Good food, nice outdoor fire pits
slushy wet snow with chunks of ice too frequent
I believe that this resort is very family friendly in that the staff is really great with kids and very helpful in getting you what you need. They have a small cafeteria and even smaller brown bag area. There are outdoor tables that set around two centraly located fire pits with a comfortable area to sit in.
As far as the skiing goes, well I always went to higher altitued ski areas in Washington due to the bad weather Snoqualmie is known for. Being thatit is at a low altitued. However my husband and I decided that since it is so close to Seattle, we would give it a try so we could get the kids lessons to a closer ski area. WHAT A MAJOR mistake.
Thankfully we only have to endure for 5 lessons once a week. This is our experience so far.W e went on December 27th 2009 1st and the weather was good and the snow wasn't bad for a Friday night. We then went the next Friday, January 1st and it rained just after being there for an hour of nice snow. We got so wet we only took a few runs and called it a night. Then we went up today Sunday, January 10th. What a HORRIBLE day of snow. Actually I wouldn't call it snow. It was like trying to ski in a mix of slushy semi light stuff and large chuncks of ice. I am not kiding about the chunks of ice. I have never in my 25 years of skiing skied on such horrible grounds. It was like they groomed after a hard 1 to 2 inch crust of ice and no fresh snow. I don't think they had a sharp blade left on any of their grooming equipment. My poles were nearly useless due to the hard pack. It was very difficult to turn not to mention stop becasue the combonation of ice chunks and slush made the consistncy non existent. I remember passing a spread of ice that was about 3 ft long and a foot or two wide. I just narrowly missed it. The visability, like I said was horrible. Put all of this together and add thick fog. We couldn't make out people on the chair lifts after about 5 to 6 chairs took off. I got off one of the chairs and remember not being able to disern where the snow went, up, down, flat, etc. I remember looking to the right seeing a dark wall in the fog and then the snow started to go up steeply so I stopped. I then looked a little harder and then up and realized I was at the tree line. I stopped at the edge of the groomed area and the trees were about 25 feet away. It was a little scarry to realize how bad the visability was, that I could have just kept going thinking I was just going up a steep part of the run after getting off the lift. I also remembering hearing a constent sandpaper agenst medal sound from people trying to turn or find their way down the ice.
People came in waves. You could tell that No one from the 2 hour classes stuck around because there was such a large turnover of people coming and going.
The weather was so crappy and wet that a huge part of the Central Summit ice covered roof gave way and came crashing down on some inocent people down below. There was what looked like a 20 X 15 ft. section of the snow pack on the roof came down on three young boys and one Lady at about 20 ft below at the wooden ski racks, wich both broke in half from the presure of the falling ice from the roof. The boys looked quite stunned and the women had a cut on her hand and she looked in shock. Many people came to help right away. That was the best part of it all.
I am sure that there are good days on this pass. However I believe all of those I have spoken to about the pass and skiing there and that is I have never heard any one tell me that they have consistent good snow, quite the opposit. I don't understand how they have servived there for so long?
Baker and Stevens are truly the best in the area. I have had bad snow at each of those places, but there has been far more good snow days than bad.
I have also been to Crystal and was not very impressed the two times I went.
I have skiied at Heavenly at Lake Tahoe and Baker was the closest to the snow I experienced in Tahoe.
Good luck with where ever you choose to ski. Pack warm and dry.