Perfect Powder

Oregon and Washington’s ski operators are updating for snow season

By: Marty Wentzel

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Skiing at Crystal Mountain
With a promising winter weather forecast and snow already falling in the mountains, Washington and Oregon ski operators have put the finishing touches on improvements to their trails, lifts, facilities and programs.

In Washington, Crystal Mountain, located on the border of Mt. Rainier National Park, has installed the Northway chairlift, dramatically increasing its uphill lift capacity and providing access to approximately 1,000 acres of skiable terrain.

Mission Ridge, 12 miles south of Wenatchee, is touting its high-speed quad, which cuts ride time almost in half. For infrequent skiers and riders looking for a deal, the new Bomber Card priced at $59 provides the first lift ticket free and $5 off a weekend ticket ($10 off a midweek ticket). The resort’s expanded lesson center features specialized snowboard equipment and lessons for all ages.

Mt. Spokane has updated its lodges, providing free Wi-Fi. It doubled the capacity of its tubing hill and added two runs to the back side of the mountain. Skiers like its location, 28 miles from Spokane.

“You can deplane at the airport and, in under an hour, be ready to take that first breathtaking run,” said Mt. Spokane marketing manager Charlie Karavitis.

Summit at Snoqualmie, 52 miles east of Seattle, has remodeled its food and beverage area at Summit Central, graded its slopes for better downhill conditions, added a new roof at Summit West’s Alpenhaus and bought 350 pairs of new rental skis.

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Ready for snowboarding at the
Summit at Snoqualmie.
The coming season marks the 70th anniversary of Stevens Pass. Stevens Pass, 78 miles from Seattle, is now 100 percent wind-powered.

“Through a partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, we can offset all of our global warming pollutants, equating to 8.7 million pounds annually,” said Stevens Pass marketing supervisor Nate Escalona.

At Mt. Baker Ski Area, Seattle artist Tony Angel has created new Raven Greeters bronze sculptures for the entrance to the White Salmon base area. Perched atop a 90-foot columnar basalt wall, the ravens are the latest addition to a collection of Northwest art at the resort, situated 2½ hours northeast of Seattle.

Winter Carnival, the signature event at White Pass, takes place this season, March 1-2. Crowds come from around the region for the festivities, which include a snow sculpture competition, games, races, torchlight parade, fireworks, live music and a medieval feast. Fifty miles west of Yakima, White Pass lays claim to 58 condominium units between its alpine ski area and Nordic Center.

In Oregon, Ski Anthony Lakes has come up with the Friday Four Pack, providing four Fridays of skiing for $79 per person. Clients must purchase the promotional vouchers by Dec. 24 in order to use them from Jan. 1-March 28. For clients ages 4-6, the resort is introducing a new Kids Kamp with rentals, lessons and snow play. A two-hour session costs $45 per child; two sessions cost $80.

With the start of the ski season on Mt. Hood, Timberline Ski Area is inviting clients to explore its new Still Creek Basin.

“We are opening the lower portion of our permitted ski area that lies between the Pucci and Stormin’ Norman chairlifts,” said Timberline spokesman Jon Tullis. “This network of ski trails is the largest and most exciting development of new Timberline terrain since the 1970s.”

Clients will want to take a ride on the new Still Creek Basin high-speed quad, Mt. Hood’s longest chairlift.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort constructed a new LEED-certified patrol headquarters building near the top of South Canyon, and it also remodeled the North Lodge, including the first floor restrooms. The Yellow chairlift was refurbished as well.

Mt. Bachelor completed an extensive grading project where the Getback Trail merges with Chipper to improve the return to West Village. In addition, recontouring of the top portion of the Slopestyle Arena means clients can enjoy more consistent grades and improve their jump placement.


Crystal Mountain

Mission Ridge

Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Mt. Hood Meadows

Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park

Ski Anthony Lakes

Stevens Pass

Summit at Snoqualmie

Timberline Ski Area

White Pass