Story and photos by Brad Andrew
Opening day at Mt. Baker Ski Area – the day when snow-lovers rejoice and reunite – happens annually. Exactly when, no one knows, and that is why it is so extraordinarily special. It’s not marked on a pre-printed calendar and manufactured by conglomerates with bottomless pockets. There are no snow guns spraying a narrow white lane of frozen mist onto a manicured grass slope. Opening day is solely dictated by mother nature’s willingness to open her front door for old man winter and his cold, fluffy bounty. And, although some years his bounty is not all that fluffy nor all that cold, one thing is certain: 10 times out of nine, it’s welcomed with open arms by all.
Opening day is often marked by huge crowds, long lines and very limited terrain. But opening day really isn’t about skiing. It’s about community. It’s a day when we all come together, reunite with friends old and new and celebrate the mountain lifestyle we love so much. The stoke is high and the smiles are endless and, at day’s end, not a soul remembers the limited terrain nor the long lines. They remember the smiles and the high-fives and the one turn that made it all worthwhile. They remember that they can do it all again tomorrow, because ski season is here and it’s time to run to the hills. See you in line!