Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

49 Degrees North – change is afoot in the Independent Republic

On the surface, not much has changed in the last 3 years in the Independent Republic of Chewelah (IRC), nestled at the foot of Chewelah Peak, home of 49 Degrees North in northeastern WA. In contrast, the ski hill has big development plans in the next 3 years – high speed lifts, on snow accommodation, and various other upgrades to add to the kick-ass terrain and tree skiing that its boundaries encompass.

We arrived to a 4-6 inch dump of El Nino powder. Its clam chowder texture (without clams) skied really nicely all weekend, especially in the treed, northwest facing areas. 49 gets so few people there was still some fresh lines Sunday afternoon if you poked around the glades off Chair 4. Over the weekend, the weather slowly cleared, leaving a bluebird cool day for us and seemingly about 50 other to shred superb groomers and trees on Superbowl Sunday. Always a great day to ski 🙂

These changes on the hill are actually accompanied by new developments in the IRC. A buzzing little wine bar, Chew Vino, serves tasty food and good drinks. There’s a new restaurant that our buddies rated highly across from Sporties, the best bar in town. Not much has changed in there – luckily – it’s still a great bar full of super friendly and funny locals and a beer selection on tap to keep me very hoppy indeed.

It’ll be interesting to see what changes the ski hill developments bring to 49. It’s so close to Spokane, I suspect it has a chance of being quite a hit. In 5 years time we might even have to wait in line for 1 whole minute …

8200m, 9200m, 7100m vert

Season Totals 32 days, 255,000m vert, 17 powder days

PS Our Mission Ridge season passes give us 3 days freebies at 49 Degrees North. Quite a deal!!



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