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05-18-2012, 03:37 PM #1
moving to spokane in the fall, where should i get a seasons pass?
well my girlfriend got accepted to gonzaga law, so we're packing up and moving north.
I've been researching recreation options in this flat town and was wondering what is the best skiing option consensus???
For the past two years, I have just toured in the wasatch, but I figure moving to a new place it might be nice to ride lifts to ski, meet people and whatnot till i get a good feel for the area.
Most of the ski resorts near spokane have pass deals that expire over memorial day weekend, so what say thou maggots???
the three I'm looking at are Silver Mountain, 49 degrees north and Schweitzer......... where should I pull the trigger?
p.s. I work out in the field so will probably not be able to respond to this thread for a few days......
05-18-2012, 03:44 PM #2
05-18-2012, 03:56 PM #3
Yeah, the Canadian resorts are right near by, so it might be worth it if boarder security isn't too much of a hassle.
Silver looks fun, they do some biking too. Some good BC in northern Idaho, as well.
A few weekends in Missoula are a must
Oh wait, how close is Sweitzer? Never been there, but it looks awesome, and I'd like to go.No longer stuck.
05-18-2012, 04:01 PM #4
Plenty of touring options around lookout pass.
Schweitzer is probably the best skiing on your list.
05-18-2012, 04:15 PM #5
49 is small and flat, although I think they have expanded since i have been there?
Mt Spokane=rain, the only thing going for it is close proximity to Spokane..
Schweitzer, Unless you want to make the trek to Red Mountain every weekend...
Lookout opens first and is surprisingly fun for how small it is.
05-18-2012, 04:57 PM #6
keep your expectations low and you will find happiness.
05-18-2012, 04:58 PM #7
05-18-2012, 05:11 PM #8Funhog
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
49 has a new lift going in this summer that will make accessing some terrain easier but won't really open up any new terrain, there is some skiing off the backside but no gates for access. Some good tree skiing up there but nothing real steep. It is where the family and I have our passes as it is affordable and the wife isn't as a dedicated to skiing as I am. Drive time from downtown Spokane is about 1:20.
Schweitzer is a great mountain but more expensive. They have the best terrain of the local resorts but the passes are about double the cost, several access gates for getting out of the area. Drive time from downtown is about 2:00.
Silver Mountain is great in April and sometimes later when the other hills have closed, the best skiing is to be had over where the old jackass Ski Bowl was (chair 4 and Wardner Peak). Dealing with the gondola is a pain in the ass and it sometimes is closed for wind meaning no access to the mountain. All freeway driving from downtown, takes about an hour.
Lookout Pass is small and not especially steep but gets light snow and has some good sidecountry access. Takes about 1:30 on the freeway. I usually bypass Silver and go to Lookout if I'm headed in that direction.
Red Mountain would be worthy of consideration. It takes maybe 2:30 or so from downtown plus the border. Used to ski there often before wife and child and it is still one of my favorite places. Wish I had bought a place in Rossland in the early 90's when the U.S. $ was strong and the housing market there was depressed.
Mt. Spokane I don't even go to unless it is for night skiing after work or for dawn patrol. They have also posted signs prohibiting uphill traffic at all times and have reportedly had people hiding in the woods to catch people skinning up in the early morning even on days they aren't open. Drive time from downtown is about an 1:00.
If money and access time were no object I'd go in the following order:
05-18-2012, 05:17 PM #9sick, spiteful, bad liver
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
DOn't forget Bluewood.
05-18-2012, 05:42 PM #10
For anybody outdoor inclined Spokane is actually a great destination so don't fear. No matter how many people give it shit, or come up with another awesome nickname Spokane does have alot to offer.
All five of the local resorts offer something different. Here is my attempt at an honest yet in the end completely biased rundown on each.
-Mt Spokane: Yes it can be foggy... Yes it can rain... but that can happen at any mountain. Proximity is nice. They have great tree skiing, the runs are well though out and mostly cut on the fall line. Night skiing there can be a ton of fun and they have it running for much of the season 5 nights a week.
