Pacific Northwest Ski Resorts Roll Out New Lifts, Terrain, Lodges For 2021-22 Season
Following the challenging winter of 2020-2021 when ski areas implemented measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic - including limited seating capacity on chairlifts - this season's outdoor operations will look much like they did prior to the pandemic. Ski areas plan to return to full chair lift capacity for 2021-2022.
Visitors will see some purchasing methods that were put in place last year is being carried forward. Online lift ticket and lesson sales, pre-purchasing via online stores and contactless transactions in many cases will continue. Restaurants and other indoor spaces will continue to follow state and local health authority guidelines. Pro-tips for this season include: Know before you go. Check the ski area’s website before you head to the mountains. Keep a mask in your pocket – you’ll always be prepared if you need one.
Water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have set up back-to-back La Nina oceanic and atmospheric conditions, making skiers and snowboarders across the region excited for a snowy winter ahead. Terrain expansions, new and tuned-up ski lifts, more food and beverage offerings, new rental equipment and grooming machines, and new mobile apps are a sampling of what’s new at just some of the region’s resorts.
Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort: Is excited to announce the new “Caterpillar” Sunkid Conveyor. Replacing the old Sunkid carpet. The Caterpillar has found a home within “Alice’s Wonderland,” Anthony Lakes newly named learning area. Alice’s Wonderland is also home to the Mad Hatter Handle Tow and numerous other ski-up characters that will be educational pieces within the existing learning area. Last season, Anthony Lakes made the decision to move away from social media platforms in an effort to focus on what they are all about: skiing. Reducing the noise that social media has become, Anthony Lakes encourages more folks to unplug and get outside. New this year, you can now find all the latest, up-to-date information on, The Gunsight (un)Social Feed, located on their homepage: https://anthonylakes.com
Mt. Bachelor: The parking reservation system that was temporarily put in place last winter as a response to the pandemic will not be in place this winter. The 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. The Start Park offers free lift access to Early Riser, First Rays, and Lava Tube, allowing guests to gain experience and build skills at no cost until they are ready to ride an intermediate lift. A new Fast Tracks ticket product provides upgradeable express lift access through a dedicated line at some lifts. The new Mt. Bachelor Mobile App is also available and will enable guests to connect with their friends on the mountain, track turns, and view real-time lift and trail status. Visit https://www.mtbachelor.com/ for more.
Mt. Hood Meadows: Sahale Lodge - which was constructed over a two-year period and provided limited grab and go (no indoor dining) last season - should be fully functional this year with the Bullwheel Bar, Sahale Grill, and Wildflowers Café. They also expect to have full-day kids lessons with indoor supervision, which the pandemic did not allow for last year. Heather Lift received a drive replacement. A New Pisten Bully 600 Snowcat has been added to the fleet. A new generator upgrades the emergency power system. A new Season Locker room is available, as well as a new team member break room. New Rossignol ski and snowboard equipment now make up a substantial portion of the rental fleet. See https://www.skihood.com/ for more.
Mt. Hood Skibowl: Has partnered with Oregon Energy Trust to upgrade their metal halide lights with LED replacements, reducing energy consumption by half and providing a much better visual night skiing experience for guests. There is a new Food Truck in the Skibowl west courtyard with a focus on grab-and-go seasonal menu items and beverages. The Guest Services/Ticket/Retail area received new carpet. Additional outdoor kiosks are in place for lift ticket redemptions. The online purchasing store is being upgraded to make desktop and mobile purchases more user-friendly with a targeted launch date in January. https://skibowl.com/
Timberline: Timberline's Summit Pass (formerly known as Summit Ski Area) is officially part of the Timberline ski area as of October 1, 2021, increasing Timberline's vertical terrain to 4,540 feet, the longest in the United States. Located in Government Camp, Oregon, the Summit Pass Lodge, and base area offer affordable access to its beginner ski and snowboard terrain, as well as lessons, rentals, a restaurant and a snow tubing area. https://www.timberlinelodge.com/mountain/summit-pass
Crystal Mountain Resort: New on mountain refreshment opportunities are in place this year with a new food hall at the base of Disco including outdoor seating and mini fire pits, The Hop Hut mini yurt will have microbrews on tap in the base area, The Quick-Stop Yurt is at the base of Quicksilver Chair and Lifted will provide a smoothie and juice bar next to the Fireside Cantina. On the transportation side, new EV charging stations are in the parking lot and shuttle services will increase transit capacity by 20%, which includes a free shuttle service from Enumclaw on peak and holiday weekends. Paid parking is added to the resort’s transportation initiative, with free parking and priority shuttles for four-plus carpools. For full details visit: https://www.crystalmountainresort.com/things-to-do/whats-new-atcrystal
Loup Loup Ski Bowl: Opens a newly renovated Day Lodge. The Loup Loup Day Lodge includes 50% increased capacity from the previous lodge, and an updated Concessions area, which will be operated by local concessionaire Saskatoon Kitchens. See https://skitheloup.com/ for more information.
