New Terrain, Upgraded Chairlifts Highlight Spokane-Area Openings

New-Schweitzer-Cover

A quartet of Inland Northwest ski and snowboard mountains within a couple of hours' drive from Spokane have new offerings as the 2022-2023 season gets underway.

The Lookout Pass trail map got longer this summer with the Eagle Pass expansion on the western edge of the mountain. New is nearly 500 more acres with the new Eagle Pass fixed-grip quad, reachable by a leisurely green run off the resort's main summit. Terrain includes mostly blue runs, plus a long lift-line black and a few other expert pitches.

Straddling the both the Idaho-Montana border and the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the expansion nearly doubles the ski and snowboard area's size to 1,023 acres, and it raises the mountain's vertical-foot drop to 1,650. Also this summer, crews regraded the Success beginner area and tweaked the base lodge, rentals and parking. Its season pass links with eight Western resorts, including Bluewood and Mission Ridge in Washington state.

Staying up north, Schweitzer expansive Outback Bowl got an upgrade with the Stella high-speed adding more chairs to reduce the ride time to acres of glades and blue groomers. The chairlift anchors the skier's right portion of the large basin on Schweitzer's back side.

Down below, the children's center got an upgrade, and a new spa has gone in next to the base Selkirk Lodge. Schweitzer honors the Ikon Pass for seven free days.

At 49 Degrees North (named for its latitude), the big news came last season with the opening of the mountain's first high-speed quad chair. The base-to-summit Northern Spirit takes skiers and riders to the high ground in seven minutes, clearing out base area clogs and improving access to the wide variety of trails off the 5,774-foot Mt. Chewelah summit.

Along with the Sunrise Basin and Angel Peak expansions in the recent years, 49 Degrees North has jumped from 1,500 to more than 2,300 acres. Its season pass reciprocates with Bluewood, Mission Ridge, Loup Loup and White Pass in the state.

Northern Idaho's Silver Mountain has opened more powder-stash terrain this season by pushing the ski boundaries off Chair 2 . Named South of the Border, it adds about 20 acres of glades and powder meadows -- plus a new trail back to the base of the lift.

On the other side of the mountain at the Chair 4 mid-station, Silver has opened up a new Jackass Snack Shack to commemorate the resort's first name, Jackass Ski Bowl. The resort is now a member of the Powder Alliance. And, Silver is the only mountain in the West that connects to town (Kellogg, Idaho) via a gondola.

 

  252 Hits

SnoCast: It's Beginning to Look Like Ski Season

Stowe_fb_111622_cropped

With more resorts opening, chilly temperatures, and new snow for the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest, we're officially calling it ski season. Let's dive into the weather outlook in this week's SnoCast. 

Continue reading
  546 Hits

Bring The Kids And Save Some Bucks This Season

Loveland-Kids-Cover

A burgeoning trend in the ski and snowboard industry is for resorts and states all across the country to expand ski-free programs for youngsters and teens in hopes they stick with the sport -- and also save families a bit on ski vacations.

Continue reading
  1061 Hits

Western Season Passes For 2021-2022 Loaded With Extras

Pass-Monarch

The options keep on coming, as single-mountain season passes for next season have more add-ons than ever before to compete with the multi-resort mega-passes.

Continue reading
  1195 Hits

Idaho Resorts Open With A Modest Array Of New Features

Sun-Valley-New-Lift

Ski and snowboard resorts throughout Idaho are opening for the season, albeit cautiously, and offseason improvements are muted but still significant.

Continue reading
  1751 Hits

Idaho Resorts Unfurl Plans For Covid-19 Winter

Schweitzer-Covid

The standard Covid-19 precautions are in place for this ski and snowboard season in the Gem State. Regional and local conditions may change, prompting changes in restrictions, but here's a look at some of the resorts' plans.

