COURSE LENGTH: APPROXIMATELY 2.5 MILES (4 KM)
DOWNHILL SKI/SNOWBOARD AT MT. BAKER SKI AREA
Course Length: Approximately 2.5 miles (4 km)
Average Time (H:MM:SS) is 0:37:00. Range is 0:23:50-1:15:30.
In 2022, the first racer finished this Leg at 8:15 am
See a short highlight video of this leg here.
The downhill skier will receive the timing chip from the cross-country skier at the staging area located near the Day Lodge. The downhill skier/snowboarder must be in the staging area or he/she will be penalized by the race committee. The skier will first ski directly down to the bottom of Chair 2, then hike to the top of Chair 1 via North Face (nearly a 1,000 foot elevation gain in 1.5 miles), ski down Gunner’s Ridge, down Blueberry Cat Track, down Home Run, down 7-Hills (approximately 1,200 foot elevation loss in .75 miles), and on to the finish line beside the ski shop (200 foot elevation gain in .25 miles). They will then pass the timing chip to the runner; the runner will then swipe the chip to record the downhill skier’s finish time. The rules and the course are the same for the snowboarder except the snowboarder has to keep one foot attached to the front binding on the snowboard throughout the race course except for the hike from the bottom of Lower North to the top of the hike at the Pan Dome Warming Hut.
Many race participants practice the course prior to Race Day. Please Note: The Ski Area is officially closed for the season during this time, the ski lifts are not in operation during practice runs. The course is not marked with bamboo, gates, and flagging until the day before the race and may not be completely marked until the morning of Race Day. The course will be machine groomed a few days prior to the race, depending on weather conditions. There will be five designated gates on the course that each skier will be required to go through: Lower North, Hoofers Corner, Pan Dome Warming Hut, Gunner’s Ridge Corner and Blueberry Corner. The course may vary depending on snow conditions.
Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting:
There will be a meeting at 7:00am on Race Day at the ski shop for all cross-country and downhill skiers. The meeting will give the latest updates on the racecourse. It is important that all downhill skiers and snowboarders ATTEND this meeting.
Race Timing Chips will consist of the chip on a wristband, and must be passed onto the next racer at each leg exchange area according to the rules. Downhill Skier: ski your event and pass the chip off to the runner. The runner will swipe the chip in front of the bulls-eye to get your finish time.
A designated team representative must pick up the team’s race packet prior to the race. The packet includes the team’s timing chip, racing bibs & T-shirts. The designated team representative must distribute items to team members. There will be no extra racing bibs at the exchange areas.
The Mt. Baker Highway (542) will be closed from 7:15 AM to 11 AM between Canyon Creek Road in Glacier and Mt. Baker Lodge. Any viewers, participants or additional support vehicles who want to go to the top of the mountain must pass Canyon Creek Road prior to 7:15 AM.
Carpooling / Parking:
It is recommended that both of the Skiers, the Runner, and the Road Biker carpool to the mountain. The Road Biker will be dropped off at the Salmon Ridge Sno-Park, ½ mile past the Shuksan DOT snow shed (there will be volunteers directing traffic). The Skiers and the Runner then proceed up HWY 542 to the main parking lot at Heather Meadows. After the Runner has completed his/her course, and HWY 542 has been swept, vehicles will be allowed to depart from the ski area parking lot. The Runner will be picked up at the runner/bike exchange area by the Skiers on their return. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the road and at the road bike exchange parking area. Racers should leave Bellingham by 5:00 AM to ensure they make it to the ski area for the 7:00 AM Pre-Race Meeting.
Release of Cars from Mountain:
After sufficient time has elapsed from the release of the last runner, a Sweep Van will proceed down the mountain (at approximately 10:30 AM) followed by the Washington State Patrol. All cars on the mountain can follow behind the State Patrol. Cars parked in Salmon Ridge Sno-Park will be released after the State Patrol has passed. Runners still on the course will be picked up by the Sweep Van and taken to the DOT shed/Race Exchange site.
The downhill skier will be required to use downhill skis, boots, and bindings. The use of Randonee and Telemark ski equipment is allowed with compatible boots and bindings. Leather (hiking or non-ski) boots, climbing skins, slings, and backpacks to carry skis/boards are not allowed. The snowboarder is required to use a snowboard, snowboard bindings, and snowboard boots. Ski poles are allowed. Both skis must be removed when the racer starts to hike up Lower North to North Face. OFFICIALS WILL BE STATIONED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CLIMB TO MONITOR EQUIPMENT COMPLIANCE. I-Pods, MP3, Walkman or similar music/audio systems are not allowed to be used by the racers while competing.
Infraction of Rules:
Infraction of the rules by one team member may disqualify the entire team. Some conflicts with cross-country skiers are possible on the lower section of the course. To ensure the safety of all racers, please comply with all directions given by race officials and/or volunteers, and take whatever action is needed to avoid cross-country racers. The course is subject to last-minute changes depending on snow conditions. The actual course will be described and discussed at the skier/snowboarder pre-race meeting at 7:00 AM on Race Day.
It is important for all racers to show their bib numbers when crossing the exchange areas. Timing of individual legs may vary based upon exchange area layout. Therefore, personal time kept by racers may not correspond to official results.
Volunteering for Downhill Ski/Snowboard Leg:
If you want to volunteer for the skiing/snowboard leg of the race, please fill out our Volunteer Form.