And it just keeps snowing.
By Xmas day, Schweitzer had seen 180 inches of snow this season. It averages 300 inches a year – the conditions are truly incredible. In 4 days, we saw 25 of these inches fall, in the process creating some magnificent conditions. Saturday and Sunday were the equivalent of every recent Dr Who episode, basically good solid 4-6 inch powder days. As the temperatures dropped Sunday afternoon, the snowfall increased, the sun made a fleeting appearance, and Monday and Tuesday were epic.
Schweitzer is rarely busy, but Xmas Eve and Day seemed to have as many riders as vegans at McDonalds. This left more pow for us, creating time to leisurely explore new terrain. It’s wasn’t like the freshies were going away.
My Monday afternoon quest was to ski all the double-black diamonds in North Bowl that dropped off the ridge on the way to the T-Bar. I knew Pucci’s Chute was steep and Siberia was a broad and open mini-bowl, but for some reason Kohli’s Big Timber and Wayne’s Woods were new territory to me. In deep, light, barely tracked snow, all were spectacular, but Kohli’s became my new favorite Schweitzer run. Relentlessly steep lines threaded through massive, evenly spaced trees, creating limitless options for creativity and pow mining. Amazing skiing, and it absolutely needed to be sampled several more times over the next day.
Schweitzer’s 2900 acres of reported terrain are solidly mid-range in the line-up of North American ski hills. But every time we go, we find new lines, new stashes, new options, all making this a mountain that skis much bigger than the statistics reports. There are lies, damn lies and statistics after all. Schweitzer truly is the Pacific Northwest gem that hardly anyone has skied.
4 days: 7800, 10500, 11000, 11600m vert
Season Totals: 16 days, 11 powder days, 142,300m vert