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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
    But you get that awesome season pass!
    ...that you're always too busy working to use.
    embrace the gape
    and believe

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    https://backcountrymagazine.com/stor...bc-atmosphere/

    This ^^ was done for < a million, without staff or lifts its pretty cheap
    This is awesome, I have been thinking something like that is the future and didn't know it existed. Although, kind of a hard place to get to.

  3. #28
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    Some bright and persuasive soul will figure out how to leverage the Wallowa Tram for some killer skiing and draw a bunch of Portland and Seattle $.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Gold Chair?
    There was a triple going up to Bullion Basin back in the 80s, but it was pulled out after 2 seasons.

    In the last Crystal MDP, the alternative chosen (6) included the installation of a chair going up East Peak.

    This created a furor among backcountry skiers who considered that area and Bullion Basin as theirs, despite it having been designated as part of the Crystal use area in the 1960s. This opposition manifested in the Crystal Conservation Coalition (CCC), a small but shrieky group, forcing the FS to rescind the construction of that lift to the top of East Peak and instead approving a truncated lift going to the base of Bullion. This option effectively both ruins the bc experience and makes access to East Peak difficult for both skiing and required control work. The compromise that fails all goals.

    Some of us that were involved in reviewing the MMDP and prevented Uberagua and the NP from blocking access to 410, Crystal Lakes and Morse Creek also filed a letter requesting that the East Peak/Bullion Basin chair go to the top.

    With Alterra now at the helm, it's unclear what will happen. But if they won't even maintain or sand the access road, I don't have a lot of hope for that lift ever being constructed.
    Sorry, meant Gold Hills. Been a while since I've skied my favorite mountain...

    I thought Alterra had a record of upgrading lifts? But I get that their are about stock holder wealth, and not so much about the ski experience.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Gold Chair?
    In the last Crystal MDP, the alternative chosen (6) included the installation of a chair going up East Peak.

    This created a furor among backcountry skiers who considered that area and Bullion Basin as theirs, despite it having been designated as part of the Crystal use area in the 1960s. This opposition manifested in the Crystal Conservation Coalition (CCC), a small but shrieky group, forcing the FS to rescind the construction of that lift to the top of East Peak and instead approving a truncated lift going to the base of Bullion. This option effectively both ruins the bc experience and makes access to East Peak difficult for both skiing and required control work. The compromise that fails all goals.
    Is this what's been approved?

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    Seems like it takes out a bunch of parking and adds a couple low elevation lifts that won't get reliable snowfall. Also makes it easier for snowboarders to track out Niagaras.

  6. #31
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    I believe the rationale for the Kelly's Gap Express was to get people up to Green Valley during higher winds that would close the Gondi and REX?
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  7. #32
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    In the State of Washington you will never get a water right for a new ski resort in the headwaters of any watershed without the use of a tribal water right (almost certainly not going to happen). For that matter any commercial development in a headwaters area is toast over 5000 gpd. The water rights issue is what killed early winters, and its become more stringent since (even back in the 90s or whenever that was). Not even worth the effort day dreaming about a new ski resort in Washington.

    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Trumps plan to weaken NEPA probably won't hold up in court.

    "Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University, said he did not believe the changes would hold up in court. The Environmental Policy Act requires that all the environmental consequences of a project be taken into account, he said, and that core requirement cannot be changed by fiat."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/c...gtype=Homepage

    As Geezer points out, there are very few previously logged, high elevation locations in the PNW that would make good ski terrain. The good stuff is in wilderness or national parks. Yodelin and down the highway from Stevens (south side of the road, so north aspect ski runs) is one of the better options. Clear cuts below Jim Hill Mountain were for sale awhile back and if someone had money, they probably could build a new ski area from the private land up Jim Hill Mountain. This would require USFS to play ball, but if you owned the land below, and came with money, I bet it could be done. There is absolutely no good place to build a parking lot here though.

    http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing...?topic=39532.0

    Alpine Lakes High Camp is all on private land so developing a ski area there would require less red tape. But the terrain isn't so special. The adjacent wilderness is though, so sidecountry would be nice.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Some bright and persuasive soul will figure out how to leverage the Wallowa Tram for some killer skiing and draw a bunch of Portland and Seattle $.
    That could be very cool - like Silverton. That said...
    - the lake side of the hill is way overgrown - needs major brushing and glading to make skiable.
    - Going down the backside involves a major effort to get back - like 10+ miles
    - The land on the backside is private - need easements.
    - They don't get a reliable base of snow at the 4400' base terminal. Base at Anthony Lakes is 7K'
    - If you are going to travel 6+ hrs from PDX to ski, would you rather fly to say, SLC or Reno, or drive to Joseph?
    - If you decide to drive to Joseph, would you rather do a hut trip or ride the tram?

