Early January, meeting friends from Australia on a Friday night in Spokane, sounds like the perfect recipe for a road trip. So we did. With a very full truck!
First stop, 49 Degrees North, one of my favorite Northwest ski hills. The cover was good, some great groomers and the snow was fine in the trees. No crowds. Killer breakfast sandwiches and and Chocolate Dunkel afterwards. A great ski day.
Next stop, Schweitzer. A similar story conditions-wise, with the north facing off-trail in very attractive condition. Lines down Australia (had to really) and North Bowl were excellent, and the groomers soft and fast.With crowds like a Richland restaurant at 9pm on a Monday, we had it all to ourselves.
Then it rained, so we drove north into Canada to Red Mountain. Then it snowed, heavy wet sludgy stuff at first, then layers of light fluffy snow by the second day. This was day of the season so far, Booty’s Run in 6 inches of fresh was a like a Catholic priest with a Guinness barrel – it needed sampling again and again.
We then dropped off our ski buddies, diverted to Seattle for work, and then to Mission Ridge on our way home. 3 or 4 inches of new made for another delightful ski day – not quite pow-licious, but there was some really nice snow on the protected runs and in the trees. More pics from trip are here.
So by mid January, with the El Nino strengthening, all is still good ski-wise in the Pacific Northwest. Some more freshies and colder temperatures would be nice, but so far, so good.
49 degrees – 6300m
Schweitzer – 8800m, 10,700m
Red – 7600m, 7700m
Mission Ridge – 7700m
23 days:176,800m vert
3 powder day