Summit West @ The Summit at Snoqualmie
10 December 2000
After sleeping fitfully Saturday night with dreams of turns running through my
head, I awoke Sunday morning to the glorious news that it was dumping in the
Cascades. All told, the Summit received 8 inches Saturday night and another 4-6
inches during the day. And it wasn't the typical Cascade cement either. It was
light, fluffy pow baby!
Greg Prior and I had agreed that if he didn't drag his sorry butt out of bed to
meet at my place in North Bend for breakfast then I would call him from the
Summit. Needless to say, I made the trip alone (ha!).
Although we received about 2 inches Friday night in North Bend, it was merely
raining at our place. However, at Mile Post 34 I began to see the change from
rain to snow. By Mile Post 38 it was coming down pretty hard. The road was
fine until the chain up area and then it was pretty much packed snow and ice.
Fortunately, I beat the flatlanders and made it to Summit West without trouble.
After parking, I was amazed to see that the snow in the parking lot was about
boot height and, as mentioned previously, sweet pow.
I called Greg to tell him to get his arse up there quickly and headed for the
line on the Pacific Crest Quad. By then, it was snowing pretty hard and you
could sense the anxiousness in the crowd. A small group of us began to rag on
the Lift Ops to let us on even though it was only 8:45. No such luck. However,
they did let us on at 8:55. So with great anticipation I hopped on the lift
only to have the damn thing stop THREE times for about 5 minutes a stop before
it dumped me out at the top.
This being my first time skiing Summit West during the winter, I had no idea
where to go. For those of you who haven't been to Summit West - it is pretty
much a beginner or intermediate hill. It is basically one big, non-steep bowl.
Anyway, I did what Vermonters do best and took the road less traveled. It was a
very sweet first run in Washington. All I had to do was sit back and let the
newly acquired Elan Detonators do the work. I got quite a few chests shots on
the way down and basically had a blast.
The line at the Pacific Crest Trail was getting pretty big so I moved over to
the Dodge Ridge Double. Hardly a soul was on this lift so I was able to catch
some more freshies on Dodge Ridge. Although the line started to grow a bit, I
was able to get about 7 runs in before meeting Greg at 10:45.
I took this picture at 10:00 near the top of the Dodge Ridge Chair. As you can
see, there were still some freshies to be had. By 11:00, the crowd was starting
to become rather large. So, Greg and I headed over to the Easy Rider Chair.
Although this Chair's Vert was painfully lacking, Greg and I were able to have
some fun in a powder field called Wild Side to the Skier's right. On the first
run, Greg was ripping it up in the pow hitting a few bumps until he hit a "dip
in the road" and decided to put it down right there. I made the mistake of
stopping to, uh, laugh - I mean, check on him. With the powder, it was tough to
get going on the almost flat bottom portion of the run. Ergo, from then on out
we made a point to keep the momentum to the lift.
After a few runs on the Wild Side, we went back over to the Lodge for lunch and
to meet with some of Greg's co-workers from Western Wireless. Most of them were
beginners, but one, Chris, was very good. He is your typical West Coast skier.
I think he may have graduated from the Randy McDole school of bowl skiing. When
I asked him how many turns he usually makes down a run he answered "three". He
is a big fella so he gets down the hill in a hurry - kind of like Mike Giusti
(feet together, nice GS turns). Anyway, I digress. He obliged Greg and I and
followed us into a mini-bowl from the top of the Pacific Crest Chair to the top
of Julie's Chair. It was a nice little bowl despite having some twigs sticking
up here and there.
We took a couple more runs in the area and then I took off shortly before 2:00.
The lines were beginning to get too long for my taste. They brought back
memories of Bolton Valley. It was tough to leave, however, as the snow and the
temperatures were coming down a bit making the snow on the trail very nice to
The Dodge Ridge Chair
All in all a great day. The Summit still needs another 1-2 feet to open Summit
Central and probably another 2-3 feet to open Alpental. At one point the clouds
opened up and we were able to see Chair 2 at Alpental. The Edelweis Bowl looked
good but the run under the Chair needed a bit more snow. Unfortunately, there
is no snow in the forecast so next weekend may be a little rough. It looks like
Greg picked a great time to go on a cruise!