    Not that it hasn't been considered
    https://www.oregonlive.com/terryrich...er_skiing.html
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    That could be very cool - like Silverton. That said...
    - the lake side of the hill is way overgrown - needs major brushing and glading to make skiable.
    - Going down the backside involves a major effort to get back - like 10+ miles
    - The land on the backside is private - need easements.
    - They don't get a reliable base of snow at the 4400' base terminal. Base at Anthony Lakes is 7K'
    - If you are going to travel 6+ hrs from PDX to ski, would you rather fly to say, SLC or Reno, or drive to Joseph?
    - If you decide to drive to Joseph, would you rather do a hut trip or ride the tram?

    Not that it hasn't been considered
    https://www.oregonlive.com/terryrich...er_skiing.html
    We've skied from the tram to McCully snowpark all on public land.

    It's completely possible, except for naysayers.
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  10. #35
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    Oh, no doubt it's doable.
    Question is, how do you get back to the tram from there?

    I think Anthony Lakes has room in their SUP for more lift served. A more cost effective option to expanded services in that area IMO
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    Oh, no doubt it's doable.
    Question is, how do you get back to the tram from there?
    30 minutes in a car

    I think Anthony Lakes has room in their SUP for more lift served. A more cost effective option to expanded services in that area IMO
    They had a plan for a lift going down into Crawfish Basin, but I think that there have been wilderness designations that preclude that plan now.
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  12. #37
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    A fews years ago Alpental SUP was amended to allow, among other things, a new chair from the top of Sessel to Knoll Zero over Snake Dance. It also allows realignment of the West lifts to get them on the fall line, a small day lodge up high, lights at Edelweiss Bowl, Rampart chair, new Holiday chair and other stuff. AFAIK, there are no plans to shell out the $$$$ for the new Alpy chair.

    I would expect to see development of the Mountaineers property, which was purchased by Boyne a couple years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    Would the current parking infrastructure support it, though? Seems like to really address the problem we'd need a new area, not the extension of a current one.
    See altasnob's comments re a new area. Where could it be? Not many N aspect logged out places outside wilderness areas with good terrain and accessibility in the WA Cascades. (ETA: See note below re Yodelin and Jim Hill.) N aspects >4,000' in the WA Cascades are mostly Silver Fir and Mountain Hemlock. Both species had no or little commercial value during the clear cut heydays, thus vew N aspects >4,000' were extensively logged. (AFAIK, both species currently have no or little commercial value as timber.) The S and W aspects which had Doug FIr were mown down, but those are not suitable for skiing.

    AS's post re Yodelin and Jim Hill is spot on. Those areas are N aspect, gets tons of E-of-crest snow and have oodles of terrain. But it would require very costly development of parking and a lodge unless it would be access via gondy from Stevens Pass -- in which case parking would need to be expanded there.

  13. #38
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    Not a new ski area but I always thought a good place to put a commercial backcountry hut/lodge would be on the North side of North Twin Sister, near Baker. There are privately owned clear cuts on the north and west side of the range that abrupt a small tract of National Forest, which abrupts wilderness area. There is already a road and gravel pit on the private land at about 2,800 ft. Downside is the low elevation (although summits of the peaks are above 6,000 ft). I think this area gets a ton of snow but the mank factor is even higher than at Baker. Also, like all the N Cascades, the terrain is rowdy.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    A fews years ago Alpental SUP was amended to allow, among other things, a new chair from the top of Sessel to Knoll Zero over Snake Dance. It also allows realignment of the West lifts to get them on the fall line, a small day lodge up high, lights at Edelweiss Bowl, Rampart chair, new Holiday chair and other stuff. AFAIK, there are no plans to shell out the $$$$ for the new Alpy chair.

    I would expect to see development of the Mountaineers property, which was purchased by Boyne a couple years ago.