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort: Additional days have been added to the night skiing calendar with new lights in place. Chair 4 will now operate daily during peak season. 3 new snowmaking guns and a new snowcat are on the mountain. Burton snowboards have been added to the rental fleet and new Lithic skis are in the demo fleet. New paint in many areas, new carpet, and heated stairs connecting the Midway Lodge to the restrooms. Improved digital signage is in the base. Mission Ridge is featured in the new film from Teton Gravity Research, In Pursuit of Soul. This will be the Wenatchee ski area’s 55th season and they will be celebrating with the launch of a soon-to-be-released new mobile app. www.missionridge.com
White Pass: Has been focused on their Nordic Center Expansion project. Nordic skiers and snowshoers can expect to explore an additional 3K of groomed trails at White Pass this season bringing the total trail system to 21k. The expansion is a multi-year project with the trail system expected to eventually offer 28K of groomed trails. On the alpine side, Great White Chair has seen the installation of a new drive and new computer systems. https://skiwhitepass.com/
49 Degrees North: This winter will see the debut of Northern Spirit Express, a new Doppelmayr High-Speed Quad Chairlift. The chair will take guests from the base area to Chewelah Peak, a 1.25-mile ride, making it the longest chair in the state. The snowmaking system has also seen an expansion that will bolster the potential to open earlier in the season and help mother nature hold onto snowpack later into the spring. The rental shop adds more gear to the fleet, including high-performance equipment. Pablo’s Taco Revolution, a new food and beverage outlet, will provide indoor and grab-and-go eating opportunities. Behind the scenes, a new maintenance shop will serve as a home base for mountain operations teams. See www.ski49n.com.
Bogus Basin: Spending $6M on capital projects during summer 2021, the Boise ski area totals its past 5-year improvement spending at $30 million. This winter guests will see 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. A new food truck will find its home at the bottom of Pine Creek Chairlift. Increased lighting for night skiing is in place. More chairs will be added to Superior and Morning Star Chairlifts, boosting the uphill capacity by 30%. See their updated website for details: https://bogusbasin.org
Lookout Pass: The Eagle Peak Expansion adds a cat skiing operation to the Wallace, ID ski area. 14 new trails off of Eagle Peak can now 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. Chair two has also been upgraded from a double to a triple seater, increasing the uphill capacity by 50%. Additional parking spaces have also been added. For more info and to learn about elements of the reservation process that will carry over from last season, visit https://skilookout.com/
Schweitzer Mountain Resort: Has joined the Ikon Pass this year. The ski area will also debut, Humbird, a 31 room ski in/ski-out boutique hotel, which also includes a 50-seat restaurant, Crow’s Bench. $3M has been spent on mountain-wide capital improvements including an increase in uphill capacity to Stella, Idaho’s only six-person chair, now carrying an additional 600 people up the mountain per hour. Ticket kiosks are now in the village to support new RFID – direct to lift technology, with ticket reading turnstiles now at Basin Express, Great Escape Quad, Musical Chairs, and the Sunnyside / Nordic trails access point. A new on-mountain yurt is also in place to provide light fare and beverages. The parking lot has 150 new spaces, and the grooming fleet has a new machine. https://www.schweitzer.com/
Silver Mountain Resort: Two new grooming machines were added to the fleet, including a winch cat. Summer brush cutting of steeper runs and glades will increase early-season terrain. A new cover over the conveyor lift that services the learner's area and tube park will shield those who are new to the sport from the blustery days. While a season pass will provide lift access all season, a limited number of day lift tickets will be available on weekends and holidays. If you are planning on riding on a weekend without a season pass, plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance. There is also a new interactive trail map that shows which runs are open, closed, and groomed. See https://www.silvermt.com/ for more.
Alyeska: Alyeska lead North America in natural snowfall for 2020/2021 with 754” reported last year. Targeting a Dec 10th, 2021 opening date, Alyeska fired up their snowmaking system on Nov 1st, to lay down a solid base. This system is able to pump 1,100 gallons of water per minute to various locations on the mountain to assist Mother Nature in providing ample coverage to the main trails. https://alyeskaresort.com/