Topic: Mount Baker
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December 20, 2012 at 4:18 PM
A Mount Baker Highway closure is likely to continue into the weekend because heavy snow has snapped more than 100 trees onto the roadway, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The road is closed east of Maple Falls, about 10 miles west of the Mount Baker Ski Area, which is also closed. Crews tried cleaning up the road Wednesday, but had to stop when more wind, rain and snow made cleanup too hazardous.
When weather conditions improve, crews will get back to work, a WSDOT release said.
December 19, 2012 at 6:36 PM
Highways in the Mount Baker area and near Hood Canal have been closed after heavy snow caused scores of trees to fall across the roadway in the past 24 hours.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has closed the Mount Baker Highway (state Route 542) east of Maple Falls until at least Friday, excluding everyone except emergency personnel from the Mount Baker ski area.
Parts of Highways 101 and 106 in Mason County are closed as well until further notice. The 41-mile closure of 101 stretches from Route 3 near Shelton to Brinnon and the five-mile closure of Highway 106 stretches from Purdy Cutoff Road to East Dalby Road.
Transit workers tried to keep the roads open but couldn’t keep up with the number of trees falling onto the highways. Hazardous conditions have suspended efforts to clean up the roads any more today but workers will return tomorrow morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Crews say it’s unusual to see this many trees come down in such a short period of time.
November 19, 2012 at 5:34 PM
By Mark Yuasa / Seattle Times staff reporter
The stormy weather that has pounded the region the past few days has been good news for ski resorts.
Stevens Pass Resort will open Tuesday, Mount Baker and Crystal Mountain resorts plan to open Wednesday, and Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort will open Friday.
Stevens will be open from noon to 4 p.m. with the Brooks and Daisy chairlifts in operation. Lift tickets will be $20. Early season conditions exist so skiers and snowboarders should use caution. On Sunday night, 14 to 18 inches of new snow fell, bringing the base total to about 24 inches and 31 on top with more snowfall in the forecast.
Crystal Mountain Resort will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday with the Gondola, Green Valley and Rainier Express lifts operating. Much of the open areas are intermediate and expert terrain. Crystal plans to open Chinook and Forest Queen lifts by Friday, and possibly High Campbell for access to Powder Bowl on Friday, as well. Lift tickets on Wednesday will cost $45.
The base at Crystal is 20 inches and the summit has a depth of 40 inches, with 15 inches of new snow falling last night.
Mount Baker will have limited operations beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday from the Heather Meadows area. Baker managers will assess conditions Tuesday and decide whether to open the lower White Salmon Base Area.
Mount Baker received 20 inches of snow overnight Sunday, and has a base of 41 inches at Heather Meadows and 50 inches on top of Pan Dome.
A warm front is expected to cause the freezing level to rise above 5,000 feet, but a cold front will bring much colder temperatures and more snow by late Tuesday and Wednesday, with 6 to 12 inches of new snow.
October 16, 2012 at 9:46 AM
The Associated Press
The forecast of snow at Mount Baker prompted the state Transportation Department to close the road to Artist Point on Tuesday for the season.
It has been cleared only 84 days since snow plows opened access on July 24 to the last three miles of Highway 542 past the Mount Baker Ski Resort.
Artist Point is typically the last mountain road in Washington to open and the first to be closed for the season. It’s serves the parking lot for the Forest Service’s Heather Meadows visitor center and a number of trails above the 5,000-foot elevation.
Transportation Department spokesman Dustin Terpening says the area is heavily used by hikers, and that supports businesses along the Mount Baker Highway.
June 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM
The Associated Press
BELLINGHAM — The body of a Seattle doctor who died skiing on Mount Baker has been recovered by a search and rescue team.
Keith Hardy, 34, was killed last week just after reaching the summit with a friend. He was skiing down the mountain near the Coleman Glacier, near the 8,200-foot level, when he skied off a cliff. Hardy apparently didn’t see the precipice in time.
The body was recovered at 12:30 p.m. Thursday after rescue teams had been hampered by bad weather for days.
Hardy was a team physician for the University of Washington’s lacrosse team and medical director of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. He graduated from the University of Michigan’s medical school, and had been an assistant professor at UW since 2008.