-49 North: Similar to Mt Spokane in many ways, except further away and probably less days spent in the fog. Also good tree skiing however I would question some of the decisions being made in terms of the new lifts they are adding. Luckily with the new areas they have added most people now ignore the best skiing on the mountain for days...
-Silver: Hey they have what was at one point the longest single stage gondola in the world, thats cool. I lovingly refer to it as "chutes and ladders' as it seems you are constantly riding catracks on large portions of the mountain without any good fall line skiing. There can be issues with running the gondola (both wind and lack of proper maintenance). Not my favorite but I know a lot of people who love it. Its always uncrowded, even on big powder days and they have done some good work glading certain steep portions of the mountain. Good mountain biking in the off season... They also have a sweet water park. pretty much the same distance as 49
-Lookout: Another 20 minutes past the base of Silver is Lookout. no gondola (see open more in stormy weather than silver). Lookout is on the rise. They have added two new lifts in the last couple years and have definitely opened up more decent in-bounds skiing. If they stick with the master development plan they will have some great skiing opened up in the next few years. They are usually the first to open in our area and have good touring located just out of bounds.
-Schweitzer: They have the best terrain of the local mountaisn but that comes with a price... Has the biggest base area, and the only real resort feel of our 5 local mountains if your into that kind of thing. Management seems to be forgetting about the local skiers and focusing on out of town visitors which has rubbed some the wrong way. Also the furthest of the local mountains.
People from Spokane do buy passes at Red and do it as a day trip but that would get old with the added driving distance as well as the border crossing. If you had a place to stay up there for the night and make it a two day jaunt everytime it would be more feasable. They do have rad skiing!
Depending on what your schedule will be like and what your available ski days are you have a lot of options. I love Spokane because not only do we have the five local resorts but we are also centrally located to tons of other resorts within the surrounding 4-6 hours.
If it were me I would think about getting a mid-week pass at a place like Mt Spokane and saving some money for a couple adventures to other resorts. If you are going to get a full pass and ski one resort exclusively, although its the longest drive of the five locals, Schweitzer is probably the best choice as it has the best variety of terrain.
Thats my 5 cents...
Better yet, I'll buy you a beer when you get up here and we can discuss this in person....
Last edited by Brianskis; 05-26-2012 at 02:38 PM.
05-18-2012, 05:53 PM #11Funhog
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Reading Brian's post reminds me of another point, schedule. What are you going to be doing while the gf is in school? Areas around here don't all run 7 days a week other than during the holidays.
Schweitzer 7 days
Red 7 days
Silver Varies but open 7 days more than others.
49 Closed Wed-Thur
Mt. Spokane Closed Mon-Tues
Lookout Closed Wed. (I think)
I'm sure Brian, Duke of Hurl or some other local will correct me if I have the operating schedules wrong.
05-19-2012, 07:36 AM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- N. ID
Silver like Lookout is open Thursday-Monday, but Lookout is open Wed in Jan and Feb. The only other bit of mis info is in the last two seasons Schweitzer has had more wind days than Silver. Silver got tired of that problem and the Gondola wind issue has been moot.
Most Spokanites have two passes or just one to Schweitzer, passes are semi cheap till the price hike.
05-19-2012, 10:35 AM #13COWHAMPSHIRE PARADISE
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
shweitzer is bigger with better terrain fer sure, but viz can be just as bad. most of the good skiing is up in the alpine which also has the worst to no viz when fog happens, like can't see yer hand in front of yer face fer days sometimes.
rogSKI THE EAST
cuz it ain't fucking cool
05-19-2012, 11:04 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Break it off with the girl and stay where you are. Then give me your ex-girlfriends number.
05-19-2012, 01:22 PM #15i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum
05-19-2012, 02:05 PM #16
Sorry to the locals, but terrain at Schweitzer is lame. Super flat and boring. Lookout is better.
