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49 Degrees North, WA, Feb. 27, 2021

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:08 am
by Tony Crocker
We drove 1 hour 15 minutes from Sandpoint to ski 49 Degrees North as Schweitzer rated to be busy on Saturday. Even though 49 Degrees North sold out of day tickets, we never saw a line of more than 10 people, definitely quieter than the other areas I have skied on Saturdays in 2021: Deer Valley, Tamarack and Mt. Ashland.

It was sunny but fairly cool so snow remained packed powder. But the snow was more firmly packed and stiffer off trail than Schweitzer. 49 Degrees North got 4 inches on Thursday but did not get snow earlier in the week as Schweitzer did. In its favor 49 Degrees North has predominant north exposure, somewhat of a rarity in this part of the country. Silver Mt. is the only other such ski area in the Interior NW by my experience, and I thought the scale and topography were similar to Silver Mt. also.

We skied mostly groomers after the past two energetic days, starting with Mahre’s Gold and Klondike on the top to bottom chair 1.

It’s interesting that a run is named for Phil Mahre here rather than at his home area White Pass.

We spent the rest of the morning on Sunrise lift #5. From Huckleberry Ridge I believe this is a distant view of the Mt. Spokane ski area.

We skied the groomers Broadway and Classifier, and then ventured off the groomed to Sunrise here.

Most of the trees between cut runs were dense, but the Peacemaker run returning to the base was an exception.


After a break and snack at the base we rode chair 1 to the top again. Even though there were no lines, that lift is a 14 minute ride that will be replaced by a high speed lift next season. We skied Sluice Box/Tailings to chairs 4 and 6.

This is a view of Angel Peak from upper Sluice Box.

From Angel Peak we had a view back to the chair 4 runs.

The Angel Peak runs were mostly east facing groomers. One of them dropped from fairly direct sunny glare to a shaded gully with somewhat firm snow, reminding me of a certain run at Mountain High in January of 2020. Liz thought the visibility was not as bad as her accident then though I thought it was worse. Maybe that’s because I’m wearing goggles due to the COVID mask, while my usual photogray glasses are more flexible in variable light.

The chair 4 runs had slightly softer snow than elsewhere on the mountain. Upper Cy’s Glades was the one section of 49 Degrees North that was most similar to what we skied the prior two days at Schweitzer.


This is where you would want to be on a powder day.

We skied 20,100 vertical at 49 Degrees North, my 246th ski area and Liz’ 178th.