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Old 02-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Whistler or Baker?

My husband and I wanted to do a weekend trip (can't do weekdays - husband is saving his leave!) to one of the closeish mountains. Our friends are talking about a possible trip to Whistler in early March or we could do our own thing and go to Baker.

My Snowboarding Level

This is my first season snowboarding and I've gone about 10x so far. My main mountain is Stevens and I'm confident on all the blues and have just started to dip my toes into the blacks (just the two short blacks that make up part of Skyline - but I was linking turns on them like a boss. A BOSS!)

I'm starting to look for little (seriously, tiny!) jumps. No park, but my husband has tried the half pipe a few times and likes it.

What I'm Looking For

Cheaper is obviously better but it's not a huge consideration if Whistler is OMGAmazeballs. But since I'm not good enough to snowboard the whole mountain maybe it's not worth going all the way to Whistler?

Short lift lines are a huge plus, especially since I'll be going on a weekend. I loved the lack of lift lines when we went to Baker (even on a Saturday) and I'm guessing Whistler has long lines.

Long opening hours are good too. I know Baker closes at 3:30 and looking at the Whistler website they close at 4:00. Are they open in the evenings? I couldn't find any mention of it but I thought a big resort would have the option.

I don't really care about apres ski options - I'm quite happy to go back to our accommodations to eat, watch some TV and sleep.

I'd love to try some difficult blues and easier blacks. Last time at Baker there were a couple of steeper parts on blues that were challenging but I think I'd be fine on them now. The only problem is that a couple of friends (who are better and have been boarding for a season longer than my husband and I) tried a black at Baker and said they had to falling leaf down it. I wouldn't get bored on the blues at Baker but more runs are always better! I don't know what the terrain is like at Whistler.

So I'm strongly leaning towards Baker. But is there something I'm missing? Is there anything that Whistler would offer two advanced beginners that Baker doesn't?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never been to Baker and would like to go sometime but as someone who skis crappy hills in Ontario Whistler is OMGAmazeballs to use your words. It's pretty much as big as it gets in terms of skiable terrain and vertical.

Be advised that Whistler closes early, last chair in the high alpine is at 230 or even 2pm on in one particular area, with the mid mountain chairs closing around 3 or 330. Note however that if you get the last chair in the alpine at 230 you then will the ride about 5000 vertical feet back to the village, which can take a good half hour or more. If you want to ride till you're drop dead tired you can get a fresh tracks add on to your lift ticket and have breakfast mid mountain and then be riding by about 8 am. Do that and take the last chair of the day an you'll have no regrets that they're not open later.

It might be that I'm just used to nightmare lift lines here in the east but I don't find the lift lines are terrible at whistler. Sometimes they're a bit thick mid mountain before the high alpine opens up.

I think that one of the advantages of whistler/blackcomb is that intermediate level skiers can experience gorgeous alpine mountain terrain, and you can go to the top of both mountains and come back down on blue runs. You won't feel like you're missing out because all the good stuff is too hard.

I'd say that Whistler is a unique experience in terms of it scale, you won't be bored.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi, I love whistler, having two big mountains to choose from is great, but it can be pretty busy there. The last few years we've been going to Baker and the great terrain, lack of lines, low key atmosphere and cheap lift tickets keep us coming back for more. We haven't been back to whistler since we discovered baker.
That been said, I would monitor the snow report and make your call based on which mountain offers the best conditions for your dates.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Baker is the shit. The mountain is awesome, the town of Glacier is super cool and it is affordable. I try to take my family up there for at least 2 long weekend trips during the winter. If you stay in Glacier, get coffee at the Wake and Bakery. Great coffee and pastries. They are right across the street from the Mt Baker Snowboard Shop.

The Chili Bread bowl at the White Salmon lodge is really tasty too.


http://www.vrbo.com/search?q=glacier+washington


good place to look for a cabin or condo to rent.

Last edited by that1guy; 02-11-2013 at 11:30 AM. Reason: forgot to put in link....
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Whistler or Baker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by that1guy View Post
Baker is the shit. The mountain is awesome, the town of Glacier is super cool and it is affordable. I try to take my family up there for at least 2 long weekend trips during the winter. If you stay in Glacier, get coffee at the Wake and Bakery. Great coffee and pastries. They are right across the street from the Mt Baker Snowboard Shop.

The Chili Bread bowl at the White Salmon lodge is really tasty too.


http://www.vrbo.com/search?q=glacier+washington


good place to look for a cabin or condo to rent.
wake and bakery that's a fucking awesome name.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Baker and if you don't like it move on...
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks so much guys! It's sounding like while Whistler is awesome, it's not head and shoulders above Baker - at least not enough to offset the extra expense and chairlift lines.

Now I just have to watch the snow reports and wait.
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