Bigfoot sightings are common in Washington State. I’m no expert on this particular topic, but after this weekend it’s pretty clear to me that Bigfoot is happily hanging out for the winter at Forty Nine Degrees North. I assume Sasquatch is too large to fit on the old double chairs here, but he’s certainly happily hiking around the ski hill, as the indisputable photographic evidence shows ;}
The locals must be keeping bigfoot’s winter vacation at their ski hill a secret. But that’s not a surprise, as I suspect they’re good at the secret thing. After all, they have a decent size ski hill with excellent cruising terrain, enticing glades and reliable snow on their doorstep. And no one knows about it.
We headed up to 49 Degrees North for President’s weekend. Traditionally one of the busiest of winter, we spent a whole weekend without a single lift line. The groomers were the place to be, as freeze-thaw weather in the Pacific Northwest had left the trees and off-trail variable. By Saturday afternoon, the snow softened leaving pleasant goop to carve in the glades up high, but Sunday saw a deep freeze and icebergs anywhere that hadn’t been corduroyed. It was all fast and furious entertainment.
We stayed in Chewelah at the Chewelah Creek Inn. A pleasant double room and two lift tickets for $100 a night is a bargain by anyone’s standard. Chewelah isn’t exactly a hub of wild nightlife, but we found decent food in the local Chinese restaurant on Friday, and the Sportsman’s Bar had good rocking bands on both nights. There was nothing wrong with the prime rib, duck and scallop dishes in ‘Sportys’ either, which made for a very pleasant surprise Saturday evening.
Despite the slow lifts, we skied 7700m vertical on Saturday and 6200m on Sunday before departing at 2pm. This made for a fun weekend away from the hoards of President’s weekend skiers. I’d certainly like to return when the snow is soft, as the glades would be a fantastic place to explore for a day or three. There’s a lot of off-trail skiing here, nothing steep, but when you have the whole place to yourself, finding good lines certainly wouldn’t be a problem. And you might just get a close-up meeting with Sasquatch … Season totals: 36 days, 14 powder days, 273,00 verts.