This was our first day of the season at White Pass. It was also closing day – the last Sunday in April. As we’ve been White Pass season pass holders for 3 years, this may seem a little incongruous, especially as it’s a ski hill I rather like. When the snow is soft, the steeps open and the crowds small, there’s a lot of options to be had.
Unfortunately, at weekends it seems that the crowds are rarely small. And when the conditions are firm, the severe lack of intermediate runs really limits the variety of terrain available. This should be fixed when 2 news lifts are built out the back, and I can’t wait until this development rejuvenates the ski hill and gives it the capacity and variety to please the weekenders. But as that is unlikely to happen next year, we’d already decided to switch our season pass allegiance.
The beauty of a White Pass season pass is the 5 days it offers at each of Mission Ridge, Silver Mountain and Timberline. We’d exercised several of these days during the season, so value from the passes had been had (only just in my case – the fault of business travel!). Still it was a pleasure to drive up on a clear Sunday morning, be greeted by excellent snow and sunshine, and the promise held by an empty parking lot of few people on the hill.
18 laps of the quad chair later, the season at White Pass was coming to close. We’d skied groomers in the morning, and all afternoon soft slushy bumps that exploded as you jammed your edges in the deep ruts. The conditions on the steep bump runs were excellent, and the arrival of late afternoon cloud stopped the sun’s rays from turning the snow too sticky. A really fine day to close the season with.
Mission Ridge nearly got our money for next year’s season pass. At the last minute however, Silver Mountain’s $199 deal (including 5 days at both Mission and White) stole the show with an offer too good to refuse (along with about 20 others we know in the Tri-cities!). Silver is another place where new lifts would greatly enhance the ski experience. But with really fabulous terrain and crowds almost unheard of, I have no doubt we’ll more than get our value next year.
Sunday – 8300m vert
Season Totals: 52 days, 424,600 vertical metres, 13 powder days