We were planning on downhill skiing this past weekend but ended up not having a babysitter. Instead, we packed up the kids and our cross-country skis and headed up to Mt. Baker! We hadn’t taken the kids cross country skiing since Eliza was a little baby.
Mt. Baker has a couple different options for cross country skiing. We knew there was a snowboard competition this weekend AND it seemed like the first non-raining weekend in forever. We wanted to avoid going all the way up to the downhill ski area if possible!
We parked at the Razor Hone/Salmon Ridge Sno-Park (just past mile post 46 on the Mt. Baker Highway). The parking lot was pretty snowy; Seth had to help someone push their front wheel drive out of their parking spot when we were about to leave. The Sno-Park is groomed and has a $20 pass fee per vehicle which can be purchased online ahead of time. You can also buy an annual Sno-Park pass for $40.
Eliza had never tried on skis before, but I found some used kiddie skis the day before we went so Eliza could try cross country skiing too! The brand I got was Lucky Bums Kid’s Beginner Snow Skis (they sell new on Amazon for $45 but I paid $20 getting them used on a buy/sell group). They would not be good for downhill skiing, but they were perfect for Eliza trying out cross country skiing and having skis on for the first time! You buckle in regular kids snow boots and the heel is able to lift up a little bit. Eliza has issues with balance because of being blind in one eye so I was really impressed with how well she did trying to stand and scoot with the skis!
Seth carried Eliza in the Deuter backpack and I carried Oliver in the Ergo when we started on Razor Hone Rd. This is labeled as a green run that goes slowly uphill but we turned around when it started to get steeper than we were comfortable with. It was no problem going uphill but we were a little bit nervous about flying downhill with kids on our backs. The weight of the kids actually did slow us down quite a bit on the downhill though! Oliver and Eliza both weigh about 30 pounds so this might be trickier if you have a heavier 4-year-old!
Overall the kids had an awesome time! We remembered to keep them really warm and really fed which always makes for happier kids! The only time Oliver cried was just before we got back to the car when his legs started to go numb from being in the Ergo for too long. He really should have a child-carrier with stirrups to put his feet in to avoid this issue in the future!
We own cross country skis but there were other people renting – you can rent XC skis and boots for $30 from the Glacier Ski Shop. We want our kids to feel comfortable doing all different types of outdoor activities. I did fall once with Oliver but we were both fine. I also took off my skis on a steeper downhill part that I didn’t feel comfortable doing with Oliver on my back and one of my skis went down the hill without me and landed in the (very shallow) creek on the side. Oops! Hopefully soon we won’t be carrying the kids and they will be skiing right along side us!