Washington 49° North Badger Mountain Central Washington State Fair Crystal Mountain Echo Valley Hurricane Ridge Loup Loup Mission Ridge Mt. Baker Mt. Spokane Sitzmark Ski Bluewood Spokane Stevens Pass The Summit at Snoqualmie Washington State Fair White Pass Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
Any plan to post pictures of the lift(s) at Hurricane Ridge?
Yes, I still need to get to Hurricane Ridge, Badger Mountain, Echo Valley and Loup Loup in Washington.
Don’t forget Sitzmark Ski Area near Tonasket, they have an old Riblet double.
Didn’t know about that one! Tonasket is way up there but I will make the trip eventually. Washington is my home state after all.
Sitzmark did not operate this past season citing lift maintenance issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a lost area.
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Wish granted: https://liftblog.com/hurricane-ridge-wa/
Would you be able to split the Snoqualmie mountains into separate entries? It’s a bit hard to tell which lifts are at which mountains without having to look at a trail map.
Posted this in the about, but I’m thinking it’s better noted here:
The Central Washington State Fairgrounds in Yakima has what appears to be a Riblet center-pole double with safety bars crossing over the grounds. It’s called the Sundola. Probably installed around 1995, given that the fair’s site notes that there was a contest to name it that year.
Only runs during the week of the fair as far as I know.
One of four lifts I still need to get to in Washington.
Great! Just wanted to make sure.
Love those old Riblets.
I normally ski at White Pass, and when Great White broke down on the last Saturday of the year, I was excited because that meant they’d probably run Chair 2. Then the wind scuttled those plans. :/
I’m curious about whether anyone has scoped out potential ski area building sites near Republic/Sherman Pass. I’m envisioning a ski area with terrain similar to Loup Loup and either a single T-Bar/Poma or double. I believe an optimal base area location would be either at Jungle Hill Campground itself, or adjacent to the unused parking lot to the southeast of it. The chairlift could then go up on the small knob to the southwest (tops out at 5200 feet) or even higher. Here are some liftlines that I had in mind. https://imgur.com/a/jjXy4hH
Curious about what you guys think.
Perhaps a small ski area would work. The closest population center is Spokane, which has ~500k annual skier visits as a city already distributed between Schweitzer, Silver Mountain, 49* North, Mt. Spokane, and Lookout Pass. Schweitzer takes 250k-300k of those, so the rest are basically averaging 50k-62.5k. The biggest question would be whether or not another resort is sustainable or if someone would fall out.
There used to be ton but many of them got lost. Some good ones they should re-operate are Milwaukee Ski Bowl, which is right next to Hyak. Another good one should be Paradise, where the average snowpapck was 15-30 ft and had 6 total rope tows. Here is what the NPS said: “The last years of the rope tow operation may be quickly summarized. When GSI bought Fred Harvey’s interests in the RNPC in 1972, it requested elimination of the ski tow operations from its concession contract. The Park Service obliged, issuing a one-year concession permit to Dick Vanderflute of Paradise Ski Tows, Inc. The Park Service delayed preparation of a new prospectus for the winter concession for the same reason that it postponed issuing a prospectus for the guide service concession: it did not want to confound the public review process for Mount Rainier’s master plan and wilderness recommendations. Three years after the winter concession had been divorced from the main park concession, on September 5, 1975, the NPS issued a prospectus for a five-year contract to operate the ski tow. It received one response, which did not meet the terms of the prospectus. Paradise Ski Tows, Inc., meanwhile, operated under a year to year permit from 1972 to 1975 and then folded. This marked the end of Mount Rainier’s tradition of downhill ski use.”
I am always surprised by the lack of resorts and mega-resorts near Seattle given the snowfall and population. There are basically three primary resorts (Crystal, Stevens Pass, and Summit at Snoqualmie) and three secondary resorts (White Pass, Mission Ridge, Mt. Baker). I know some people go to Whistler, but that number is not too large and it is zero this year. None of the resorts are that big, so the three primaries all receive massive crowds at times. Unless more resorts are built, I think they are in a position to receive massive capital investments to expand to serve the ever-growing Seattle population. The metro area’s size is between Boston and Denver, both of whom have a plethora of mountains of all sizes to choose from.
All the major ski resorts have terrain expansion plans so that’s a good thing. Crystal hasn’t really built its master plan too much plus the road in is Avalanche prone so I would suggest a second access point somewhere for Crystal.
Seattle area ski areas are jammed on the weekends to the point that you frequently get turned away if you don’t show up early. It’s amazing that a state so rich in high mountains and glaciers doesn’t have a true destination resort. Instead, seattleites trek to bachelor, whistler, Schweitzer or sun valley for a true destination resort experience. Part of that is the weather and isolation which deters out of state skiers. Also, nearly all the bigger mountains are in public ownership which pretty much shuts down new ski development. The one major exception is the east side of mount adams which is owned by a tribe. There have been proposals in the past to develop it for skiing which would bring true big mountain skiing to Washington. But until that distant day arrives, we are “stuck” with crystal – although that’s not too bad a cross to bear.
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That’s true. Many resorts got combined (like Alpental, Hyak, Ski Acres, and Snoqualmie)
And also I’m not 100% sure that there are any major resorts made after 2000. Skiing is mostly a Alterra/Vail thing.
But I agree, we get a lot of snow, we have a lot of people, but it’s hard to make a resort.
The Mt. Adams idea actually got pretty far along early in the 2000s. They had the operator of Mt. Hood Meadows signed on to develop the project, but the tribe ultimately voted it down.
Crystal has a parking garage at the current lot B and substantial base area investment in its already-approved master plan, on top of the on-mountain and mountain-access improvements (eg. Kelly’s Gap Express) in the plan. Question is, when will current ownership decide to pay for it? Or do they just keep cashing the checks?