    See altasnob's comments re a new area. Where could it be? Not many N aspect logged out places outside wilderness areas with good terrain and accessibility in the WA Cascades. (ETA: See note below re Yodelin and Jim Hill.) N aspects >4,000' in the WA Cascades are mostly Silver Fir and Mountain Hemlock. Both species had no or little commercial value during the clear cut heydays, thus vew N aspects >4,000' were extensively logged. (AFAIK, both species currently have no or little commercial value as timber.) The S and W aspects which had Doug FIr were mown down, but those are not suitable for skiing.

    AS's post re Yodelin and Jim Hill is spot on. Those areas are N aspect, gets tons of E-of-crest snow and have oodles of terrain. But it would require very costly development of parking and a lodge unless it would be access via gondy from Stevens Pass -- in which case parking would need to be expanded there.
    I've wasted extensive time thinking about this.

    I think a Jim Hill ski area could work. The Backside of the Backside could also work ("Burn Zone") You could even have lifts extending all the way to Jim hill. Put a 2nd base area in the bottom of Mill Valley where the Jupiter & Southern Cross lifts are.

    But to me the biggest potential for new ski areas (terrain, above 4000', north facing, some type of access road, ample snowfall, reasonable access from seattle) would be:

    One of these N to E basins up the Chiwawa River https://goo.gl/maps/nDnbEW3MWDabZ6LJ6

    Chikamin ridge area could have lots of skiing intermediate & expert skiing, plus some epic high elevation Nordic & lots of zones to stick some trailheads for touring. https://goo.gl/maps/ken4BGEfMV38XZHAA

    Rock Mountain/Nason Ridge could have a delightful collection of chairlifts & gondolas on all aspects with some good intermediate skiing interconnected with kooky euro style couloir & extremo terrain access down to the valley floor. The right lift setup could allow for skiing from Snowy Creek all the way to Merritt lake area: https://goo.gl/maps/qaP7MQXzQabWQVvu5 (While they're at it, improve NF-6700, turn in to a 2 lane paved road, plow all winter. Mega Yuuge winter touring access now open.)

    The Eastern end of Nason Ridge could be it's own area on Round Mountain: https://goo.gl/maps/kXG3ycUhLfY1Zidf7

    Stormy Mountain near Lake Chelan was once a proposed area - would be like the Sun Valley of the PNW: https://goo.gl/maps/uFvLezKB1roRZ7sq5 (Anywhere on that ridge would be cool, all the way out to the basin below 4 mile ridge. You could have one of the biggest ski areas in N. American. Limited snow compared to the crest, but significantly better snow quality & more reliable weather.)

    The eastern end of the Entiat Crest is not Wilderness and very high elevation: https://goo.gl/maps/i6NYqfAjcMQRvPWt5

    Knoble Knob area near Crystal would offer a lot of higher elevation mellow basins that could be interconnected. https://goo.gl/maps/A7byqWrnvjLqrSvn7

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I've wasted extensive time thinking about this.

    I think a Jim Hill ski area could work. The Backside of the Backside could also work ("Burn Zone") You could even have lifts extending all the way to Jim hill. Put a 2nd base area in the bottom of Mill Valley where the Jupiter & Southern Cross lifts are.
    Not a bad idea considering there's already a FS road back there. Of course no one coming from the west would choose to park at that base area unless they had to.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    Not a bad idea considering there's already a FS road back there. Of course no one coming from the west would choose to park at that base area unless they had to.
    I think some people would especially if there was a whole pod of additional skiing to the east. A series of lifts could easily interconnect from the backside all the way to Jim Hill. Develop Jim Hill private land holdings in to condos/village with hotels etc with a third base area.

    Turn Yodelin in to an additional beginner/learning intermediate area that's open on Weekends and Holidays during peak months (like Hyak is at Snoqualmie.) Open for BC touring mid-week with designated uphill routes and extensive glading/thinning. Interconnect ridge between with a cat track from Stevens Base to Yodelin Base that keep those skiing the sidecountry off the highway and make it easy to do laps. Run a shuttle between all 4 base areas for easy sidecountry laps. Run a t-bar from Basin below southern cross to current boundary line high point. Make it beacon mandatory, yet controlled with more of a BC style experience. Maybe 1 or 2 marked routes that are thinned but no runs.

    (Pipe Dream: Have a train station at the eastern portal of the tunnel with hourly service from Leavenworth & Skykomish. 2x Daily Service from Seattle.)

    There... now Stevens would be able to handle the Seattle rush.

