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seattle skiing

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I will be going to an interview in redmond, WA some time in january (havent picked a date yet.) I am considering staying an extra day or two and checking out the skiing options there. What is the closest good resort to redmond and what are the transportation options to there? I'll probably have a rental car but I'm not sure yet. Anyone have good suggestions on how to plan this (if I can stay an extra day, and have choice about when my flight is out)?
post #2 of 7
Interview where?

As I remember, you'll be closest to either Stevens Pass or Alpental. I've heard that Alpental has some great terrain. I've seen Stevens in the summer and wouldn't mind skiing there either. Crystal Mt. is, call it, an hour and a half from where you'll be.

Post this later in the on The Hill Planning Section when you have definite dates and try to get together with some of the Seattle Area Bears. Perhaps then you wouldn't have to drive, which would be especially nice should the weather get sketchy. Rear wheel drive rental cars suck in snow/ice.
post #3 of 7
Your closest option is Snoqualmie Pass, where there are actually four areas. Alpental is the best for steep stuff. A couple of the areas up there (including Alpental) have night skiing, too. Snoqualmie Pass is on I-90 east of Seattle.

Stevens Pass is a great place to ski, but a little bit farther drive. Since you're going to be in Redmond it won't be bad, though. Probably 1.5 hours or a little under. Stevens has a higher base elevation than Snoqualmie, so usually gets better snow. Stevens also has night skiing.

Crystal is a great option, too, but the longest drive. It will take you two hours. Crystal is the largest area in the state and has some great terrain. They even run a bus from several locations around Seattle (including an Eastside bus that probably has a stop near Redmond) on the weekends. I took the bus a couple times last year. It's a decent deal. I forget the price, but the lift ticket is included.

Some people would probably suggest Mt. Baker, but it's about a three hour drive.

Unless chains are required your rental car shouldn't have a problem getting to any of these places. Rat suggested a real-wheel drive car would be bad, but I can't imagine too many rentals are RWD.

Have fun and keep us posted!
post #4 of 7
Since you don't know the area, and the drive I'd HIGHLY suggest Alpental. Easy drive, good terrain and great backcountry if you like that kind of stuff.

The guy that setup the alpental site has some good pictures and you can also check out the official Snoqualmie site

Stevens also gets VERY crowded on the weekends....
post #5 of 7
If you're looking at the weekend, make the drive to Crystal.
It's the best in WA in my opinion. Day tickets are good till 4PM. (Mayby 4:30) and thiers night skiing isn't very big.

If you're going to weekday it, Stevens is a nice spot, slightly closer to Redmond, but Saturdays are brutally crowded with ski schools in Jan.
Also, Stevens is charging the same for a lift ticket as Crystal, but with only half the mountain.

Alpental is the easiest access and closest plus it has some truely amazing steeps up top, but it's closed on Mondays.
The rest of Snoqualmie pass is not as aggessive.
Snoqualmie pass is also the lowest altitude of these 3, so the snow tends to be heavier. January is usually a good month for cold temps so you should be OK at any of them.

In your shoes, I'd stay the extra day, drive from Redmond to Enumclaw that night for a hotel after the Redmond meeting, ski Crystal, and then catch the last flight home.

FYI, Last flight on Alaska Air from Seattle to:
San Jose = 7PM
To Oakland = 8:40 PM
To SFO = 8:59

Happy trails, goood luck with the interviews, and good runs.
post #6 of 7
Tom K is right. Crystal is worth the drive. Awesome terrain and the sceenery is great too. If it isn't fogged in. Alpental is a must ski also. Really loved the terrain, steeps and the endless backcountry. Try to do them both if you can.

Tom, I have family that lives in North Bend. Great little town. I really enjoy it out there.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I will most likely be going there on a Friday, and hopefully will get a chance to check out one of the mountains you suggested.
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