accumulation of snow at Heather Meadows for the season!  We are seeing 6″ of snow at HM and a skosh more on top of Pan Dome.  For those of you who are checking the NWAC telemetry site and wondering about the big discrepancy in snowfall total reporting, they have not yet replaced the 24-hour board at the telemetry site for the season so the snowfall totals on NWAC will be off until they do so.  You can check the ‘Status Alert’ at the upper right hand corner of Mt. Baker’s station window on the NWAC site (look for the bell icon) and it will give you the status.  At this time it says ‘The 24-hour snow board (24sno) has been removed for the summer season. Disregard all values.

And for those of you who haven’t been to the Baker rodeo before, or who have forgotten how it works, our opening day is not scheduled and is totally dependent on snowfall and weather forecasts. How much snow base do we need to open?  Depending on the quality and density of the snowpack, this amount can vary from 20 inches to 40 inches of base. Opening also depends on the forecast (i.e. the snowpack not getting washed away by rain or a warmup right after opening). 

We will continue to update this report as we get significant snowfall or weather pattern changes, so stay tuned!

TLDR: It won’t open in the foreseeable future, with them needing a 20-40 inch base to spin the lifts. With a few more storms though, Mt. Baker will likely be ready to go.

Image Credits: Mt. Baker Ski Area

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