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  1. #2151
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    Sep 2001
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    Ah, the colors of history. The upper mountain holds snow really well into June most years.


    John Goldthorpe was Mt Pilchuck Ski Patrol Director from 1976-78. Timothy Berndt was Patrol Director from 1978-80. The Mt Pilchuck ski area was born in 1951, when the state parks commission gave a permit to the Mt Pilchuck Ski Club to develop a ski area. It's not clear what, if any, facilities the club installed at the time, but the authors write that "in 1953 a lack of snow caused the closing of the ski area." Following this attempt, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (WSPRC) obtained a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to develop and maintain a ski area at Cedar Flats. The Mt Pilchuck Ski Area, under this new agreement, was launched by John Colter and his mother in 1956. The area began with one rope tow. The Mt Pilchuck Ski Patrol was started that year.
    In 1958 the day lodge was constructed. Also in 1958 the entire area legally became the Mt Pilchuck State Park. Creation of the park involved a land exchange agreement between USFS and WSPRC, but the exchange never took place. This led to problems later. By 1963, Pilchuck had three rope tows. The main chairlift was built for the 1963-64 ski season and the lower chairlift was added in 1967, giving Mt Pilchuck Ski Area one of the largest vertical rises in the Northwest. The authors describe a pattern of snowfall extremes, with lean snow years and years with too much snow to operate. Ownership of the mountain concession rights changed hands several times, the final owners being Steve Richter and Heather Recreation, Inc.

    The winters of 1977 and 1978 were poor snow years. In 1976-77, the area was open 2-1/2 months and in 1977-78 just three weeks. 1977-78 was the last winter of operation of Mt Pilchuck Ski Area. The following year, in 1978-79, the ski area was passed back and forth between WSPRC and USFS, with each agency blaming the other for lack of movement on a concession-lease agreement. Finally, due to uncertainty over their ability to renew the lease, Heather Recreation, Inc. decided not to continue operation. The authors write that it was the inability of government entities to get together and make a decision that really killed the area, not poor snow conditions or financial problems of the ski area operators. The authors also blame Governor Dixy Lee Ray for working to kill the state's only winter recreation park.



    http://www.alpenglow.org/ski-history...orpe-1980.html
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  2. #2152
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    Yes, that's both what I had read and also what that former patroller i met told me. He said one year they had lift served skiing into June.

  3. #2153
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    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    Apparently, in the mid-late 70s you could rent the whole mountain for $650/day. Imagine the day you could have with 5 friends.

  4. #2154
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Keep Tacoma Feared
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    I misread the Pilchuck map. Most of the North facing terrain, and the road, is National Forest. But there is a swath of the North face the state owns (state park.) And the state owns land directly west and south of it. The fact the state is involved could a huge benefit. Maybe the local school district could get behind converting some of the land they are the beneficiaries of into a non-profit, mellow, ski area for the youth to learn at. The Forest Service could get behind something that operates as non-profit and for the benefit of the local school district.

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  5. #2155
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    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    Ultimately these things have come down to a single person who is a champion and has a vision, but even that person would look at all the obstacles and how long it would take to get it done and just get frustrated.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  6. #2156
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    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    I think it would take setting up a non-profit with motivated members and some big cash backing them.

  7. #2157
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    Oct 2011
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    758
    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    Yes, but one of the positives is that a road does exist, it just needs to be improved substantially. I also think there's some appeal in that the access uses different roads than all the current ski areas, so it wouldn't add to the traffic which is another problem we currently face.
    This would be one of my main criteria for sure. And no passes to contend with on big storm days either. Somewhere off the mountain loop would be 💲💲

  8. #2158
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    Oct 2011
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    Aspen
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I think it would take setting up a non-profit with motivated members and some big cash backing them.
    "SHARE THE LOVE AND MADNESS: SEND SOME K00KS TO CENTRAL SNOHOMISH COUNTY"

  9. #2159
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    Oct 2006
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    Bellevue
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I think it would take setting up a non-profit with motivated members and some big cash backing them.
    Sounds like we need Gary to come down and do some consulting. I mean skiing.