June 18, 2012 at 6:56 AM
Weather: Wet today and tomorrow, but 71 degrees and some clearing possible on Wednesday. And then clear, sunny and 75 on Thursday. Gotta love that part. Sunday wasn’t too bad, now was it? Muggy though. The National Weather Service forecast.
Traffic: Slippery, and there were a few blocking accidents out there this morning. Be careful. The map and cams.
Deaths in the outdoors in Skamania County yesterday. A hiker fell from a trail and a kayaker died in whitewater accident in separate incidents Sunday, according to the Skamamia County sheriff’s office. The hiker was on a trail with a woman when he fell into a deep ravine 16 miles north of Carson, according to The Columbian. The kayaker was with 10 others on the Little White Salmon River when her kayak overturned and she drowned.
Woman trapped under dresser for four days: A 67-year-old woman in Beaverton, Ore., outside Portland was trying to move a dresser when it fell on her Friday. She was in and out of consciousness during her ordeal and had injured her legs, according to KGW-TV. She was taken to the hospital, was later released and is being cared for by a friend.
That tsunami debris: The governor and other officials are scheduled to hold a news conference at Ocean Shores on the coast today to say how we’re going to deal with stuff ending up here from the tsunami that hit Japan. We’ve had a few piece wash up here of late.
Skiing death on Mount Baker: We’re working to get more on the recovery operation of the body of the skier who died on Mount Baker over the weekend.
A Microsoft tablet? There’s that mystery news conference by Microsoft this morning, and just about everyone is saying it’s to announce its version of a tablet to join the world of the Kindle Fire, Nook, and, of course, the iPad.
Addressing gun violence: Law enforcement folks are scheduled to lay out their plans to combat gun violence in Seattle. Those expected at the gathering include Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
June 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM
A 34-year-old Seattle man was killed in a skiing accident high on Mount Baker Friday, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. The man, identified as Keith Hardy, was skiing near the Coleman head wall, an area of steep, rocky terrain at about the 9,000-foot level. He reportedly went over a cliff.
A helicopter from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island flew over the site Friday afternoon and confirmed the man had been killed. A team from Bellingham Mountain Rescue was turned back by bad weather and mountain conditions Saturday at about the 7,700 foot level as they attempted to retrieve the body.
Search crews will try again when the weather clears.
March 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM
Backcountry skiers and snowboarders have a new tool to explore regional daily avalanche danger levels.
A web-based map, created by students and faculty at Western Washington University, takes the regional avalanche forecasts issued by the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center and displays the same information spatially. This allows backcountry travelers to zoom into specific regions and examine the forecast avalanche danger. But it also prevents users from zooming in too closely, because the forecasts are regional, not site-specific.
The site also allows users to scroll back through a week’s worth of forecasts, which can help them understand how avalanche dangers change over time.
The mapping tool was created by the Institute for Spatial Information and Analysis at WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment. The director of the program, Michael Medler, began working with graduate students on avalanche-hazard visualization projects after a Mount Baker avalanche in 2004 buried several WWU students, killing one of them.
Last month, an avalanche killed three skiers at Stevens Pass, and a snowboarder at Snoqualmie’s Alpental ski area.
Mark Moore, a spokesman for the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center, said it’s important for users to understand that even though these maps display the hazard danger for specific points on the map, the forecasts themselves are regional in nature.
“We do not want to imply that regional forecasts can be slope specific in their accuracy,” Moore said in a release about the new map “They cannot, and should not, be used for slope scale decisions, which should be left to the back country user,” he said.
February 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM
A 28-year-old pilot is resting at home in Bellingham after crashing a small plane on Mount Baker.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office says it received reports Saturday night of both a snowmobile accident and a plane crash at an area known as Schreibers Meadow. When search-and-rescue personnel arrived, they learned that the injured snowmobilers had been taken off the mountain by friends. They then proceeded toward the signal of the plane’s emergency beacon on the Deming Glacier at the 7,800-foot level.
When they reached the plane, there was no one there. Officials eventually learned that some of the snowmobilers had taken the pilot off the mountain, The Associated Press reported.
The state Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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