Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Moderator: Tony Crocker

Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby ChrisC » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:28 pm

Got a flight and a car at the Spokane airport - and the goal was to ski the under-the-radar gems of the Northwest. I have skied the larger places - Schweitzer, Whitefish, Big Sky, and Bridger. Bought an Indy Pass for March too. This turned out to be a 100% Spring ski week - sunny days, no new snow, great corn by 10-12noon.

Friday at Mount Spokane. What an under-rated mountain! While living in Seattle I never made it past Mission Ridge. Mt Spokane had a great 2000 vertical and SE, E, N and W exposures.

Trail maps do not do the place enough justice - so needed a topo map and google map showing north.

Did not stay for any night skiing - it was starting to refreeze at 3/4pm on East faces.

Image
Image
Image


Image


Image


I parked Lodge 1 Parking Lot - which is only open on weekends except for the ticket window. But there were 3 groomed SE 1800 ft facing steep runs - No Alibi, Hourglass and Teakettle.

Vista Chair
Image

Image

Image


Illuminator Chair
Image

Image


Parkway Chair
Image

North Side Lift
Image


Summit Lodge - takes a small hike
Image
Image


Ski Tracking

Image

Image
User avatar
ChrisC
 
Posts: 1056
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:00 am
Location: San Francisco Photo: La Grave, France

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:13 am

The third FTOer in the past month to visit the Inland Northwest!

Glad that ChrisC got pix of a sunny day similar to what I skied there on March 6. I mentioned the same thing after my first visit in 2013 about how Mount Spokane needs a map that does a better job depicting its 2,000 vertical feet and 1,700 acres.

Back then, the general manager mentioned that the Rembrandt of ski maps, James Niehues, was going to do a new version; however, that obviously never came to pass. It's a nonprofit so I'm sure that the org doesn't have money to burn on non-mission-critical things, like replacing those 50-year-old Riblets, which add to the local flava.

37,000 vertical feet skied: impressive how much vert Chris accumulated on slow chairs.

Mount Spokane seems like one of the few under-the-radar areas (right along his planned itinerary) that Tony missed on his recent road trip. Would've been an easy new pickup for his lifetime-ski-areas list; however, he got plenty of others.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3769
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:23 am

We did not hit any of the places close to I-90 other than Montana Snowbowl on the February trip. Those are the places that would be easier to hit on some future trip of fewer days, like driving between Canada and Iron Blosam for example.

I gave slight priority to interesting places that Liz had never skied, which included Schweitzer, site of the best powder days of the trip. I also wanted to schedule the two higher profile places, Schweitzer and Whitefish, midweek. Moving between those two offered an opportunity to ski Turner, surely the most obscure stop on the trip.

Mt. Spokane seems to be in the same ballpark in scale to 49 Degrees North. I don't know why I got the false impression that it was smaller. Another factor is that we skied 49 Degrees North on a Saturday, and I would surmise Mt. Spokane is much busier being so close in to metro Spokane.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 am

Tony Crocker wrote:we skied 49 Degrees North on a Saturday, and I would surmise Mt. Spokane is much busier being so close in to metro Spokane.

There's not a significant difference in drive time. Mount Spokane is about an hour from Spokane and I remember 49 Degrees being approx 70 minutes.

Tony Crocker wrote:Mt. Spokane seems to be in the same ballpark in scale to 49 Degrees North. I don't know why I got the false impression that it was smaller.

The aforementioned map certainly doesn't help sell Mount Spokane. The 2,000 verts felt legit; however, the "1,700 acres" brochure figure sounds a bit high. I'm not convinced that its skiable acreage is more than, say, Silver Mountain at 1,600 acres. Still, it's bigger than I'd assumed before going there.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3769
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:36 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:There's not a significant difference in drive time. Mount Spokane is about an hour from Spokane and I remember 49 Degrees being approx 70 minutes.

Mt. Spokane looks much closer if you're a bird. Google Maps says 33 vs. 58 miles, drive time 55 vs. 79 minutes. Mt. Spokane's access road must be slow. Lots of areas on these trips have tedious access roads, in our case starting with Bogus Basin. But the lack of snow maintenance on Montana access roads was what was most conspicuous to us.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby snowave » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:02 am

I was very close to trying to squeeze in Mt Spokane and/or 49 North, but with their odd weekday schedules and 2 hrs away from Silver Mtn (where I was staying) was just too much, so decided to hit Lookout for a day instead, and save those two for another trip... maybe next year.