  10. #2160
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    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    Pilchuck? A west facing hill with low elevation. Iím sure the snow is great. The summit of the ski area was lower than the parking lot at
    Stevens, the bottom of the hill was 2500í. Sounds like good skiing.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  11. #2161
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    23,347
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Pilchuck? A west facing hill with low elevation. Iím sure the snow is great. The summit of the ski area was lower than the parking lot at
    Stevens, the bottom of the hill was 2500í. Sounds like good skiing.
    It's mostly north facing. You definitely would want to go up from the current road end, which is around 3,200 feet. I agree snow conditions might not be great, but elevation is comparable to Snoqualmie Pass (almost directly comparable to Alpental).

  12. #2162
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    Sep 2009
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    PNW
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    Without the consistent cold easterly flow
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  13. #2163
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    Oct 2003
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    Warrrrrrrshington
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  14. #2164
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    Wenatchee
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    It's mostly north facing. You definitely would want to go up from the current road end, which is around 3,200 feet. I agree snow conditions might not be great, but elevation is comparable to Snoqualmie Pass (almost directly comparable to Alpental).
    It sure seemed west facing looking at it from town growing up. NW maybe? The lights were visible from most places in Snohomish county north of Everett.


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  15. #2165
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    1,618
    Was fun playing in the snow on Monday
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  16. #2166
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    Feb 2017
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stikki View Post
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    Is this the Pilchuck ski area?? Thanks for sharing

  17. #2167
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    Quote Originally Posted by goCougs View Post
    Is this the Pilchuck ski area?? Thanks for sharing
    yes.

    (and the topo map does show the slope facing N/NW)
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  18. #2168
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    You can definitely say from those old photos that it didn't suck (well, the terrain, anyway).

  19. #2169
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    Oct 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    You can definitely say from those old photos that it didn't suck (well, the terrain, anyway).
    Looks better than Central and West, for sure.

  20. #2170
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    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    IIRC the remains of the top station was somewhere near here (never skied there, just hiked) The lift was already gone, but the concrete was still there.

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    And it ran down the lighter area to the road, so northwest for sure.

  21. #2171
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    Sep 2018
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    Bring back pilchuck . Put a quad to the top and figure out how to get back up after skiing gunsight to the valley floor. Experts only.

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  22. #2172
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirVicSmasher View Post
    Bring back pilchuck . Put a quad to the top and figure out how to get back up after skiing gunsight to the valley floor. Experts only.
    Put in a gondola down to the Mountain Loop a la Silver in Idaho. Probably not skiable much, but when it is we're talking about over 4,000 feet of vertical.

  23. #2173
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    SEA
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    6

    puget sound newbie - where do I live?!

    Seattle transplant here from the east. Decided to stop working in the ski industry, get a big boy job, and work for the weekends. Moving to seattle to work a job downtown and ski more than windcrust in tuckermans. I need a new place to call home. Looking for some recommendations for neighborhoods to live in with:

    1) 30-45 min commute to SLU via bike or public transit
    2) a decent bar nearby so I can drink my job away and meet other ski industry rejects like me
    3) a direct/ish shot to the mountains (crystal, stevens) and the local bc. the less traffic the better

    if you give me some stellar recommendations, I'll give ya a lukewarm PBR

  24. #2174
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Capitol Hill if you want to be close to work and in a place with lots of nightlife.

  25. #2175
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    83
    I still think the most untapped potential for a new ski area in WA exists up in the Selkirks near Metaline Falls, or at least that's where I want a ski area to be built the most. Compared to other spots in Eastern WA, they get a fuck ton more snow (furthest inland temperate rain forest in NA), the elevations are higher, and the terrain is more rugged. Also, the Colville National Forest is much more friendly to timber sales and development than the Oka-Wen or other forests throughout the Cascades (you should see the amount of board feet they cut each year lol). Also, Metaline Falls was the only town in Northeast Washington I saw with multiple Biden signs when I visited in late fall of 2020.

    Unfortunately most high peaks (Sullivan Mtn, Crowell Ridge, Gypsey Peak, Salmo Mtn, Helmer Mtn, and Mankato Mtn), are all in the wilderness Salmo-Priest wilderness boundary, but Hall Mountain would be a great option. It has nice views of Sullivan Lake, a nicely sloped north-facing slope, a road leading up most of it, and the elevations are pretty conducive to skiing (flat-ish potential base areas at 3600ft, 4100 ft, and 4550 ft, with a summit elevation of 6,328ft).

    The top of 49* North is 5773 feet (base at 3923ft) and Mt Spokane's summit is 5886 feet (lowest lift base is at 3818ft), and both are in areas with less snowfall, but seem to be doing just fine at the moment.

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