Ski Washington Challenge - David's Diary

Blog documenting my progress on the Ski Washington Challenge

Saturday, December 09, 2006

49º North

Last night I made the drive to Spokane, leaving work a little early (thanks guys!) and arriving around 9pm. Some good friends were willing to take me in, so no sleeping in the car this weekend, mercifully. Considered my options for today and decided to make the trek to 49º North. Got up extra early and headed out to grab coffee for the drive, and made it to the parking lot comfortably early. Had time to get myself into my gear before the ticket windows opened, and made it to the line early enough to enjoy the first chair (after ski patrol, of course) on Bonanza, a comfy fixed double. Made a quick run down the pristine groomers and managed to score first chair on the second day of operations for the new #5 chair, the Sunrise Quad.

I had a chance to speak to the locals about the great improvement that the quad brought for 49 degrees. by making terrain that previously had a very long runout into an easily accessed bowl. Needless to say, the morning was busy on that side of the hill, so to get away from the crowds, I slipped over to the #4 chair, called simply "West Basin". The terrain on this side is a nice mix of smooth and steep, though it was still only lightly covered, as evidenced by the large number of bushes and trees poking up through the snow. It made for challenging runs on some of the terrain, dodging bushes, stumps and bumps. Overall, however, coverage was very decent, and the groomers were actually fantastic.

The morning was sunny and cool, and I managed to keep on my feet enough to make quite a few runs before lunch time, exploring the majority of the slopes before taking my meal break. Where the snow wasn't tracked out, the powder was still dry and light, and even the tracked out portions remained loose enough for cruising. There were some good gladed areas as well, although many were very well travelled, simply because the runs were so easy to access. After my stop for lunch, and a chocolate dunkel ale, I headed back out to find that it was snowing. The afternoon was spent enjoying freshies all over the hill, until cruising in a little after 3pm to head back into town.

Great area, nothing really terribly steep, but plenty of well-placed trees and wide-open cruisers. I also noted that the terrain park boasted a variety of brand-new rails, which the snowboarders seemed to all be enjoying. There was plenty at 49º to keep me busy for the day, and I left very satisfied with the quality of the snow and the variety of runs. The drive from Spokane was also surprisingly easy.


At 10:34 AM, Blogger styrofoamtoo said...

Hey there Dave!! Nice to hear from you. Fresh powder,a warm bed and first in line! Who could ask for more!?! Chocolate Dunkel? Who named that one? And what's up with all these questions? Glad you were satisfied with your 49 degrees experience. Have fun at Spokane, say HI to R. for us and we will talk with you soon. Love, The Big Katuna


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