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Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie on weekend while in Seattle for the week

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Please move this to a different section if this is the wrong place for it.

I need to be in Seattle for Tuesday- friday in February.
I was thinking about flying in on the weekend and leaving Sunday to give me 2 weekends and a money to hit crystal and The Summit at Snoqualmie.

I have the max pass so I have 5 days to use at either mountain.

I noticed The Summit at Snoqualmie has night skiing.

Could I take an uber to those mountains or a taxi or shuttle from down town Seattle and make it to a hotel there due to snow on the road?

Would a fwd rental car be able to make it to these two mountains?

Also any tips on which one is more weekend friendly or which one to spend more time at ? I'll be flying in and out of seaTac.

I have never skiing in Seattle the closest thing to there was whistler or revelstoke both of which could be sketchy in a fwd rental car due to Avalanche blasting (more so Revelstoke than whistler).

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuik View Post

I noticed The Summit at Snoqualmie has night skiing. The Summit has lots of night skiing, but it's pretty tame.  Summit Central has the best terrain, but it's nothing to write home about.  Alpental has night skiing, but it's limited to the lower chair so the best stuff is not available.  Still, it's better than West, Central, or East.

Could I take an uber to those mountains or a taxi or shuttle from down town Seattle and make it to a hotel there due to snow on the road? Not exactly sure what you're asking. I don't know about Uber or taxi service from downtown Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass.  It may be available, it's about a 45 minute drive.  Were you asking about staying at a hotel on slope?  Not clear.

Would a fwd rental car be able to make it to these two mountains? This depends on the day you go.  Sometimes yes, sometimes maybe not if chains are required and you don't have any.  I've driven a FWD car for years to ski and never had to turn back, though things have gotten dicey a few times.

Also any tips on which one is more weekend friendly or which one to spend more time at ? I'll be flying in and out of seaTac. Nothing in the Seattle area is weekend friendly in February.  Spend all of your time at Crystal and, if you like steeps, Alpental. 
 
post #3 of 13

@yuik : you can always go to any subforum using the drop down under Forums in the menu bar in Desktop mode.  For trip planning, Resorts or General Skiing seems to work best.  Trip Reports are generally for threads during or after a trip, hopefully with pics.

 

post #4 of 13

According to Uber's website, they will, but it's awfully expensive. And I bet that Uber drivers aren't prepared to deal with snowy roads. 

 

Crystal has other transportation options: http://crystalmountainresort.com/other-transportation/

 

So does Snoqualmie: http://www.summitatsnoqualmie.com/plan-your-trip/buses-and-shuttles

 

Pousane gave you great advice already. Keep in mind that Snoqualmie is our lowest elevation area, and though it's proximity to the city is nice, conditions are generally not as good as you'd find at Crystal.

 

Driving from Seattle to Whistler is not at all sketchy in a front wheel drive. The road is very low elevation the whole way and there is not avy risk on the highway. In recent years I've been going up ~4 times a year and typically drive my Prius. 

post #5 of 13

There is lodging at the base at Crystal.  If you want to stay put for a weekend, that's the place to go, both weekends.  Crystal is big enough that you wouldn't get bored. The more advanced you are, the more fun it is. There isn't a whole lot in the way of mellow cruisers, there is a lot of interesting and challenging terrain, without even getting into inbounds book packing at Southback.  

 

I think there is one hotel at Snoqualmie.  Christy already mentioned the trade off between easy to get to but lower elevation.  Alpental has the most interesting terrain of the Snoqualmie areas, actually some amazing terrain at Edelweiss Bowl and Internationale.  The other three of the Summit areas are pretty blah. 

 

If you wanted to do some night skiing, take day at Stevens and stay for the evening, probably the best terrain for night skiing. My suggestion is to spend all the daytime at the backside and 7th Heaven, since those are closed at night.  Absolutely no lift lines in the evening, even on a busy weekend. 

 

Keep in mind Crystal, Snoqualmie and Stevens are all within a two hour drive of Seattle, and usually not difficult driving.  Snoqualmie is the easiest and fastest, along I-90.  Crystal is a pretty flat drive along SR410 until the last 6 miles on the Crystal Mount Blvd.  Still not that bad a drive.  I used to do that in an old VW bus, without snow tires or chains (then again, I was pretty clueless as a young adult).  Stevens, similar to Crystal, mostly level driving along US 2 until you get to the last 6-10 miles.  

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

 

Driving from Seattle to Whistler is not at all sketchy in a front wheel drive. The road is very low elevation the whole way and there is not avy risk on the highway. In recent years I've been going up ~4 times a year and typically drive my Prius. 

