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Pacific NW/AK/BC 2023-2024 PNW Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

David Chaus

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Still dealing with heat domes? Fire, smoke from fire, floods and other challenging weather? A perfect time to start thinking of better days ahead, when the snow is plentiful, the crowds are sparse and the lifts are all running with friendly lifties.

As a general rule of thumb, the PNW includes WA/OR/AK/BC, but it usually also encompasses ID and parts of MT.

This is the thread to share your plans, ask questions, provide answers, and once the ski areas open share your stoke (for old people, that means unbridled enthusiasm). News of stuff going on a resorts is always welcome, for instance Stevens is upgrading the Kehr’s/Big Chief from a double to a quad. At Schweitzer the Musical Chairs double is being replaced with a new Creekside express quad which is the first part of a second base village with more terrain expansion planned.

Let the games begin….
 

Bad Bob

I golf worse than I ski.
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A bit off topic already, but what else is new around here.
Stay out of Spokane area till it rains. 3 good sized fires started up around here on Friday. The one affecting us the most is the "Grey Fire" out by Medical Lake west of town. I-90 is shut over there, it has burned close to 200 structures and is sending a LOT of smoke our way; it is about 10,000 acres and out of control still. Air quality in Spokane is in excess of 300, which is not good. Good day to drink a beer, watch football and surf the net.

Good news, we are supposed to see some residuals from the California storm on Monday.
 

noncrazycanuck

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BC just declared a state of emergency. No none essential travel to regions affected by fires.
This includes most of the Okanogan Valley, Kelowna has city interface fires, 2 of our family's member houses affected so far.
Hwy 1 is closed in the Fraser Canyon, Panorama is under evacuation alert. And too many other fires of note to mention.
Smoke now extends from the Rockies to the coast. If your considering visiting I'd advise staying away.

Season seems a long way away.
Locally Whistler will have a new 8 person chair, replaces the fixed grip Fitz 4 seater . Runs from Village up to the teaching area- (base of Garbonzo, Olympic and mid load of Gondola)

Getting 8 novices on off could be interesting to watch.
However believe it's really being installed to help with the larger bike season. For skiers the existing 4 seater was rarely busy.
 

dovski

Waxing my skis and praying for snow
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BC just declared a state of emergency. No none essential travel to regions effected by fires.
This includes most of the Okanogan Valley, Kelowna has city interface fires, 2 of our family's member houses effected so far.
Hwy 1 is closed in the Fraser Canyon, Panorama is under evacuation alert. And too many other fires of note to mention.
Smoke now extends from the Rockies to the coast. If your considering visiting I'd advise staying away.

Season seems a long way away.
Locally Whistler will have a new 8 person chair, replaces the fixed grid Fitz 4 seater . Runs from Village up to the teaching area- (base of Garbonzo, Olympic and mid load of Gondola)

Getting 8 novices on off could be interesting to watch.
However believe it's really being installed to help with the larger bike season. For skiers the existing 4 seater was rarely busy.
Man I am not sold on more uphill capacity at Whistler. We were there last year for the first time in four years and the lift improvements absolutely improved the wait times ... etc. but skiing from the Round House to base was a frigin nightmare, the hill was way too crowded, it felt like I was skiing a human slalom. They need to figure out a better was dispersing skiers across the hill. That 8 seat chair is not going to help things.
 
Thread Starter
TS
David Chaus

David Chaus

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At Whistler I’m guessing that they are anticipating uploads in the AM and downloads in the PM as far as capacity.

Speaking for myself, in the future snow conditions to the base may be so variable that I won’t count on it. So any issues with skiing in the rain will be a non-issue, take the Gondis to the Alpine, or at least the 4000’ level or so.
 

DanoT

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I was at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival. Friday was relatively cool temps and some blue sky but there was a city wide power outage around 7:30 that lasted for over an hour. Then this morning we woke up to heaviest smoke all week and lots of ash. By 10am the festival organizers decided to shut it down. The Trans- Canada highway was closed in both directions at Sorrento, west of Salmon Arm due to fire. West Kelowna fire is south of Salmon Arm and the Adams Lake fire is north of Salmon Arm.

I had to take a detour to highway 97, south of Falkland to get to my winter digs at Heffley Lake and went thru Kamloops on the way. Kamloops had mostly blue sky and very little smoke, as does Heffley.
 

noncrazycanuck

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Actually my preferred downhill route from Whistler sees very little traffic. You frequently have the slope to yourself.
But I don't usually ski to the village and I avoid Dave Murray at Creekside. It's always been a gong show at end of day.
The only way to avoid those crowds is to ski faster than everyone else, then your part of the problem. Not for me anymore.
 

Dave Gomme

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Edmonton Alberta Canada
I was at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival. Friday was relatively cool temps and some blue sky but there was a city wide power outage around 7:30 that lasted for over an hour. Then this morning we woke up to heaviest smoke all week and lots of ash. By 10am the festival organizers decided to shut it down. The Trans- Canada highway was closed in both directions at Sorrento, west of Salmon Arm due to fire. West Kelowna fire is south of Salmon Arm and the Adams Lake fire is north of Salmon Arm.

