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Schweitzer Mountain Resort Christmas Break

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm not gonna lie, we need some snow up here in the Idaho Panhandle. Conditions at Schweitzer Mountain Resort are not to bad though, a few rocks and twigs sticking through in a few spots but not to shabby in the overall persecutive. I've been up here since Christmas Day and have got lot's of good solid ski days with some pretty impressive sunrises over Lake Pend Orielle which sits below the mountain. 

 

Lake Pend Orielle covered with a morning fog layer.

 

With a few dustings here in there over the past few day it's been keeping conditions fresh. Schweitzer's Frontside has been skiing very well especially the Iconic runs like K-Macs, B & C Chutes in the South Bowl. We spent part of Saturday morning on the 28th ripping the Cordurouy on Ridge run and then after 6 non stoppers the legs were pumping. we slid over to B & C Chute for the remainder of the day where the snow was wind blown with the fresh from the night before. It skied like a dream, carveable and chalky making for a damn fun time of skiing some steeps. 

 

 

Over the past few days we have been venturing allover the mountain and some runs that are skiing incredible are Little Blue Ridge Run, Kaniksu and the side of the terrain Park. All in all this has been a very enjoyable Christmas break on the mountain, good skiing and the crowds have been dispersed well all over the mountain since it is 100% open. Pretty lucky to call this place home. 

Here's a short recap from Saturday.

post #2 of 25

Only ~86% less snow at the Schiwzz than last year at this time. :(

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by spknmike View Post
 

Only ~86% less snow at the Schiwzz than last year at this time. :(


maybe, but last year was an exception with the massive pre-Xmas dump. My face remembers that pow well.

 

I was there mid December and 1/2 the mountain was skiing fine. Steeps like Australia and Headwall were excellent. The other half was closed or twiggy - see video at http://gortonator.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/fog-and-shrubbery-a-thon-at-schweitzer-december-2013/

 

I suspect they have much better conditions now than most of the PNW, which is not rosy anywhere as far as I can tell. And enough terrain open to spread the 'crowds' around. Crowds is always a relative term at Schweitzer. It's a great ski hill.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yesterday was another exceptional day out there and today looks it will be another stellar one with Bluebird skies. Great way to start the New Year!!! One friend from the southern Idaho has skied a few Southern Idaho and Utah resorts and she made mention we have the best conditions by far. Its skiing go to enjoy what we have.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
 Yesterday was another exceptional day out there

 

Do you think it's good enough to justify the drive from Seattle if I want to ski next weekend? I was leaning toward Whitefish but airfares went up overnight and now driving somewhere sounds like a better option.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by spknmike View Post
 

Only ~86% less snow at the Schiwzz than last year at this time. :(

 

Yeah, you need a machete to get through the brush in some places on the lower 1/2 of the backside.  South Bowl, Basin Express side of Ridge Run, and the upper reaches of the backside are skiing O-K, though.  I'd stay on the frontside.  Ya still gotta watch for the rogue root sticking up here and there....in some place more than others.  

 

I keep track of snowfall at my house on my wall calendar, and I checked 01-01-13 before throwing out last year's.  By New Year's Day last year, I'd had 50" of snow at my house in Sagle (about 15 miles S.E. of Schweitzer), and through yesterday this year, I've had 18".  

post #7 of 25
The crowds are starting to subside here, roughly half of yesterday I think. Snowed most of the morning and the forecast is for more tonight and tomorrow. 3 to 5 tonight, 3 to 7 tomorrow. We'll see. I don't think their accuracy history is very good. Conditions report:

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 

Do you think it's good enough to justify the drive from Seattle if I want to ski next weekend? I was leaning toward Whitefish but airfares went up overnight and now driving somewhere sounds like a better option.

 

I would think it's worth the drive. Schweitzer received 4" of new in the past 24 hours and the coming week has snow forecasted for three or four days. Like Freeride noted, it's been skiing fairly well and with the entire mountain open, there's virtually no crowds at all. Whitefish has more snow but if the cost of flying is becoming prohibitive, Schweitzer isn't a bad choice.

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 

Do you think it's good enough to justify the drive from Seattle if I want to ski next weekend? I was leaning toward Whitefish but airfares went up overnight and now driving somewhere sounds like a better option.


If Schweitzer is fully open, I find it a lot better ski hill than Whitefish (with less fog), so I'd suspect it'd be worth it - about 7 hours I guess over Stevens Pass and cut over towards Spokane on Highway 2? You could get the train to Sandpoint from Seattle too ;)

post #10 of 25
Quote:
about 7 hours I guess over Stevens Pass and cut over towards Spokane on Highway 2?

 

That would be the long way--anyone in the Seattle area would take I-90. Google says 5:38 from my house near Greenlake in Seattle to Schweitzer. Now that Whistler's gotten 11" in the last 48 hours, that's back in the mix too. We'll see what the next few days bring...

