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summit at snoqualamie

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My colleague is interested in trying this place out when he goes on a trip to visit the wife's family. In-laws say it is the closest place to them. How are conditions, and any advice? Good place for his son (5 yrs) to take a lesson?
How is the rental shop/is there one nearby he should try? He's an advanced skier but 'encumbered' unless there is a good kids program. He'd be going there just after the three day weekend. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 4
Conditions suck. The entire PacNW has suffered with one of the worst winters yet. I have a season pass there and have only been three times. Groomers are ok, off-piste not really an option this year.

If he does go, take the son to a lesson at Summit West or Summit Central areas, then go ski at the Alpental base area. The upper mountain is considered one of the most challenging areas in the region.

Base rentals suck there, but the demo center may have good skis for rent, though they weren't demoing them earlier this season due to ski conditions.

Stevens Pass and Crystal Mtn may be a better choice, as the elevation is higher and skiing reports seem better. But both are a little bit further than Summit from Seattle (1.5 or 2 hrs as opposed to 1 hr for the Summit)

You can get ski reports at nwsr.com and snowboardseattle.com. If you read them, you'll realize how horrible this season has been.

All have ski lesson programs, Summit is considered a learner's mountain.
post #3 of 4
The big issue for next week is going to be the probability of rain at the pass.
If it's raining in Seattle (next week's forcast looks like it will be) and the temp is in the mid-40's or higher, just stay indoors and do something more fun instead. If the temps are in the low 40's, it will most likely be snowing at Snoqualmie and would be OK to go up for the day.

The snow cover/depth conditions are grim compared to the last several years, but not hopeless. Snowpack is low meaning that anywhere off of the groomed runs is dicy. There are a few holes, but they are well marked. The grooming crew has been doing a great job moving what snow there is around to keep the runs skiable.

If he wants a true never ever hill, Summit West has a good ski school program, a beginners area with a slidewalk & chairlift.

Summit Central is for intermidiates. If the crossover is open, you can ski between West and Central and back again, but thats recommended for upper intermidiates and experts.

Summit East (Hyak) is open Fri/Sat/Sun and is another intermidiate hill, but it's always uncrowded.

North across the freeway is Alpental which is in a very different class that the 3 southside slopes. Upper level intermidiates and above as even it's beginner slope is too steep for a never-ever.

There is a shuttle bus service to everything open that day.
All 4 slopes are run by the same company and your lift ticket is good at them all so if you don't like where your at, you can try the next place.

Soo, pending the weather, I go along with DC's suggestion to drop the youngun off for lesson at West, then drive to Alpental for some steepness.
(We are talking like 2-3 minutes drive time between them)

Summit's homepage (With ski school info)

If he really wants a better choice, colder temps and a better chance for snow vs rain take the 2.5 hour drive to Crystal.
(Seattle temp of 50 = snow at Crystal)
They also have a specialty school for kids:
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you both. My guy really appreciates the information--he'll probably head out for at least a day but has decided not to bring his good skis, and will check out the lessons for his son.
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