I had to take a detour to highway 97, south of Falkland to get to my winter digs at Heffley Lake and went thru Kamloops on the way. Kamloops had mostly blue sky and very little smoke, as does Heffley.
Sorry to hear about the roots and blues fest. We where there last year and it was amazing. My brother lives in salmon arm and knows the smoke well. Hope you drive safe
 

chris_the_wrench

Spinning wrenches and throwing spokes.
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I’ll be skiing White Pass(wa) a bunch this winter. If anyone wants to slay some laps hit me up. I don't usually ski weekends. Also do quite abit of bc in that general area.
 

slowrider

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Bachelor new Skyliner(6 seater) is on schedule to operate this season.
 

Posaune

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Baker season pass goodies arrived. Every year I anxiously open up the fresh new trail map eagerly expecting to see a new high speed quad installed from Raven Hut up to the top of Hemispheres.

View attachment 211405 View attachment 211406
They used to give out a T-shirt every year for pass holders, now only a couple of stickers and a bunch of cardboard. I wouldn't hold my breath about the lift. I doubt we'll see it, ever.
 

tomahawkins

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They used to give out a T-shirt every year for pass holders, now only a couple of stickers and a bunch of cardboard. I wouldn't hold my breath about the lift. I doubt we'll see it, ever.

Found a great resource: A timeline of ski maps for a given area.


Looks like Baker's last expansion occurred around 1989 with the addition of the Chair 8. It actually added very little new terrain, just the stuff above 5, and prevented taking the catwalk if you took Daytona to the bottom. Otherwise, it's been the same since at least '77, with exception of the loss of the rope tows.

Fun exercise: If you could, how would you redesign the lift system at Baker?

I would:
  • Move Chair 1 to start at the bottom of 2/3.
  • Get rid of Chair 3/4 and replace it with a chair that goes from Raven Hut up to the gun tower above Holiday. More efficient Honkers and Canucks laps.
  • A lift up Lower North Face, maybe surface lift. To replace the function of Chair 3.
  • Extend 8 down to the White Salmon creek with a mid station for both loading and unloading. Expert terrain below.
  • Extend 5 up to 8 or over into Hemispheres.
The area has such a weird topology. It's hard to make the most of it.
 

Posaune

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Found a great resource: A timeline of ski maps for a given area.


Looks like Baker's last expansion occurred around 1989 with the addition of the Chair 8. It actually added very little new terrain, just the stuff above 5, and prevented taking the catwalk if you took Daytona to the bottom. Otherwise, it's been the same since at least '77, with exception of the loss of the rope tows.

Fun exercise: If you could, how would you redesign the lift system at Baker?

I would:
  • Move Chair 1 to start at the bottom of 2/3.
  • Get rid of Chair 3/4 and replace it with a chair that goes from Raven Hut up to the gun tower above Holiday. More efficient Honkers and Canucks laps.
  • A lift up Lower North Face, maybe surface lift. To replace the function of Chair 3.
  • Extend 8 down to the White Salmon creek with a mid station for both loading and unloading. Expert terrain below.
  • Extend 5 up to 8 or over into Hemispheres.
The area has such a weird topology. It's hard to make the most of it.
You would have to take into account the boundaries of their Forest Service permit area. The east side of White Salmon Creek is in the Mt. Baker Wilderness area, and it's well below 3000', so it doesn't look likely for that expansion. Also I would think hard about changing Chair 1. The entire Heather Meadows base area is built around it. Also, on weekends there are a lot of folks who park at Heather Meadows and want to access 5 and 8 without having to ski North Face, so a surface lift to replace 3 could be a real problem.

I first skied Baker in 1972, before chairs 6, 7, and 8 and it was a mess on weekends (the chair names were different, but I'm using the modern ones). There was one lodge, Heather Meadows. If you rode 1 and skied North Face you would have to ride 2 to get back to 1 which made a huge bottleneck, and if you went over the top to ski Canuks etc. you would have to ride 4 and 2 and 1 to get back to Pan Dome. At lunch and at the end of the day everyone from the White Salmon side would bunch up to get on 2 to get back to the car. It was a PITA. The way it is now is MUCH better, though yes, it could be improved but then we would have to pay prices like most other places. I'm fine with it the way it is.

Using your link I found that Sticky Wicket disappeared in 2011. Don't know why.
 
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Tom Co.

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I just came back over Stevens Pass from a hike so I stopped to take a look.

IMG_1181.JPG
The new towers for Chief/Kehrs are in and the pull cable is on the Towers

Skytrack is working on the base station
IMG_1178.JPG


Bullwheel
IMG_1184.JPG
 

Posaune

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I was surprised that they didn't move the loading area, but it may because of the creek bottom and that they're grandfathered in to that spot by the county or the Forest Service.
 

Tom Co.

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I was surprised that they didn't move the loading area, but it may because of the creek bottom and that they're grandfathered in to that spot by the county or the Forest Service.
It looks like they moved it a bit towards the lodges. From the pictures you can see the old loading area is still standing just beyond the new construction. It also looks like the new loading area will be flatter, without a ramp to walk up.
 

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