The slow riblet chairs at most of those ski areas is a bit of a deterrent to me. I know these ancient chairs are the theme of the NW mom and pop areas, but between the sketchy weather (long rides in the fog/snow/cold) and my slight fear of heights on those chairs, I am thrilled to see 49 North is putting in a HSQ this summer.

btw, reading this article didn't help me feel a lot better about some of those old chairs, either.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2069911/y ... death-trap
Sno..
snowave
 
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: McCall, ID

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:21 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:The third FTOer in the past month to visit the Inland Northwest!


Lonnie took the pandemic road trip plan to a different level, arming himself with every pass imaginable other than Epic:

1. Shasta Ski Bowl: Indy+Powder Alliance Sun 1-24
2. Mt Ashland: Incline Villlage Mon 1-25
3. Mt. Bachelor: Ikon Tue 1-26
4. Hoodoo: Indy Wed 1-27
5. Timberline: Powder Alliance Thu 1-28
6. Summit Ski Area Mt. Hood: Powder Alliance Thur 1-28
7. Hood Ski Bowl: Powder Alliance Fri 1-29
8. Hurricane Ridge: Indy Sat 1-30
9. White Pass: Indy+Powder Alliance Sun 1-31
10. Crystal Mtn: Ikon Mon 2-1
11. Snoqualmie Pass/Alpental: Ikon Tue 2-2
12. Loup Loup: Diamond Peak Wed 2-3
13. Mission Ridge: Indy Thu 2-4
14. Schweitzer: Loveland Fri 2-5
15. 49 Degrees North: Indy Sat 2-6
16. Lookout Pass: Sun 2-7.
17. Mt Spokane: Special $28 Mon 2-8
18. Silver Mt.: Powder Alliance Indy Mon 2-8
19. Discovery: $42 Tue 2-9
20. Bridger Bowl: Powder Alliance Wed 2-10
21. Grand Targhee: Mountain Collective Thu 2-11
22. Snow King: Indy+Loveland+Diamond Peak Fri 2-12
23. Pebble Creek: $42 Sat 2-13
24. Pomerelle: Indy Sun 2-14
25. Cherry Peak: Diamond Peak Mon 2-15
26. Powder Mt.: Loveland Tue 2-16
27. Arizona Snowbowl: Powder Alliance Tue 2-23
28. Sunrise: Indy Wed 2-24
29. Ski Apache: $46 Thu 2-25
30. Santa Fe: $68 Fri 2-26
31. Sipapu: Loveland Fri 2-26
32. Pajarito: Loveland Sat 2-27
33. Red River: Diamond Peak Sun 2-28
34. Angel Fire: Loveland Mon 3-1
35. Taos: Ikon Tue/Wed 3/2-3

27 of these were new ski areas for him. At least he was almost done when he broke his ankle March 3. My guess is that he was planning to hit Purgatory and Brian Head (both Loveland partners) on the way home from New Mexico.

The hiatus between 2/16 and 2/23 was for the same reason as mine: to come home for the second Moderna vaccine.

Days on passes:
Ikon: 5 (Lonnie would be at Mammoth a lot in spring if not for the injury)
Mountain Collective: 1 (media rate but still not worth it)
Loveland including Powder Alliance: 10 plus 4 also on Indy
Indy: 5 plus 4 also on Loveland
Diamond Peak 3
Incline Village 1
Being aggressive on buying passes had a side benefit in 2020-21 of bypassing advance reservation requirements and potential sellouts for day tickets at many areas.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:14 pm

snowave wrote:btw, reading this article didn't help me feel a lot better about some of those old chairs, either.

Agreed. Those Riblets are all in the 45-50 year range.

Tony Crocker wrote:Lonnie took the pandemic road trip plan to a different level, arming himself with every pass imaginable other than Epic

I would've liked to see reports from many of his stops. I thought you said that Ski Apache's season was a complete loss (I took that to mean it didn't open). He skied there on Feb 25.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3769
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:13 pm

Ski Apache was 5% open. I'm sure it has some snowmaking. Lonnie was meeting someone there, as he did on many if not most of those stops.

He was diligent in connecting with local contacts but not so much on checking out conditions in advance. I got a handful of contemporary e-mails but not much detail. The first week was a bit difficult with high winds and variable rain/snow line in Oregon/Washington. Lonnie scored his biggest powder days at Schweitzer and Powder Mt. but most of those interior NW and northern Rockies areas were getting hammered during the first half of February.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Spokane, WA: March 12, 2021

Postby q » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:35 am

Brings back many happy memories of my first ever ski tour back in 2002. \:D/
Q
User avatar
q
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:59 am
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland - Avatar: Primer Bowl, Loveland, CO


Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 21 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use