As far as access, Crystal has wilderness on one side and a National Park on the other side. The road is narrow and steep, more rockslide prone than avy really, but widening it even just to three lanes like US-2 west of Stevens would cost many many millions. Very unlikely.
Stevens needs more parking and/or some sort of ski bus system to go with its on-mountain master plan.
Snoqualmie has the parking and the freeway but is small and low elevation, and there’s no good terrain to add.
Baker and White are both on NF land, surrounded by wilderness. Baker doesn’t even have power to the mountain. White does have some base area lodging and could have more, USFS-willing.
Mission does have its expansion to the east, on to private land, pending with Chelan County. I think that will get approved and be very popular.Personally, I’ve always thought that a gondola from Mission Ridge’s summit down into the valley to the west to a new base area on the road there, cutting many miles and an hour off the drive from Seattle, would be money well spent. Would obviously generate substantial public opposition (“Save Naneum Canyon!”).
Really, the Canadians have the snow, terrain, and political environment: Garibaldi on the way and expansion at Whistler and Sasquatch, to say nothing of what’s in interior BC. Get a NEXUS card.
I got curious, and consulted an online USFS topo map and Google Maps at lunch today. From the intersection of Crystal Mountain Boulevard and SR 410 to the point at which Crystal Mountain Boulevard crosses Silver Creek and flattens out, it is 3.3 miles. Over that stretch the road gains 970 feet, from about 2750 to 3720 feet elevation. That is an average 5.6% grade.
The Google Maps street view, dating to March 2011, was taken on a nice snowy day.
Speaking of the goooooooogle, my old Subie is still there, all working and stuff. I miss that guy.
It even still has the single-use deer deflector that deflected a deer on Wagner Creek Road in summer of ‘012.
When I was skiing at Alpental, I saw a mountain behind Central. There is a small valley, like the one at Alpental, and there is a bigger mountain. If they want to they should be able to expand there.
Over there is a side of Hyak. I’ve seen some people go there, and the trail there is pretty steep. They can also expand over there.
The West side of Rampart Ridge which is the ridge opposite of Hyak looks like it would be a good place to develop for skiing. The top elevation is substantially higher than Snoqualmie and there is already a road up Box Canyon the road would just have to be paved. The valley where the base would be is about as tight as the valley is at Crystal so there would be some space constraints but they would make it work.
Rampart Ridge is close to (or maybe even partially in) the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. No ski development would be permitted. The easiest way for a new resort to be developed in Washington would be for a Native American tribe to build one on their land, enabling them to bypass most of the legal hurdles.
In addition to Rampart Ridge, the co-ordinates you listed are on the side of Granite, and also very near to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Good-to-great skiing (check some TAY reports if you’re curious), but not possible for development. STE is correct in stating that it’s basically impossible unless on Tribal land, and even there, there would be much fighting. Someone pointed out somewhere on this blog forum thing that the current state of PNW skiing is such that it’s rapidly outpacing the national trend toward exclusivity, and that is true, and to me, sad. But there just isn’t space in between major city-owned watersheds, Wilderness, National Parks, and low-elevation hills that might provide good terrain but would never support new skiing. Snoqualmie Pass, had it not been developed in the 50s and 60s, would likely not be developed today because of the low elevation and public resistance. We can take some lessons from White (almost 30 years before expansion), Mt A (almost 30 years before realising expansion wouldn’t happen) and Mission (fighting a somewhat conservative/development-possible county just to use their own land). I’ll misquote the hyperlocalism heard often here in BoyCee: I heard North Dakota’s nice this time of year. Frustrating, sad, and sadly, nearly inevitable.
Does the rope tow at the Sahalie Ski Club ever still operate? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it running and was curious.
I checked their website and I think (but I’m not sure) that you have to pay money to ski there. I don’t know how to be a member but you can rent a room and ski there. Also it said that their kids learn skiing at 3, probably at the rope tow.
It would be nice if Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie, and Crystal had a pass which you can use to ski all of them. Not the best when they all are owned by 3 different companies. You can technically use the Ikon to ski at Snoqualmie, but only for 8 or so days.
I think I’ve found the most feasible place for a new ski hill in Washington, Molybdenite Mountain.
I’ve based this on a multitude of factors including:
-Local economic need
-Logging roads for Snocats/Lift Construction
-Flat area for base construction
-Improved access road
-Proximity to a city for day trippers (it lies just over 2 hours from Spokane)
The most cost-effective scenario would be to buy Double Diamond from Stevens Pass and put it across the NW most ridge of the mountain. It would be aligned NE to SW, with a midstation on top of the ridge at around 6200ft in elevation.
It’s private land, a square-shaped 639.76 acre parcel owned by the Stimson Lumber Co, so someone with enough cash could theoretically do this. Search for parcel number 443707000000 on the Pend Oreille County map. Would make the permitting processes so much easier than trying to deal with the USFS (as much as I like the agency).
With the relatively high elevation, substantial snowfall (being far enough NE in WA), steep rocky terrain, and logging roads already in place to aid lift construction, I think it’s pretty ideal up there. Could also help in revitalizing the local economy in Ione / Metaline Falls, or at least give local kids and families something to do outside.
I’m not a local, but my understanding is that the relief valve is needed in Seattle … even Mission Ridge and White Pass are not as crowded, only the three Seattle ski areas. Want a new ski area? Put it near Seattle or it would become another half-dying area …
Spokane has Schweitzer, 49 Degrees, Mt. Spokane, and Silver Mtn – there’s RED Mtn across the border too.
Finally, Vail has shown no willingness to sell their lifts – or reuse them, even within their own network (I can think of at least three places that Big Red could have gone at WB alone) and they probably won’t replace Southern Cross either.
Great for fantasy land, but I see some hurdles.