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  1. #2126
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    what I can't seem to grasp is why the whole area at the base of xtal isn't or hasn't been redeveloped. I've heard it's related no sewer system and being on septic, that and maybe National Park/ Forest Service bureaucracy . With all the capital out there (money growth/low rates) It's really hard for me to believe it isn't happening. The cost of below average lodging due to scarcity and the lack of services is just begging for it.

  2. #2127
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    Crystal base has upgrade plans and probably will be upgraded in our lifetimes (others can chime in with exact status of that). Most of the lodging at Crystal base isn't owned by Crystal, it's privately owned by mom and pops, on private land. So Crystal has no control over that. I don't think you can blame Forest Service bureaucracy but just sheer costs. Word I heard was one of the main reasons Crystal sold out to Alerra/Ikon is because they didn't want to deal with cleaning up the storm water runoff from their dirt parking lot. It's not cheap to build and maintain a giant parking lot in a place that gets massive precipitation and feeds salmon bearing streams. And the only reason Alterra/Ikon bought Crystal wasn't to make to make improvements at Crystal and try to turn it into a destination, it was so all the rich people in the Seattle area buy Alterra/Ikon passes, and not Epic, and take vacations to Alterra/Ikon resorts. The skiing experience at Crystal can be pure shit and yet people will still buy passes there because the other options equally suck.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...off-by-oct-31/

  3. #2128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
    The Vail approach to labor issues is definitely a factor, but not the only one IMO.
    And it's an inexcusable one. I'm in of the same vintage, learned to ski at Stevens and would much prefer to be there but Vail's bullshit in conjunction w Ikonification has pushed quite a few to the Crystal corner. One of the major resorts being habitually mis-managed definitely does NOT help with overcrowding everywhere else.

  4. #2129
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    All of this gabber is moot until someone finds a $Billion to invest in upfront capital in a low margin industry for a business which won’t likely won’t have environmental consent in a couple decades anyway.

    Getting a ski area built will be child’s play compared to getting the road to it built.

  5. #2130
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    Theres plenty of places where a road exists at 2-3k ft not far (vertically) from hanging basins ranging from 4 - 6k ft, outside of wilderness. Some of which even have private land at the road with USFS above. Many of which that would have great skiing on multiple aspects and be very close to existing travel routes for skiing in the winter.

    It seems the solution would be a gondola connecting the low elevation with the upper elevation, much like Silver Mountain in Idaho or basically most ski areas in Europe.

    If sea to sky gondola can pencil out, or the tram in Juneau AK can stay profitable, why couldn't something similar work in the US 2 or i90 corridor, especially with a skiing component added in?

    Other zones in the Central Cascades:
    Entiat River Road.
    Dirtyface (lake Wenatchee).
    Chiwawa River Road (about a dozen spots).
    Nason Ridge (both ends), lots of options... from Rainy Pass to Round Mountain there are large basins outside wilderness with road access.
    Jim Hill/Arrowhead mtn.
    "Burn zone" in Mill Valley.
    Icicle Ridge.

    Can something no longer be built for the love and enjoyment of a sport? Must it all be about the bottom line? There's gotta be a tech guy out there who is a skier and wants to leave a legacy

  6. #2131
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Theres plenty of places where a road exists at 2-3k ft not far (vertically) from hanging basins ranging from 4 - 6k ft, outside of wilderness. Some of which even have private land at the road with USFS above. Many of which that would have great skiing on multiple aspects and be very close to existing travel routes for skiing in the winter.

    It seems the solution would be a gondola connecting the low elevation with the upper elevation, much like Silver Mountain in Idaho or basically most ski areas in Europe.

    If sea to sky gondola can pencil out, or the tram in Juneau AK can stay profitable, why couldn't something similar work in the US 2 or i90 corridor, especially with a skiing component added in?

    Other zones in the Central Cascades:
    Entiat River Road.
    Dirtyface (lake Wenatchee).
    Chiwawa River Road (about a dozen spots).
    Nason Ridge (both ends), lots of options... from Rainy Pass to Round Mountain there are large basins outside wilderness with road access.
    Jim Hill/Arrowhead mtn.
    "Burn zone" in Mill Valley.
    Icicle Ridge.

    Can something no longer be built for the love and enjoyment of a sport? Must it all be about the bottom line? There's gotta be a tech guy out there who is a skier and wants to leave a legacy
    Cog rail FTW. Just need some private land owner with a bunch of logging terrain, to stop planting trees after clear cutting, and start planting rail ties to the mtn. top!
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  7. #2132
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Crystal base has upgrade plans and probably will be upgraded in our lifetimes (others can chime in with exact status of that). Most of the lodging at Crystal base isn't owned by Crystal, it's privately owned by mom and pops, on private land. So Crystal has no control over that. I don't think you can blame Forest Service bureaucracy but just sheer costs. Word I heard was one of the main reasons Crystal sold out to Alerra/Ikon is because they didn't want to deal with cleaning up the storm water runoff from their dirt parking lot. It's not cheap to build and maintain a giant parking lot in a place that gets massive precipitation and feeds salmon bearing streams. And the only reason Alterra/Ikon bought Crystal wasn't to make to make improvements at Crystal and try to turn it into a destination, it was so all the rich people in the Seattle area buy Alterra/Ikon passes, and not Epic, and take vacations to Alterra/Ikon resorts. The skiing experience at Crystal can be pure shit and yet people will still buy passes there because the other options equally suck.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...off-by-oct-31/
    Just doesn't add up. someone with capital (right now everyone) would buy up quicksilver, alpine inn, etc. rebuild either nicer hotel and /or condos with first level retail (restaurants).. capital is cheap and everyone has their price. has to be more to it then private parties not selling...

