March 22, 2020

Hello Mt. Baker Skiers and Snowboarders,

Like you, in our own lives and work, we are having to adapt to the changes in daily life that our community and the world are making in order to protect our own health and the health of others by helping slow the spread of the virus.

Following Governor Inslee’s update on Friday March 20, and in continued consult with our medical team and doing our own research, we understand that there are a few things we can do to contribute in the effort to slow the spread.

Firstly, we currently are in the mitigation phase of this disease where we have an important opportunity to slow its spread. In support of science that says an essential part of mitigation and slowing the spread of the virus is social distancing, the reasonable thing for us to do is to help promote social distancing by closing the ski area through at least April 27. Yes, we are going to close for now, but we have put plans in place for a possible reopening if conditions allow after April 27. We would love to get some sunny spring skiing and riding happening, and will do our best to make that happen if possible.

Secondly, we can support our crew, their families and our local economy by supporting our crew’s health and financial well-being in ways we reasonably can. Our staff has been phenomenal through the wild ride of this season, and we would like to thank them for their flexibility and positivity especially over the past few weeks. We are paying our seasonal winter staff for their normal work hours through April 2 to help bridge them to their next seasonal jobs.

For those of us that are currently healthy, making conscious efforts to maintain this health is also very important in the overall effort, as well as just a good idea. With this in mind, 50 of our year-round /off-season crew are going to spend the next week or so putting the ski area to bed (yes, while using distancing and best practices in the workplace) and then we are giving each member of our year-round/off season crew members a two week paid health break.

During this health break, we will be paying our year-round/off-season staff to stay healthy and do their part to flatten the curve. We are strongly encouraging our staff to use this time to do things like staying home as much as possible, use distancing practices, turn off the alarm clock and get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat healthy, unplug, spend time taking care of children, and have some valuable quiet time. Yes, a few of us will be doing limited essential ski area work to keep the utilities on and the business running, but we are doing so with flexible schedules and only as needed. After the health break, our year-round/ off-season crew will return to work per workplace guidelines. Some will be working remotely and we will begin our normal maintenance season. If, after April 27, a time comes when the possibility to reopen may exist, it will be our year-round/off-season crew who will reopen and operate the ski area for you. Chances are it would be a limited number of chairs due to staffing numbers, but we could certainly make something happen.

A few conditions would need to exist before we would consider reopening. Among others; guidelines from government agencies and medical professionals would need to be less restrictive than they are now and reasonable to implement, we would need available medical staff for our Aid Rooms and enough masks and PPE for them and our ski patrol without negatively impacting medical facilities in the lowlands, and. . . .snow on the ground.

While we are closed, please be aware that there will be no avalanche control work done and no ski patrol or ski area medical staff available for response. See our separate safety information and FAQ for answers to a few logistical questions regarding ski area closure.

Once again, we do not take these decisions lightly and encourage you to stay informed, do your research and follow the guidelines and suggestions set out by science, and health and government officials. In your exercise and recreation plans over the coming weeks, please consider that any medical or rescue efforts you may need will take away valuable attention and medical supplies that are currently very much needed for our health care community. We also greatly appreciate the Facebook posts, notes and conversations that demonstrate how our local Glacier and greater mountain community is figuring this out together and taking real tangible steps to be a part of a bigger global effort. One of our Aid Room Advisory Committee physicians suggests that on an individual level, in addition to general precautionary measures, one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming ill is to ensure you are getting quality sleep and actively reducing your stress. They suggest this, combined with getting regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet, will positively contribute to your physical and mental health and well being.

Thank you to those who are staying informed and this is a reminder that we are looking to each other to take reasonable actions to support our own health and protect the health of others so we all can resume life in a more normal way, hopefully as soon as possible. These next few weeks matter.

Duncan Howat – President

Gwyn Howat – CEO

Mike Trowbridge – General Manager & CFO

Sam Llobet – Director of Mountain Operations and Patrol Director

Is the ski area open?

Currently, no. The ski area will be closed through at least April 27.

Will the ski area be reopening?

Possibly. We have put plans in place for a possible reopening if conditions allow after April 27. We would love to get some sunny spring skiing and riding happening,and will do our best to make that happen if possible. A few conditions would need to exist before we would consider reopening. Among others; guidelines from government agencies and medical professionals would need to be less restrictive than they are now and reasonable to implement, we would need available medical staff for our Aid Rooms and enough masks and PPE for them and our ski patrol without negatively impacting medical facilities in the lowlands, and. . . .snow on the ground. Please see our statement for complete details.

Are ski area events cancelled for the rest of the season?

Yes, all events are cancelled for the rest of this season. If you registered for the Locals Qualifier, we will be contacting you via email on March 26 with more information.

Is the Bellingham business office open?

Current business office hours are 10am to 3pm Monday - Friday. To help protect our staff, if you need to come to the office, please call beforehand. 360-734-6771

Are restrooms available at the ski area?

At the time of this posting, the USFS outdoor sanicans in the parking lot are still available to the public.

Are ski area facilities open?

No, our facilities are not open.

Is the highway still open?

Please go to www.wsdot.gov for current information on the status of Hwy 542.

Is parking allowed at the ski area?

At the time of this posting, parking is still allowed. However, please go to www.wsdot.gov for current information on the status of Hwy 542. Also, be aware that we will not be plowing the parking lots and access roads.



Is overnight parking allowed at the ski area?

At the time of this posting, overnight parking is still allowed. However, please go to www.wsdot.gov for current information on the status of Hwy 542. Also, be aware that we will not be plowing the parking lots and access roads.

Is snowshoeing allowed?

At the time of this posting, access to the USFS Wilderness and National Forest areas surrounding the ski area is still allowed. However, we suggest calling the Glacier Ranger Station at (360) 599-2714 or the main office at (360) 856-5700 for more information. In your exercise and recreation plans over the coming weeks, please consider that any medical or rescue efforts you may need will take away valuable attention and medical supplies that are currently very much needed for our health care community.


Also, there are no Ski Patrol available at the ski area. At the time of this posting most, if not all, outside rescue organizations have suspended operations. Rescue may not be possible.


Is access the backcountry allowed?

At the time of this posting, access to the USFS Wilderness and National Forest areas surrounding the ski area is still allowed. However, we suggest calling the Glacier Ranger Station at (360) 599-2714 or the main office at (360) 856-5700 for more information. In your exercise and recreation plans over the coming weeks, please consider that any medical or rescue efforts you may need will take away valuable attention and medical supplies that are currently very much needed for our health care community.

Also, there are no Ski Patrol available at the ski area. At the time of this posting most, if not all, outside rescue organizations have suspended operations. Rescue may not be possible.


Is uphill traffic allowed in ski area?

At the time of this posting, uphill traffic in ski area is still allowed.
CAUTION: The ski area and facilities are not maintained for public use. ALL ACTIVITY IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Do not access closed areas at any time. There is no avalanche mitigation and obstacles and hazards exist and are not marked. Ski Patrol is not on duty and ski patrol rescue is not available. Stay clear of any equipment operation; there may be heavy equipment, snowmobiles and/or chairlifts operating at any time. For emergencies, call 911.

In your exercise and recreation plans over the coming weeks, please consider that any medical or rescue efforts you may need will take away valuable attention and medical supplies that are currently very much needed for our health care community.

Also, at the time of this posting most, if not all, outside rescue organizations have suspended operations. Rescue may not be possible.