Hood River, OR – Last winter’s epic ending to the ski season provided the necessary capital for ski areas to implement many improvements during this summer’s construction season. With the arrival of the season’s first snows, and a favorable La Nina winter forecast, ski area work crews are completing chairlift installations, warming huts, bike parks, and significant enhancements to guest service buildings. As is the case each fall, all ski area operators are ‘tuning up’ ski lifts, day lodges, parking facilities, and the compelling array of ski school programs. Here’s what’s going on in Washington.
Mt. Baker Ski Area has invested $3.5 million in the construction of a mid-mountain warming hut. Steeped in the traditions of Cascadian architecture, the new Raven’s Hut will provide indoor seating for 300 customers.
Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park completed a thorough remodel of its Snoplay Daycare Center, which was made possible with assistance from Children’s Choice Dental. Mt. Spokane also installed a point-of-sale software system, which now supports a direct-to-chairlift ticketing function.
The Summit at Snoqualmie’s Summit West installed a fully enclosed, 210-foot, moving carpet lift for ‘first-timers’. Summit Central’s Silver Fir terrain will benefit from the re-grading of Hog Wild Trail, and construction of an enhanced connector trail, which links Silver Fir and Golden Nugget trails. The purchase of a powerful, winch-equipped, snow cat will ensure that upper pitches of the Silver Fir Express quad chairlift receive regular snow grooming.
Alpental constructed a new ski patrol station near the top of the Armstrong Express quad chairlift, which will be open to the public.
Crystal Mountain’s new 8-passenger gondola – which opened in January – will provide direct lift access to the Green Valley Express quad chairlift and trails in Green Valley. Expect Crystal to open for skiing in late October or early November. Located underneath the top terminal of the Mt. Rainier Gondola, Crystal Mountain’s RDL Test Center debuts this winter – featuring the latest technology from equipment makers Rossignol, Dynastar, and Lange.
The Stevens Pass Bike Park opened this summer with Phase l downhill mountain bike trails built and lift transport provided the resort’s Hogsback Express quad chairlift. Construction of the three remaining Phase l trails will take place after the snow pack melts next spring. A full opening of Phase l mountain bike trails, bike rentals, and retail operations is scheduled for late June or early July – weather permitting.
Thanks goes out to the PNSAA for compiling this info.