It was a fine feeling jumping on the bus at 5pm on a Friday and embarking on a Desert Ski Club weekend trip to 49 Degrees North. Lots of familiar faces, some lovely wine, tasty snacks to imbibe, and after a 4 hour bus ride, we were moving into out hotel rooms in Colville.
I always thoroughly enjoy a day or two visit at 49 Degrees. It’s inevitably quiet (lift lines do not happen), invariably has a worthy base, and on most visits, good snow too. This weekend was no exception. There’d been little fresh in a week or two, but when we arrived Saturday morning, it was already snowing. Conditions were already decent, and we roamed around trees and steeps as the snow improved continually throughout the day, with 3 or so inches of creamy blower.
Sunday wasn’t far from a repeat. Intermittent snow showers, incredibly heavy at times, meant variable visibility, especially in East Basin. But if you stuck to the west side and lapped Chair 4, there was some fantastic skiing to be had. The Cyc Glades were soft, suckering us in many times to pick new lines through the widely spaced woods (pics here).
With a Northern Lights Chocolate Dunkel or two to relax with at the end of the day, friendly locals and live music in the Boomtown Bar, it’s hard to fault this couple of days. I just hope 49 Degrees North remains unknown for a few more years. Selfish, I know, but its a gem I’d hate to see disappear in a tsunami of development and a plagues of Lexuses. Fortunately, I suspect the latter is somewhat unlikely.
2 Days: 7400m, 7100m
Season Totals: 25 days, 191,400 vertical metres. 4 powder days