Three State Of Washington Mountains That Lure Summer Visitors

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In the state of Washington, a trio of ski and snowboard mountains flip the toggle from winter to summer to entice city dwellers and vacationers to head into the Cascades.

Stevens Pass is a two-hour drive from Seattle, pending summer construction delays. Regular bus service runs during the summer, an inexpensive way to avoid traffic on busy U.S. 2.

Owned by Vail Resorts, a Stevens Pass' summer focuses on the mountain bike park. Winding around and down the lower front portion of the mountain, the downhill trail map features two categories: freeride and technical.

The man-made jumps and ramps and berms in the freeride network take riders down two green runs, one blue and one black diamond. The more difficult natural-terrain technical runs rate one short green, three top-to-bottom blues and one black diamond and one double-black.

All runs can be reached via the Hogback chairlift, which is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays. Other things to do include scenic chairlift rides, disc golf and guided tours.

A two-hour drive from Seattle, summer at Crystal Mountain takes its cues from its location across from Mt. Ranier -- deep in the Cascade Range. There's hardly a spot on the mountain where the 14,417-foot stratovolcano cannot be seen.

Thus, summer activities at Crystal emphasize getting up and on the mountain. The state's only gondola tops out at 7,000 feet in elevation, where visitor can go on self-guided interpretive walks or spin a Frisbee on the summit disc golf course up there. Other ways to enjoy the scenery and cool mountain air can be had with horseback riding and hiking tours.

The gondola runs seven days a week through Labor Day, then Fridays through Sundays until Sept. 25.

The northernmost ski and snowboard mountain in the West, 49 Degrees North is tucked up in the Colville National Forest near both the Idaho and Canadian borders.

This back-country, hardy setting lends itself to summer hiking and no-lift mountain biking. Take one of several service roads up into the three high-mountain basins. Or top out at 5,774-foot-high Chewelah Peak. From there, nearly 2,000 vertical feet await, and it's hiker's and biker's choice as to the ways down. And don't forget to pull over for pick-and-eat huckleberries that grow all over the mountain.

 

 

 

 

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SnoCast: Making the Turn into April

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With the arrival of April comes soft turns, pond skimming, goggle tans, and sometimes some magical April snow. In this week’s SnoCast, we’ll check out conditions across North America so you know where to bring sunscreen, where you’ll still need layers, and where fresh snow is still expected.

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Epic Pass Fine-Tunes Access, Pricing For 2022-2023 Season

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A modest price increase, more choice for multi-day passes, and a monthly no-interest payment plan are among the changes as the Epic Pass for the 2022-2023 winter season comes on the early-season market.

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Late Snow, Early Snowmaking Prompt Slew Of Season Extensions

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Used to be that the first week of April was the traditional time to hang up the skis, store away the boots, and dust off the summer recreation equipment. Not so much nowadays.

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American Meccas Of Cross Country Skiing

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Ask the general public to name an alpine skiing “Mecca” — described as a location where people, who share a common interest, yearn to go — even those who don’t ski can come up with at least Aspen or Vail, if not Killington and Sun Valley.

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Indy Pass Three-Pack In Washington Offer Full Spring Plate

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With two days on this season's Indy Pass or a Spring Pass, skiers and riders can cop some final spring skiing days at the big, the small and the in-between of the Evergreen State.

 

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Ikon Pass Pairing: Steeps And Deeps Near Seattle

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Ikon Pass holders should head to Seattle and cash in two very different ski and snowboard mountains in the Cascades -- each catching tons of snow out of northern Pacific storms.

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Go Big, Go Deep On Ikon's Mountains In Pacific Northwest

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A trio of ski and snowboard resorts of the Pacific Northwest take the Ikon Pass, and each offers something different for those venturing into the Cascades.

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Bring The Kids And Save Some Bucks This Season

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A burgeoning trend in the ski and snowboard industry is for resorts and states all across the country to expand ski-free programs for youngsters and teens in hopes they stick with the sport -- and also save families a bit on ski vacations.

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Pacific Northwest Ski Resorts Roll Out New Lifts, Terrain, Lodges For 2021-22 Season

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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.

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Amid Heat Wave, Seattle Climbers Became First Team To Summit, Ski 5 Washington Volcanoes In 5 Days

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As Seattleites languished in hotels and lined their windows with foil during last week’s historic heat wave, Trevor Kostanich and Scott Rinckenberger reached a mountaineering milestone. They climbed, summited and skied down the state’s five volcanoes in five days.

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Indy Pass Adds Powder Mountain, Mt. Ashland, West Mountain for 2021-22 Season

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The Indy Pass will return 100% of its partner resorts for the 2021-22 season along with new additions Powder Mountain, Utah, Mt. Ashland, Oregon, and West Mountain, New York for a total of 66 resorts in the U.S. and Canada.

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Who’s Winning The Battle Of The Cascade Ski Resorts?

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Three years after being acquired by big ski conglomerates, Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain faced their biggest test yet: COVID-19.

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Lava Laps: Spring Skiing And Riding On Northwest Volcanoes

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Now that spring has hit the West, the place to go this season is the Pacific Northwest with its nation-leading snowpack on the slopes of the high-elevation dormant volcanoes.

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First High-Speed Chair To Go In At 49 Degrees North

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Regulars at 49 Degrees North have been hearing rumors of a new lift and other upgrades since the eastern Washington resort got new owners a couple of years ago -- and now it appears they are coming true.

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SnoCast: Feet Of New Snow Will Close Out February

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A month in which several feet of snow hit several locations of the U.S. and Canada will finish with another burst of 30”+ of fresh powder.

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Indy Pass Road Trip: Pacific Northwest

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Armed with an Indy Pass and full gas tank, the SnoCountry Road Trip team heads to the Pacific Northwest to explore what the state of Washington has to offer.

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SnoCast: Loving the Snow Outlook into Valentine’s Weekend

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With cold air pouring deeper into the U.S., plus storm after storm lined up both in the East and West, it’s easy to love this forecast. Here’s the scoop on when and where to find the best conditions this week.

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All Over The Northwest, The Lights Go On For Night Skiing And Riding

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For Pacific Northwest skiers and riding seeking a different look, feel, and sound -- and fewer crowds -- to their experience, check out night skiing.

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2021’s Most Affordable Ski Destinations

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With ski season in full swing, vacation rental search engine HomeToGo compiled a list that revealed some of the most affordable ski resorts in the country.

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