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 

That would be the long way--anyone in the Seattle area would take I-90. Google says 5:38 from my house near Greenlake in Seattle to Schweitzer. Now that Whistler's gotten 11" in the last 48 hours, that's back in the mix too. We'll see what the next few days bring...


good point - my buddy who drives that way lives near on highway 2 so Stevens is quicker for him.

 

Whistler is never a bad option - with snow ;)

post #12 of 25

Second on the I-90 route. Stevens Pass is the long route and it's essentially two-lane highway as opposed to an interstate that's much better maintained. 

 

Even with 11" of new at Whistler, I heard it's been pretty bleak so that likely isn't enough new snow to cover most of the good stuff. All that can change quickly, however. The storms that are predicted for Schweitzer next week will be hitting W/B first so it could get well pretty quickly.

post #13 of 25
Seven inches here. All the people who took off yesterday came back. :-(
post #14 of 25
Quote:

Even with 11" of new at Whistler, I heard it's been pretty bleak so that likely isn't enough new snow to cover most of the good stuff.

I know, but we go there enough that we know how to have fun there no matter what (our first trip of the year is always thanksgiving). And believe it or not it's cheaper to stay near the hill there than it is at Schweitzer (yes I know I can get a chain motel in Sandpoint for very little; for slopeside, I can get the Fairmont at Blackcomb for less than the Schweitzer hotels next weekend!). The priority is to NOT ski groomers, so we'll go wherever we hear the off piste is better. If it sucks at both, Whistler will win.

 

Quote:

All that can change quickly, however. The storms that are predicted for Schweitzer next week will be hitting W/B first so it could get well pretty quickly.

I see a little predicted but not much--I hope there are storms!

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

I know, but we go there enough that we know how to have fun there no matter what (our first trip of the year is always thanksgiving). And believe it or not it's cheaper to stay near the hill there than it is at Schweitzer (yes I know I can get a chain motel in Sandpoint for very little; for slopeside, I can get the Fairmont at Blackcomb for less than the Schweitzer hotels next weekend!). The priority is to NOT ski groomers, so we'll go wherever we hear the off piste is better. If it sucks at both, Whistler will win.

 

I see a little predicted but not much--I hope there are storms!

 

It looks like WB is set to get dumped on over the next 5-6 days. I'm seeing different forecast models predicting anywhere from 24" to as high as 52"! :snowfall 

Of course big time anti-jinx on the whole thing...:)

post #16 of 25

Christy - Off piste at Schweitzer this weekend should be very good. We're expecting a couple feet of new and we're already pretty well covered. I went out the gates last Saturday and we found good coverage and good snow where the wind hadn't effected it. But, as noted, if we're getting it, W/B is too. Either would likely be a decent call.

post #17 of 25
Sibhusky do you know if chair 5 will be upgraded to a quad when it is extended as part of future projects?
post #18 of 25
Five is being moved to East Rim. God forbid they add more seats. Hoping it never happens. The area is too small to support having its own lift.

Four is being extended. That's fine.

I'd rather they moved five to Hellroaring Peak.
post #19 of 25

Now this is a nice forecast! Worth the drive for sure. Except for the "very windy" parts, though I imagine there are spots that are sheltered.

 

post #20 of 25

Yes, lots of lee aspects that will be DEEEEEEEEEEP and soft. Only concern is chair shut-downs and waiting for control work to open some of the best spots.

post #21 of 25

Yeah, we were there yesterday...for an hour. The one lift they were running shut down as soon as we got near it. We poked around the base in the hope winds might die, but they weren't forecast to, and big slabs of snow were falling from roofs. Oh and it was raining.

 

On the bright side, Goldmember, your guide is great--we printed it and felt like we had a good handle on the mountain before we even got there.

post #22 of 25

Sorry, Christy. Too bad it didn't work out. We actually got to the triple before the Basin Express shut down and were up there until 11:00. It was foggy and very windy so we decided to bag it. We went over toward Stiles and suddenly, it cleared enough to see that we were standing above totally untracked snow. We had to ski to the bottom but it was good so we got our skins and skinned back to the triple and went five more runs. It was actually pretty good, once we could see it! They shut the triple down at 1:30 so that was our day but really, not too bad. Sorry your trip was a bust.

post #23 of 25

C'est la vie. I got food poisoning that day too so it was quite a weekend. We had a nice dinner at La Rossa in Sandpoint Friday night, at least.

 

How is Schweitzer in March or April? We still have our 2-day lift tickets to use.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

C'est la vie. I got food poisoning that day too so it was quite a weekend. We had a nice dinner at La Rossa in Sandpoint Friday night, at least.

 

How is Schweitzer in March or April? We still have our 2-day lift tickets to use.


march usually great,, and tehy typically close 1st or 2nd weekend in April with a lot of snow and fully open - 2 years ago they closed with a 200inch base!!

 

La Rosa Club is a great little place. The new pizza/beer should just one block up is really fun too - Bricks and Barley?

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

 

How is Schweitzer in March or April? We still have our 2-day lift tickets to use.

 

I'd say March is the Inland NW's best ski month. Good base, big storms and sunny days between.

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