Ski Washington Challenge - David's Diary

Blog documenting my progress on the Ski Washington Challenge

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie is essentially four different ski areas that merged into one complex. The economies of scale are unquestionable, and Snoqualmie is a resort of variations. We explored three areas today, beginning in Summit West, the middle area. To the east, Summit Central, and then across Interstate 90 to visit Alpental. Beginning at West made sense, because it gave us a chance to start with the relatively easy, well groomed terrain of that area, where a snowboarder on her fourth day of snowboarding could feel comfortable and really explore. Beginning with "Little Thunder" we worked our way from green terrain, then to blue on "Pacific Crest" and finally to black diamonds on "Wild Side". Of course, I didn't let on that the terrain was rated black diamond until she was past the hard part. Not bad - a black diamond run on the fourth day boarding.

After that series of runs and mutliple traverses, my companion was ready to take a break, so we grabbed the shuttle to go to Central, where she settled in for some hot chocolate and a muffin while I headed off to hit some moguls, run some trees, and catch some hits in the terrain park. Known as "Central Park", the terrain park was spacious and well laid out, with a few medium-large jumps supplementd by smaller sets of jumps that were more to my liking. There was also a generous assortment of boxes and rails, although I mostly was using these as jumps, too. Central had only one express quad serving the park, and as this was the first week of operation for the park, which was very popular. I limited myself to one run to avoid the wait for the lift, and took the rest of my runs at Central on the Triple 60 side, checking out the trees and moguls on that side of the hill.

Soon enough, it was lunch time, and rather than wait for the line in the cafeteria at Central, we hopped the shuttle again to visit Alpental. Being the most difficult of the areas, it was not likely to have a long wait for food. My friend took video of me slowly descending the moguls on my first run at Alpental, and then we stopped for a bite. After eating and visiting with a friendly local skier, I had an idea of where to head on the top of the mountain. We headed out for a few runs together on the lower lifts, and then I headed up to the top to take a couple of runs from the Edelweiss chair.

This experts only chair provides access to the backside of the mountain, and has some spectacular views as well as incredible runs. I took my first run in Edelweiss bowl, a beautiful little bowl right below the chair that funnels down between two high ridges where tracks from backcountry skiers were clearly visible. This route down a steep bowl was moderately technically challenging, with a very entertaining runout. My second run from the top, just before they closed the lift, was a double-black called Breakover that runs along the tree line, giving access to small glades and highly technical tree routes. The run also included multiple consecutive three to six foot drops on narrow tracks through trees, making it one of the most technically taxing runs I have experienced.

I cut across the hill to enjoy "Ingrid's Inspiration" on my way back down to the lodge. I had to stop and rest after that, and took in the view of the lodge below. After descending through the mogul field to the lodge, I landed just at eye level with my friend, flat on my face. I was just too tired to hold on for those last three moguls, and fell over on my way to them. I rolled on into the next mogul and then stopped at the patio to unstrap for the day. I could tell I was finished, and went inside to rest for a few moments and discuss the great weekend of snow and sun with my companion before catching the shuttle back to the car and heading for home.


At 10:15 AM, Blogger styrofoamtoo said...

Dear Dave,
Sounds like you had the best time yet on your snowboarding adventures. Your blog is great and really gives the feel of being there. Will we get to see the video of you and the moguls? Take care. Tunababe

At 11:55 AM, Blogger quirkygirl18 said...

Hey, sounds like you have been having a blast out there! I never would have guessed that there was so much variety at the different mountains. Well keep having fun out there, and we'll join up with you sometime next year :)



Post a Comment

<< Home