 

Continue reading
  2387 Hits

Inland Northwest Resorts Set Out Polices For Season

Schweitzer-Scene

The half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts that sit east of the Cascade divide and on the western edge of the Rockies have begun to announce ticket policies for the upcoming season to comply with local and state Covid-related capacity caps in place.

Continue reading
  1476 Hits

SnoCountry SnoCast: Rockies, Northeast Targeted for New Snow

JayPeak

February can bring some healthy storms around North America, and this week proves that. The Rocky Mountains and Northeast have storms ahead that will keep you itching to hit the slopes. Here’s where to expect the best conditions.

Continue reading
  3207 Hits

Heli-Skiing In U.S.: Heading Deep Into Pow' Territory

Heli-Utah-Landin_20200112-003159_1

Taking a helicopter to find untouched powder isn't only for skiers and riders in Alaska or Canada: Plenty of runs can be had in the Lower 48, too.

Continue reading
  4133 Hits

SnoCast: Busy Forecast Keeps Snow in the Cards

SummitAtSnoqualmie2_tw

We’re turning into mid-January with a busy and changeable weather pattern across North America. Two fast-moving (albeit mild) storms graze the East, while cold and snowy conditions persist for the West.

Continue reading
  3542 Hits

SnoCast: Waves of Snow Through Mid-December

Whiteface

An active weather pattern will have several fast-moving storms move through both the East and the West. Timing is everything to catch the best conditions through this weekend.

Continue reading
  3896 Hits

Plenty Of New At Idaho Ski And Snowboard Resorts

Brundage-Tree_20191208-165816_1

As the 2019-2020 season opens in Idaho, skiers and snowboarders who venture into the northern tier of the Rockies will find lots of new lifts, terrain and facilities to explore.

Continue reading
  2485 Hits

First Snow Storm Produces Several Feet In Northern Rockies

Whitewater-Snow

Here we go! The first major storm of the season in the West has dropped more than two feet on the Northern Rockies – with more expected on the way.

Continue reading
  3108 Hits

SnoCountry SnoCast: Still Some Snow Left In The Gas Tank

Steamboat-Springs

Welcome to April! It’s the month to have a little more fun and perhaps get those last runs of the season in. Hurry though! As warmer weather approaches and ski resorts close, our time is limited. Here’s what the weather has to offer this week.

Continue reading
  4094 Hits

Diving Into The Trees: Top Glade Runs In West

Solitude-Trees

Heading down the mountain, you suddenly drop off the side of the trail and into the trees. That's where you find the powder and the alpine quiet – and where you go back to the old-school.

Continue reading
  2972 Hits

SnoCountry SnoCast: Thankful For A Huge Western Snowfall

Snowbasin-Opens

Thanksgiving weekend will be especially tasty in the western United States and Canada with multiple helpings of snow storms.

Continue reading
  4039 Hits

Skis And Boats: Waterfronts Near Western Mountain Resorts

Heavenly-Lake-View

Summer vacationers often seek out lakefront property to cool off, and a number of ski and snowboard resorts across the West are blessed with a lake within spittin’ distance.

Continue reading
  4037 Hits

Plenty Of Summer Fun At Pacific Northwest Resorts

Crystal-Mountain-View

Summertime at ski and snowboard resorts in the Great Northwest packs in all manner of adventure, food and new perspectives.

Continue reading
  4488 Hits

Resorts Work To Keep Ski Bums Around

Vail-Liftee

The liftee needs a place to live, too. (Vail Careers/Facebook)

So you want to be a ski bum? Get a job at a resort, find a place to live, and get a pass for free. All sounds cool -- except for the “cost of living” thing.

Continue reading
  6128 Hits

First Flakes Signal Summer’s Over, First Turns Loom

Aspen-First

Seasons show their change at Aspen-Snowmass. (AspenSnowmass.com)

Summer gondola rides are coming to an end, the mountain bike heads into the garage, and thoughts turn to the upcoming ski and snowboard season throughout the West.

Continue reading
  4573 Hits