Get a pass at red and tour as much as possible. I haven't explored much out there, but i would think the touring options are pretty good north of spokane. Touring around lookout is an option too. Good proximity towards Montana snowbowl.
Spokane has great mt biking. You'll have fun, a much cooler town than salt lake city, though you won't find as many like minded souls in Spokane
Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using TGR Forumsgod created man. winchester and baseball bats made them equal - evel kenievel
05-19-2012, 02:41 PM #17
05-19-2012, 04:22 PM #18
Yea, i'm not too keen on going to canada as I have a dui from 6 years ago and not sure how that will fly crossing the boarder every week. might just pull the trigger on schweitzer and then hope to find people to tour with as quickly as possible. I have a friend of a friend that did lynx surveys up there the terrrain looked pretty sick where they were skiing, err, tracking lynx
also, as much as I love salt, i'm stoked to be moving north, being in close (or closer proximity to the the PNW is going to be awesome!) plus not having to deal with mormon politics will be nice......
thanks for the advice ya'll, i'll hit ya up brian when I get to town sometime in august or september!
05-19-2012, 04:44 PM #19Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- idaho panhandle!
Buy a sled! Seriously. I moved here a few years ago from Bozeman. Everyone here was all " get a Schweitzer Pass, sick terrain". Bought one my first season here, not so much, really disappointing as is all the other resorts. Found some dudes to access some BC with sleds, that is where it is at! Most people sledneck around here so it leaves all the good skiing terrain open. My buddies moved away so now I am without sled access. Oh well the CDA has been fishing real well, at least I have that going for me.
05-19-2012, 05:14 PM #20
05-19-2012, 09:07 PM #21
buy a sun-fri (midweek) pass at Schwietzer with killer BC access,
then get a sled and/or a Lookout pass for saturdays.embrace the gape
05-20-2012, 01:02 AM #22
I don't live in Spokane and never have. My wife is from the Tri-cities and went to Gonzaga. I have skied the area a few times while up visiting family. I think the local skiing options (within 3 hours of Spokane) are very underrated for many reasons. In this area a powder day is actually a powder day rather than a powder hour (see most of CO and UT etc. for powder hours). Plus the skiing is very cheap relatively speaking. No the terrain is not INSANE, but it is more than adequate.
If I lived in Spokane I would have a pass to Schweitzer for the reasons mentioned previously. I also would have a pass to Lookout Pass. Lookout gets ~100 inches more than most of the other areas and is typically the first to open. I have seen them get snow when other local spots get rain their summits. Somehow the extra bit they are inland keeps them colder and the snow is generally drier there. Oh and did I mention no lines EVER along with the $199 pass.
Both the Schwiz and Lookout have good side country options as well. I believe that with a Lookout Pass and perhaps also a Schwiz pass you get like 25% off day tickets at Red Mountain and Whitewater BC.
Have fun! I think the skiing is really good here.
05-20-2012, 07:14 AM #23
If you want fresh tracks at Schweitzer you better live in sandpoint. Stuff is getting tracked up quickly now a days. Hell even hiking the t bar mid week won't guarantee you won't run into ten other people at the top. Big blue is getting blown out fast too. As far as the bc goes, one word, snowbikes. They are getting into everything.
It will not look anything like the wasatch but it will all be new. It's all about attitude.
Last edited by chiller; 05-20-2012 at 03:23 PM.
05-20-2012, 07:30 AM #24
There's a lot of good skiing for overnighters too including Whitewater (Nelson BC), Montana Snow Bowl (Missoula), Lost Trail (Darby), Discovery Basin, Red, Whitewater, Fernie, Big Mountain, Castle. And if you get bored, Alpental is only 4.5 hours.
I'd work the angle on assured Canada access. z-bos wisdom is deep.Merde De Glace
05-20-2012, 09:04 AM #25aaron wright
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
I find it funny that places and hour and a half or more away are considered local resorts. The only resort local to Spokane is Mt. Spokane.