Tougher Northwest chase in play at Mt. Baker

Eyes set on the west this weekend? Check out Mt. Baker, Washington.

There’s nothing like a snowstorm at home to get me excited about all the snow that’s falling out west. (Perhaps it’s because 16 inches fell at Jackson Hole on the day before my trip and 16 more fell the day after it…)

Today, Baker reported 15 fresh inches of snow. Tuesday, they reported 11 inches. Monday was a meager 8. Before that Baker reported 11″, 18″, 13″ and two 3″ days consecutively.

That’s 82″ of snow in the past week. Do I have your attention?

Good. Because today, OpenSnow predicts Baker will see 5-9″ more during the day with 3-7″ overnight. Thursday and Friday call for moderate 3-5″ gains before Saturday’s forecast which calls for 4-8″.

The 5-Day forecast at Mt. Baker from OpenSnow as of Wednesday morning. This is following an 82″ week with more coming the Sunday and Monday after.

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Sunday, Jan. 28 at Baker is expected to yield even more. 9-13″ during the day and 8-12″ overnight Sunday should make for a deep Monday, which, also has an 11-19″ prediction.

Of course, chasing snow in the Pacific Northwest is tough given the propensity for rain. Temperatures at Baker might reach as high as 42 degrees (Fahrenheit), which could lead to rain at some points, especially low on the mountain.

Given the forecast, it looks like Sunday/Monday/Tuesday will be the best days. If you are looking for a long weekend powder getaway, that might be the move.

Getting There

This is where a Pacific Northwest chase gets tricky. Driving there, even from western-positioned Minnesota, would take more than a day. Flying becomes the only way.

I always recommend flying Southwest when going skiing, given their “Bags Fly Free” policy. From Minneapolis-St. Paul, you can fly Southwest for $400 round trip to Seattle, which includes layovers each way. No directs, unfortunately.

If you’re looking for directs, Frontier, Alaskan, Sun Country and Delta all fly direct to Seattle. As of Wednesday morning, Alaskan has the cheapest direct, roundtrip fare at about $871.

Then, you’re looking at a 3-hour drive up to Baker from there. It’s an aggressive chase, but with those totals. It might be worth it for you Midwesterners.

Having just returned from a trip, I will not be making the trek, but I know of some Minnesota-based friends who are taking a hard look at Baker this weekend.

Other options

Baker isn’t the only resort getting snow in the Northwest.

Crystal Mountain is expected to boast similar snow totals to Baker this weekend, but the heaviest snow will arrive earlier on Saturday, making it easier to chase for the weekend than Baker. Crystal is about an hour and a half southeast of Seattle.

Stevens Pass will have big snow totals, although more manageable than Baker and Crystal. Stevens is about 2 hours from Seattle airport and could have as many as 18 inches both Saturday and Sunday, per OpenSnow predictions.

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