Low Snow Closes Mount Baker Ski Area

North America's deepest snowpack and the Pacific Northwest can't catch a break this season

It’s a headline that makes you rub your eyes and spit out your coffee, but painfully it seems to be true: Mount Baker Ski Area, home to one of largest annual snowpacks in world, has suspended operations indefinitely due to low snow levels.

“We are here today though to say that we are going to suspend operations temporarily until we get some more snow,” said Mount Baker General Manager Duncan Howat in a Sunday video press release. “We need about 6 to 12 inches more and we will be right back in operation.”

But 6 to 12 might be a tall order to fill for a ski area that is nowhere close to its 641-inch annual snowfall average. In fact, according to Scott Pattee of the Natural Resource Conservation System, the resort and the rest of the North Cascades need to get 357 percent of normal snowfall between now and April 7 to return to normal snowpack levels.

The Mount Baker news is another blow to the Cascadian faithful that have all but cashed in their chips on the 2014/2015 winter. Washington’s Mission Ridge has begun suspending weekday operations, Summit at Snoqualmie has been closed for the better part of a month, and the state is currently at 29 percent of normal according to a report by The Bellingham Herald.

Hope remains in the fact that March is notoriously stormy in the Pacific Northwest, but days have certainly looked deeper in the Evergreen State.