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Feb 2010 23

Day 48
Location: Snoqualmie Pass, WA
Resorts: 23 out of 50

If you’ve ever been on Interstate 90 heading west towards Seattle, you might have noticed a whole mess of chairlifts as you head over Snoqualmie pass. We’ve always been curious about this collection of smaller ski hills.

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Hello I-90...View from top of Central Peak

Turns out that the whole shebang belongs to The Summit at Snoqualmie. Seattle’s closest ski area boasts four peaks. West Peak is mostly beginners, Central Peak has the terrain park, and East Peak looks like the place to escape crowds. All the areas are connected by trail or by shuttle.

Interesting note: To ride the terrain park, you need a “park pass”. This involves watching a five minute safety video and signing some disclaimers. We knew this added layer of protection would come at some point. Features have become break-your-neck huge and ski areas need to cover themselves.

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The guardian shack of the park

Then there’s the fourth peak, Alpental, a separate ski area that Snoqualmie scooped up back in the day.  As far as we’re concerned, skip the front three peaks. The goods are all back here. There’s a European style lodge, some wide slopes, and the best runs on the pass.

There’s only two lifts at Alpental (okay…there’s a few more, but only two worth talking about). The express gets you to the midway point, but the real treasure is the old school double to the top that comes accompanied with huge views of the summit pass far below.

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Edelweiss is German for kick-ass. Or a mountain flower. Take your pick.

Alpental has a interesting backcountry policy. You have to get a backcountry card which involves taking a orientation tour with a ski patroller. Then each time you head out, check in with patrol. This gives you access to about 500 acres accessible by a traverse. There’s no official map of the area, but we came across a virtual tour right here.

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Heading up to the top

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And the view from the top

Want to see some photos of us shredding? Sorry to disappoint. Like Crystal, Snoqualmie is going through a bit of a dry spell. And unlike Crystal, the sun didn’t come out so the whole top was bulletproof Volkswagon sized bumps. We only managed two runs off the top. Another tough day as this looks to be a entertaining hill.

Next up: The Snow Junkies take the party to Colorado. See you there!

The Cheat Sheet:

The Summit at Snoqualmie
1001 State Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068

1 comment so far...

  1. [...] Alpental, WA This throwback with its European style lodge at the base is actually owned by Summit at Snoqualmie [...]

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