  8. #2133
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmachine View Post
    Just doesn't add up. someone with capital (right now everyone) would buy up quicksilver, alpine inn, etc. rebuild either nicer hotel and /or condos with first level retail (restaurants).. capital is cheap and everyone has their price. has to be more to it then private parties not selling...
    People with tons of money fly to their ski trips and do it high class all the way through. Skiing is an afterthought for most. Their NYC friends don’t want to meet up at Crystal - they want to meet up at JH where they can mingle with all the other rich people.

  9. #2134
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    The North Cascades take center stage in TGR's new ski film ‘Stoke the Fire,’ debuting in Seattle this week

    https://www.seattletimes.com/life/ou...tle-this-week/

  10. #2135
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    Snow in the PNW 20-21: We may have Corona but Corona doesn't have us!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Theres plenty of places where a road exists at 2-3k ft not far (vertically) from hanging basins ranging from 4 - 6k ft, outside of wilderness. Some of which even have private land at the road with USFS above. Many of which that would have great skiing on multiple aspects and be very close to existing travel routes for skiing in the winter.

    It seems the solution would be a gondola connecting the low elevation with the upper elevation, much like Silver Mountain in Idaho or basically most ski areas in Europe.

    If sea to sky gondola can pencil out, or the tram in Juneau AK can stay profitable, why couldn't something similar work in the US 2 or i90 corridor, especially with a skiing component added in?

    Other zones in the Central Cascades:
    Entiat River Road.
    Dirtyface (lake Wenatchee).
    Chiwawa River Road (about a dozen spots).
    Nason Ridge (both ends), lots of options... from Rainy Pass to Round Mountain there are large basins outside wilderness with road access.
    Jim Hill/Arrowhead mtn.
    "Burn zone" in Mill Valley.
    Icicle Ridge.

    Can something no longer be built for the love and enjoyment of a sport? Must it all be about the bottom line? There's gotta be a tech guy out there who is a skier and wants to leave a legacy
    Those places you’re talking about are already enjoyed for the love of “sport” and I hope they stay that way. Hiking, backpacking, mtbing, dirt bikes, bc skiing, xc skiing, hunting etc. I like “wild” places and I think most of the people that live in WA and currently enjoy these places would like it to stay that way. We don’t need to subsidize a small group of rich folks and develop what are really wild places even outside Wilderness.

    The only current expansion plan of a ski area in WA isn’t about the love of skiing and will not make skiing there “better” in anyway, it’s about cashing in on real estate and the ruse of community betterment with vague threats of having to close the doors because they can’t survive. It’s so much bullshit.


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  11. #2136
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    Relative to any ski area, the number of people who use the places enumerated is much, much smaller.

    Supply and demand proves that a lack of development will insure that skiing in the Puget Sound becomes available only to the rich, unlike it was when we enjoyed starting skiing.

    So that's a mischaracterization of the situation.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  12. #2137
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    Snow in the PNW 20-21: We may have Corona but Corona doesn't have us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Relative to any ski area, the number of people who use the places enumerated is much, much smaller.

    Supply and demand proves that a lack of development will insure that skiing in the Puget Sound becomes available only to the rich, unlike it was when we enjoyed starting skiing.

    So that's a mischaracterization of the situation.
    How often do you frequent the areas that Woody posted about? I’m in those areas weekly most of the year. The amount of “local” and westsider use is quite remarkable. Outside Wilderness the terrain suitable for skiing is low elevation with inconsistent snow fall. There’s no land to develop so there’s no return on investment. Who’s going to spend millions on a ski area that will take decades to break ground and offer no return on investment? That’s only if you overcome the hurdles of current user groups push back, there are many and EIP concerns. The best place for a ski area of the locales posted would be Jim Hill/Arrowhead. That area would be suitable for a Silverton style ski area, a lift up the Henry creek drainage to the saddle between Arrowhead and Jim Hill. There will likely never be a ski area on Nason Ridge between Rainy Pass and Round Mtn. There would be too much pushback from all current user groups, the various environmental groups and the FS. I’ve always been surprised that the Rick/Howard/Masstif group to Round Mtn wasn’t included as a satellite portion of the HMJ or GP Wilderness, it’s an incredibly wild area that needs protection.


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  13. #2138
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    Now it becomes personal.
    I've skied up there a little, and I think TAFKALWS has some valid zones and it seems you agree at least with regard to Arrowhead.

