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Stevens Pass?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We live in the PNW and regularly ski Mt. Baker, Whistler, Sun Peaks and Silver Star. But, we've never skied Steven's Pass.

How does this area stack up against others in terms of terrain, layout and snow quality?
post #2 of 4
I can only compare it to Baker. I've skied at Whistler only in the summer and have not been to Sun Peaks and Silver Star. Hopefully, others can give a more rounded view. Stevens Pass has somewhat drier snow. Baker excels in terrain, layout and "character". Stevens main advantage is that it is quicker to get to for folks in the Seattle/Eastside area. Just my opinion.
post #3 of 4
I grew up skiing Stevens and have been a Baker regular for several years. I've also skied Whistler, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks several times each. Comparing Stevens to Baker is probably best since they are costal and both are day areas.

Stevens Pass caters to families and intermediate skiers and boarders. It has better snow than Baker on average, but not quite as much. It still is the #4 ski area in the US for snow totals, however. It is extremely crowded on weekends during January and February but is not too bad any other time. Weekdays are great.

The parking sucks. You have to walk a long way. They have a lot of area for night skiing, but mostly on blue groomers.

The advanced skiing is good and varied though it does not compare in size with the groomers. There is plenty to keep you busy for a couple of days. The best runs are off of 7th Heaven, Double Diamond, and under Southern Cross, though there are many more if you have a local guide or you just nose around. Once you get off of the groomed runs what crowds there are disappear.

Stevens is not a destination area. There is no lodging at the pass and not much of anything in Skykomish either, though there are a bunch of cabins there, mine being one of them, and one motel. It's 2 1/2 hours from Bellingham.

The operation of the ski area itself is corporate in flavor. Sort of a McSkiArea. The customer service is very good. The employees aren't high or distracted and they are doing their job professionally. It has none of that special character that makes Baker unique.

I'll be at my cabin for several days around Christmas and New Year's Day. Maybe I can give you a tour if you would like.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Posaune: As usual, you posts are informative, incisive, and well-written. Your description provides an accurate assessment of what to expect. Thanks!

As for a trip later in the month, we're up for it! I'm thinking of bringing wifey and daughter for an overnight trip to Steven's pass (staying nearby) towards the end of the month.

We'd be delighted to benefit from your experience and guiding services.

I like Baker a lot, but I find the runs truncated and off-kilter - short shots with sudden changes in direction and terrain. Such transitions are good for skill development, but sometimes I just like to see where I'm headed and let it go.

I'll PM you when the dates are firmed up.

I know you dislike Sun Peaks, but we'll be there from the 15 to 19, if you're in the neighborhood.
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