La Ni&#241a Repetida


For good or ill, she's sticking around. That's what the weather gurus are saying about La Niña. According to Brad Colman, science officer with the National Weather Service (NWS), "It's becoming more and more likely that the winter will be strongly influenced by a moderate-strength La Niña."

In California and the Pacific Northwest, where La Niña deposited huge dumps (world-record dumps in the case of Washington's Mt. Baker) last year, skiers like what they're hearing. Not so in Colorado, Utah, the Midwest, and New England, where she was stingy. Either way, the experts suggest that in '99-'00 she's likely to behave a lot like she did last year.

Skiers in the lean zones can pray the soothsayers are wrong; weather being what it is (unpredictable) and forecasters being how they are (inaccurate), there's room for error. But the Climate Prediction Center, from which the NWS derives its data, has been reasonably successful in foretelling what regional mischief to expect from the El Niño-La Niña cycle of the past few years. Looks like another feast-or-famine year.


Trip Ideas: Mt. Baker | Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Baker

Trip Ideas: Mt. Baker, Washington

Baker is a mountain for those who don’t give a $#!+ about anything other than copious amounts of snow.


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Tanner Hall loved them and so should you. The Chair Seven trees are the fastest, most accessible lines on the mountain. Get on Chair Seven at the base of Heather Meadows Lodge (the lower parking lot lodge) and at the top go directly skier’s left into the trees. Helpful for those snowy whiteout days you will often find in Washington, the trees drop you off on a cat track that you can easily skate on back to the lift. Quick laps, steep pitches, and a variety of pillows and jumps, these trees are some of the best terrain on the mountain.

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