  17. #42
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    Lost Trail has MASSIVE potential in the cirque behind Chair 4, up to and including Saddle Mountain itself. No issues with wilderness or anything, hell, you can DRIVE there in the summer. The bottom of the bowl is pretty close to the same elevation as the ski area itself and it would provide 1300-1500 feet of steep, fall line skiing on all aspects, but mostly N, NE, and NW-facing terrain.Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I think some people would especially if there was a whole pod of additional skiing to the east. A series of lifts could easily interconnect from the backside all the way to Jim Hill. Develop Jim Hill private land holdings in to condos/village with hotels etc with a third base area.

    Turn Yodelin in to an additional beginner/learning intermediate area that's open on Weekends and Holidays during peak months (like Hyak is at Snoqualmie.) Open for BC touring mid-week with designated uphill routes and extensive glading/thinning. Interconnect ridge between with a cat track from Stevens Base to Yodelin Base that keep those skiing the sidecountry off the highway and make it easy to do laps. Run a shuttle between all 4 base areas for easy sidecountry laps. Run a t-bar from Basin below southern cross to current boundary line high point. Make it beacon mandatory, yet controlled with more of a BC style experience. Maybe 1 or 2 marked routes that are thinned but no runs.

    (Pipe Dream: Have a train station at the eastern portal of the tunnel with hourly service from Leavenworth & Skykomish. 2x Daily Service from Seattle.)

    There... now Stevens would be able to handle the Seattle rush.
    So, what stopping you from soliciting the VC $?
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    So, what stopping you from soliciting the VC $?
    I wouldn't even know where to start.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    They had a plan for a lift going down into Crawfish Basin, but I think that there have been wilderness designations that preclude that plan now.
    That would be one long chair. Assume the plan was to put it W of Gunsight? Would obviate a bunch of their cat terrain.

    I had heard they were looking at options for that 'scarp on west edge of resort as well, but never went anywhere for whatever reason. Heard about an SAR callout one Xmas eve (NYE?) for some folks doing recon back there...

    Gorgeous area there and Wallowas, just so freakin' isolated. Which is what makes it great
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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    Boyne
    I don't expect Boyne will be making any big lift infrastructure investment in the face of Epic/Ikon... and being one foot in bed with Ikon anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Lost Trail has MASSIVE potential in the cirque behind Chair 4, up to and including Saddle Mountain itself. No issues with wilderness or anything, hell, you can DRIVE there in the summer. The bottom of the bowl is pretty close to the same elevation as the ski area itself and it would provide 1300-1500 feet of steep, fall line skiing on all aspects, but mostly N, NE, and NW-facing terrain.Click image for larger version. 

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    Snowfall too low. Access too remote(2 hrs to missoula). Would require a massive parking lot and condo/hotel development at the base.

    @ Leavenworth skier - all of those proposals have one thing in common - they are around lake wenatchee area. Would require a hwy 2 widening if a full blown resort is going to be built there. I think another location that could be tried would be on one of the arms of goat rocks if any of it doesn't fall into the no go zone(I'm not sure how to look up wilderness vs NF land on google maps). Would be much easier to keep Cayuse pass open in winter, build an interchange on 12 with 410 and widen only a small portion of 12 to the access road if necessary.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordbird View Post
    Snowfall too low. t
    How high are you right now?

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    How high are you right now?
    It's 250" a year iirc. Snowbowl claims 300" and it's only good in above average years. I'd say 350-400" is the minimum for a proper destination place, excluding Sun Valley rich gaper's paradise.

  25. #50
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    From most reports lift capacity (skiers per hour or acres accessed) isn’t the primary issue. Getting to the lifts remains the bigger issue via roads and parking infrastructure. What’s the point of putting more lifts around any of the current access points if folks aren’t able to get to them or park once they get there? Is future transportation adaptations (self driving cars that don’t need to park) going to be enough to alleviate these issues and let the focus be on skiable acres?

    With continued backcountry interest and growth could we see the start of a ‘backcountry’ ski area offering some amenities, maintained parking, ski patrol with avy mitigation and maybe even groomed/improved uphill trails but no lifts?

    What’s the life expectancy of skiing bellow 6000ft in the Cascades anyway? Who wants to spend a couple hundred million on that investment? What’s the plan when the snow stops?

    As much as access sucks on 10 good weekends a year (we are talking about less than 25 days total) it’s never really much worse than the longmire gate and paradise on a holiday weekend with good weather.

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