 

I guess much depends on when you go. Last year we hit a storm on the way up. It was a Sunday night. Only our AWD and a couple others were on the road up. Apparently it was taking folks like 5+ hours from Whistler to Vancouver. And there was a pileup involving 50 or 60 cars... I know of friends stuck in a few other similar events. 

 

The great tragedy for us was that the storm dumped huge amounts of 18 degree F snow. Then the temps rocketed in the wee hours of the morning  and we skied glop. Sigh.

 

It s a decent bet that folks will have good road to Whistler. But far from a sure thing. That said, such a great mountain(s).

post #7 of 13
Well, yes, you need to check conditions and weather. Snow does happen on the road. But it's just not what I'd call a sketchy drive with avy risk, which is how the OP characterized it, and I think it's the easiest drive to a ski area in the PNW. If the OP is worried about poor road conditions that's the last road he should worry about, though again he again he should still check conditions.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

Well, yes, you need to check conditions and weather. Snow does happen on the road. But it's just not what I'd call a sketchy drive with avy risk, which is how the OP characterized it, and I think it's the easiest drive to a ski area in the PNW. If the OP is worried about poor road conditions that's the last road he should worry about, though again he again he should still check conditions.

yeah sorry for not being explicit. 

 

I was wondering could i theoretically make it there even if its at 30 mph in a FWD hertz rental or should i look into a AWD shuttle or get an AWD suv or awd something from say relayRides instead of hertz. 

 

it sounds like ill be fine. I am just comparing it to say the canyon roads to Alta and snowbird in utah which gets sketchy due to the grade which is why people suggest shuttle services over fwd rentals for just 2 people. 

 

it sounds like this is a managable drive in a fwd rental. I guess i wasnt asking how difficult of a drive is it, I was asking will I make it there worst case scenario. 

post #9 of 13

Worst case scenario, no, you won't make it to any ski area here in a front wheel drive. Actually worst case scenario no vehicle would make it; we do get such snow sometimes that roads/highways are closed. There are also times when chains are required for all vehicles, even 4WD. So you'd be out of luck then. But weather and road conditions can be looked up before you set out. If there's a winter storm warning forecast, or there was just one and you look at the WSDOT website and highways are a mess, then abort mission. Honestly the tires on rentals can be so crappy I wouldn't trust a 4WD rental either.  

 

Or just come back here and ask us, if you're having trouble figuring out road conditions or where to go given the forecast. 

 

I have driven a front wheel drive rental to Alta. And a rental Prius in CO. In fact I've never rented a 4WD when traveling to ski. In most ski areas, at most times, this is fine.We just check the weather in advance to make sure it will be fine. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

Worst case scenario, no, you won't make it to any ski area here in a front wheel drive. Actually worst case scenario no vehicle would make it; we do get such snow sometimes that roads/highways are closed. There are also times when chains are required for all vehicles, even 4WD. So you'd be out of luck then. But weather and road conditions can be looked up before you set out. If there's a winter storm warning forecast, or there was just one and you look at the WSDOT website and highways are a mess, then abort mission. Honestly the tires on rentals can be so crappy I wouldn't trust a 4WD rental either.  

Or just come back here and ask us, if you're having trouble figuring out road conditions or where to go given the forecast. 

I have driven a front wheel drive rental to Alta. And a rental Prius in CO. In fact I've never rented a 4WD when traveling to ski. In most ski areas, at most times, this is fine.We just check the weather in advance to make sure it will be fine. 
One other question, I am from the super liberal east coast so studless snows are the best one can use here.

If I was to try and buy chains for tires where would I find them at a gas station or somewhere else (Walmart home depot?)

Thanks again for the info
post #11 of 13

For my .02, modern studies winter tires are the win here. Still, most gas stations and auto parts stores en route carry cables &/or chains. I'd imagine you could add them to your car rental as well for a few bucks a day - but I am not 100% sure on that.

 

Per what Christy said - roads to the mountains here are often in quite good shape. And you will know when they are not if you pay attention. In general, a basic AWD with modern all season tires will do more than nicely most of the time. Highway Patrol normally will wave AWDs with M&S tires right on by on chain days. If roads are too bad for that scenario, you better be pretty good in snow and have a serious vehicle.

post #12 of 13
Rental car agencies usually explicitly prohibit you from using chains, but what they don't know won't hurt then. You can buy then at any auto parts store and then return them if you don't use them.
post #13 of 13

I may have missed someone else saying it, but it is required in Washington to have chains in your vehicle when operating in the mountains in winter.  Make of it what you will.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie on weekend while in Seattle for the week