Mount Baker

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Mount Baker (Lummi: qwú’mə kwəlshéːn; Nooksack: kw’eq smaenit or kwelshán), also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is an active[9] glaciated andesitic stratovolcano [4] in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the North Cascades of Washington State in the United States. It is the second-most active volcano in the range after Mount Saint Helens. About 31 miles (50 km)[10] due east of the city of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Mount Baker is the youngest volcano in the Mount Baker volcanic field.[5] While volcanism has persisted here for some 1.5 million years, the current glaciated cone is likely no more than 140,000 years old, and possibly no older than 80-90,000 years. Older volcanic edifices have mostly eroded away due to glaciation.

After Mount Rainier, Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated of the Cascade volcanoes; the volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker (0.43 cubic miles or 1.8 cubic kilometers) is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes (except Rainier) combined. It is also one of the snowiest places in the world; in 1999, Mount Baker Ski Area, located 14 km (8.4 mi) to the northeast, set the world record for recorded snowfall in a single season—1,140 inches (95 feet or about 30 meter).[11]

At 10,778 feet (3,285 m), it is the third-highest mountain in Washington State and the sixth-highest in the Cascade Range, if Little Tahoma Peak, a subpeak of Mount Rainier, is not counted.[4][12] Located in the Mount Baker Wilderness, it is visible from much of Greater Victoria, Greater Vancouver and south to Seattle in Washington.

Indigenous natives have known the mountain for thousands of years, but the first written record of the mountain is from the Spanish. Spanish explorer Gonzalo Lopez de Haro mapped it in 1790 as the Gran Montaña del Carmelo, "Great Mount Carmel".[13] The explorer George Vancouver renamed the mountain for 3rd Lieutenant Joseph Baker of HMS Discovery, who saw it on April 30, 1792.[14]


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