The ski areas of the Pacific Northwest barely took a summer break as they have added a myriad of new features for you when you roll down those slopes this winter. Lifts? Some new ones and plenty of upgrades. Expanded snowmaking, new and refurbished lodges and new places to please your pallet.
Here’s what’s new for you in the Pacific Northwest:
We’ve got lift-off
Bogus Basin has added more chairs to the Superior and Morning Star chairlifts to boost uphill capacity by 30 percent.
Lookout Pass has upgraded Chair Two from a double to a triple, increasing uphill capacity by 50 percent.
Schweitzer spent $3 million on mountain-wide capital improvements last summer including an increase in uphill capacity to its six-person chair, now carrying an additional 600 people per hour.
Brundage Mountain improvements are all coming via a cohesive new 10-year development plan from the new owners of this independent ski area in McCall. The Master Plan calls for lift and terrain expansion, more snowmaking, new on mountain lodge amenities a new 20,000 square foot base lodge and new low-density, 37 acre Northwoods residential development. Stay tuned.
Mission Ridge plans to operate Chair 4 (not a new lift) daily during peak season.
49 Degrees North debuts the Northern Spirit Express, a new Doppelmayr High-Speed Quad Chairlift. The chair rolls from the base area to Chewelah Peak, a 1.25-mile ride, the longest chair in the state.
More room to ski and ride
Silver Mountain did plenty of brush cutting of steeper runs and glades to increase early-season terrain. Two new grooming machines were added to the fleet, including a winch cat. A new cover over the conveyor lift that services the learners’ area and tube park is in place. There is also a new interactive trail map that shows which runs are open, closed, and groomed.
Lookout Pass cat skiing comes onboard this winter with the Eagle Peak Expansion. Now there are 14 new trails off of Eagle Peak that can be accessed by a new 12-passenger Snowcat. The expansion nearly doubles the skiable terrain to 1,023 acres, elevating the total vertical rise at the area to 1,650 ft.
Bogus Basin has added additional snowmaking equipment and water supply capacity resulting in a twofold increase to snowmaking ability year over year. Three new snowcats join the grooming fleet. There’s also increased lighting for night skiing.
Timberline Lodge’s Summit Pass (formerly known as Summit Ski Area) is now officially part of the Timberline Ski Area, increasing the resort’s vertical to 4,540 feet, the longest in the U.S.
Mt. Bachelor’s Snowblast Tube park will no longer operate and use of its available acreage will allow for the operation of Red Chair 7 days a week, with a focus on morning runs out of the West Village Parking Lot.
49 Degrees North has expanded its snowmaking system that will bolster the potential to open earlier in the season and help hold the snowpack later into the spring.
Alyeska led North America in natural snowfall last season with 754” reported last year. But, its snowmaking system is now able to pump 1,100 gallons of water per minute to various locations on the mountain to provide ample coverage to the main trails.
More places to eat and snooze
Schweitzer opens Humbird, a 31-room ski-in/ski-out boutique hotel, which also includes Crow’s Bench, a 50-seat restaurant. A new on-mountain yurt will provide light fare and beverages.
Bogus Basin will park a food truck at the bottom of Pine Tree Chair.
49 Degrees North will bring Pablo’s Taco Revolution, a new food and beverage outlet to its indoor and grab-and-go eating options.
Crystal Mountain has added a new food hall at the base of Disco with outdoor seating and mini fire pits. The Hop Hut is a mini yurt that will have microbrews on tap in the base area. The Quick-Stop Yurt is at the base of the Quicksilver Chair.
And behind the scenes
Schweitzer has brought RFID direct to lift technology to its village ticket kiosks with ticket reading turnstiles now at Basin Express, Great Escape Quad, and Musical Chairs.
Mt. Bachelor now has a Fast Tracks ticket that provides upgradeable express lift access through a dedicated line at some lifts. A new mobile app will enable guests to connect with friends on the mountain, track turns, and view real-time lift and trail status.
Mt. Hood Meadows added a new Season Locker room and team member break room. The rental fleet is now composed of a substantial portion of Rossignol ski and snowboard equipment.
Mt. Hood Skibowl upgraded metal halide lights with LED replacements. Guest Services/ticket/retail has new carpeting. There are additional outdoor kiosks for lift ticket redemptions, and an online purchasing store has been upgraded to launch in January.
Crystal Mountain now has EV charging stations are in the parking lot and shuttle services will increase transit capacity by 20 percent, which includes a free shuttle service from Enumclaw on peak and holiday weekends. Paid parking has been added to the resort’s transportation initiative, with free parking and priority shuttles for four-plus carpools.
49 Degrees North has added more gear to its rental shop fleet, including high-performance equipment. A new maintenance shop will serve as a home base for mountain operations teams.
White Pass: The Great White Chair has seen the installation of a new drive and new computer systems.
Mission Ridge skiers and riders will get some additional days added to the night skiing calendar with new lights in place. Burton snowboards have been added to the rental fleet and new Lithic skis are in the demo fleet. There’s new paint in many areas, new carpet and heated stairs connecting the Midway Lodge to the restrooms, and improved digital signage is in the base.