    The point is that there are some viable areas. Some others I won't enumerate as well, above 4k base with existing logging roads.

    I don't mean to claim there wouldn't be obstacles, just that it would be nice to have another ski area since the existing ones are bursting at the seams. I know a little bit about some developments you mention and yes, there have been many, many obstacles and naysayers. But it's happened.

    By constraining development, it makes existing lift served skiing more and more exclusively the domain of the evil rich.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  14. #2139
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    Like I said before, there’s a lifetime of skiing outside developed lift served skiing in WA. It’s not even really hard to access without a sled in a lot of places but buy a sled and you’ll never run out of untracked solitude. For the most part I don’t want to see more development of public land other than improved access roads that have fallen into disrepair.

    I would be in favor of expanding existing ski areas for actual skiing if the ski area owners also agree to improve access for all users and make provisions for transit to the areas, busses, tram whatever. Get people out of their vehicles. That’s too expensive unless the government foots the bill. The problem is that no one wants to pay for any of this.


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  15. #2140
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    I wasn't trying to claim that bc skiing was limited in the Cascades.

    Only that the demand for lift served skiing in the Puget Sound has outstripped supply with the usual effects and that there are viable zones for development.

    So I think we agree, especially on reclaiming Yodelin and expansion on the backside of Hyak, each of which have existing rail nearby.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  16. #2141
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    Snow in the PNW 20-21: We may have Corona but Corona doesn't have us!

    I would have zero problem expanding Stevens to the end of the Big Chief ridge line. The Mill Creek valley is already developed and the power lines already ruin any kind of “wilderness” experience. That whole area is basically “side country” already. You would probably need light rail or reliable bus service from the east portal of the tunnel to Yodelin or up Mill Valley to a new base area and lift/tram. Your biggest hurdle would be lawsuits from WSSA in response to taking away Mill Valley. The Nordic trail could be improved.

    Rail travel from the west side would have to be improved, BNSF owns the line and freight has row over Amtrak so delays are routine.

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  17. #2142
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    All excellent points. There's a shitload of great skiing along both sides of the creek.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  18. #2143
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    The problem is that no one wants to pay for any of this.
    And it's relatively more expensive than it was when most of the original development happened.

    Plus the success stories are generally when different interests align. Snoqualmie Pass had investment from the railroad, Seattle and state governments, the feds through the interstate highway system, and lots of private money from various sources.

    Sadly, those interests are now real estate, hotels, and golf courses.

  19. #2144
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    How many new ski areas have been built in Canada? They kind of let you do whatever the fuck you want with public land up there, so long as you got the cash. That Jumbo Glacier resort in BC proposal has been kicking around for several decades, and they still haven't broken ground. A new area is proposed outside of Squamish that will serve millions. But it remains to be scene if they actually have the means to go ahead with it. Looks sick on some days, but they will have rain issues just like here in WA.


    So maybe the real answer is just move to Sumas or Blaine and then you can have your new "WA" ski area.

  20. #2145
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    Does Mt Pilchuck have any viability at all? The current (shitty) access road goes to above 3,000 feet and the summit is at 5,300. Primarily north facing terrain. I think lack of snow doomed the original ski area, but snowmaking could change that. Drive time from Seattle would fall somewhere between Snoqualmie and Stevens.


  21. #2146
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    A new area is proposed outside of Squamish that will serve millions. But it remains to be scene if they actually have the means to go ahead with it. Looks sick on some days, but they will have rain issues just like here in WA.
    Years ago, a friend and I were riding a chair at Whistler with one of the developers of that project. We wanted to know about the terrain (because a lot of it is low angle) and side country access, but he kept steering the conversation to drive time from Vancouver, the village, condos, and golf.

    Once he was out of earshot, my friend asked if I too had felt a strong urge to throw that guy off the chair.

  22. #2147
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    I think Pilchuck would be pretty rainy. Like Alpental if they didn't get cold eastern flow at the pass. The summit and most of the good north facing terrain are a Washington State Park. Down lower is state DNR land. So you would be working with the state on approval, and not the Forest Service. They would need to pave that road, which is not cheap and easy environmentally (think Middle Fork Snoqualmie project). Most DNR trust land must be managed for the benefit of some specific entity (most common is school districts). So the state would have to find that building a ski area on land that they are currently logging is a better long term financial move than just keep logging it (have you seen the prices of wood these days?). Otherwise, the school district can sue the state for breach of fiduciary duty (currently being done by Skagit County contending the state is not logging enough trees).

  23. #2148
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    They would need to pave that road, which is not cheap and easy environmentally (think Middle Fork Snoqualmie project).
    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.

  24. #2149
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    Pilchuck is steep and yeah, I read it failed due to a sequence of low snow years.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  25. #2150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Pilchuck is steep and yeah, I read it failed due to a sequence of low snow years.
    I've also read it was less about low snow and more about the political climate at the time preventing renewal of the operating permit for the area. This was in conversation with a former patroler at the area. He said most of the years there was actually much snow.

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