November 19, 1995

Around Spokane Mount Spokane And 49 Degrees North Slopes Provide Convenient Relief For That Skiing Habit

Larry W. Earl Correspondent
 

Spokane-area residents have two nearby ski hills available for a quick day on the slopes.

Mount Spokane and 49 Degrees North are favorites of locals because of their convenient location, diverse terrain and inexpensive tickets.

The hills have powder bowls, moguls and well-groomed runs. Snowboarders are welcome and have their own snowparks for jumps and tricks.

Beginning skiers get expert attention to develop skills, intermediate skiers can find cruising runs, and advanced skiers can descend into challenging chutes and mogul fields.

Here is a brief description of the two community hills:

Mount Spokane

The best asset of this mountain, located in a state park, is its location. Spokane skiers lose little time in traveling there. The short driving distance and low ticket prices make a half-day or evening ski trip easy, quick and cost-effective.

The mountain provides a wide variety of groomed and powdered slopes, mogul fields and tree skiing.

Its development - or lack of - has been controversial. Spokane County commissioners created a Public Development Authority this year to attempt to wrest away the ski concession from a private company, but the plan has been challenged in court.

The ski hill operates five chair lifts. Chair Five services the beginner ski area and operates more slowly to accommodate novices. Chair One provides a 1,530-foot vertical rise to access some of the best black diamond areas in the region.

Mount Spokane has two day lodges. Two shuttle vehicles are available to transport skiers between the two lodges and parking lots.

Hours of operation for this season were not available at press time. However, in previous years the hill has been closed on Monday and Tuesday, except during holiday periods. It has been open for skiing from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Information: Geographic location: at Mount Spokane State Park, 30 miles from downtown Spokane. Tentative opening date: Thanksgiving weekend.

Lift tickets: The hill usually has the cheapest lift tickets in the region; however, this season’s prices were not available at press time. For season pass information, call (509) 468-7833.

Day care: None.

Ski instruction: Lessons for children and adults are available for all ability levels.

Nordic skiing: Cross-country ski trails are located in Mount Spokane State Park. Parking is available at the Linders Ridge Sno-Park or near Kirk’s Lodge.

Visitors to Linders Ridge Sno-Park must display a current Sno-Park Pass on their vehicles. A winter pass costs $20 and can be purchased at local outdoor specialty shops, such as REI and Mountain Gear, and at the state park headquarters. Washington has a reciprocity agreement with Idaho and Oregon, so valid stickers on vehicles licensed in those two states are honored at all Washington Sno-Parks and vice versa. The parking pass must be purchased in the state where the vehicle is licensed.

Mount Spokane State Park will set track when sufficient snow permits. For a nordic ski trail report, call (509) 238-4025. For park information, call Mount Spokane State Park at (509) 238-6845 or 456-4169.

Snow line: (509) 238-6223.

Mountain office: (509) 238-6281.

Tourism Information: Spokane Visitors Bureau, (509) 624-1341.

49 Degrees North

The community ski hill near Chewelah is a longer drive from Spokane than Mount Spokane, but skiers find the travel time well spent because of the friendly atmosphere and superbly groomed slopes.

The staff takes pride in the fact that this hill has been a family tradition and community affair for more than 60 years. The hill’s management has used an aggressive summer grooming program for years, and it has paid off with early opening dates.

Looks can be deceiving from the parking lot. The hill seems small, but once on the lifts, skiers can see a large amount of diverse terrain serviced by the four double chairs. There is something for everyone.

Silver Ridge is a popular cruising run because it follows the natural fall line of the mountain and is wide and well-groomed. Deep powder skiing enthusiasts head for the 120 acres of ungroomed snow in the East Basin. Telemarkers can find acres of ungroomed back-country terrain.

The hill is open on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Wednesday and Thursday. It will be open every day during the Christmas holiday season.

Information: Geographic location: 10 miles east of Chewelah. Tentative opening date: Thanksgiving weekend.

Lift tickets: Weekend and holiday period lift tickets: Adults (16 and older) are $25, seniors (62-72) and students with ID are $19, and juniors (7-15) are $17. Half-day rates are $19, $15 and $13, respectively. Half-day hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. Skiers under 7 and over 73 ski free.

Mid-week tickets are $15 for everyone.

A Chair Three ticket is available for the beginner hill for $15 for all day or $10 for half-day. Free beginner lessons are provided for ages 11 and up.

Day care: Day care is free during mid-week, non-holiday periods for children ages 2 and up. Reservations are required. Service for weekends and holidays is $3.50 per hour per child.

Ski instruction: Lessons can be tailored for all ages and skiing abilities. Skiers can call ahead to reserve equipment or lessons with a credit card.

Three racing programs are offered this season. For complete details on the 8- and 12-week programs, call the mountain office.

Nordic skiing: The resort has seven kilometers of free cross-country trails at the base of the ski hill that can be easily accessed from the parking lot.

Snow line: (509) 458-9208.

Mountain office: (509) 935-6649.

Tourism Information: Chewelah Visitor Information Center, (509) 935-8991.

MEMO: Two sidebars appeared with the story: 1. WHAT’S NEW What’s new at Spokane-area hills: Mount Spokane The snowpark area and its features have been expanded for snowboarders for this season.

49 Degrees North Two new runs have been added for this season. Cy’s Run will offer intermediate and advanced skiers an additional 68 acres of open glade skiing. Powder Keg will provide access to 40 acres of tree skiing for the advanced skier. The terrain park for snowboarders has been enlarged to provide kickers, rails and an improved half-pipe.

2. GOOD DEALS 49 Degrees North Skiers can show a current season pass from any other ski area and receive a 30 percent discount on a full-day lift ticket on any weekend or holiday period.

Two sidebars appeared with the story: 1. WHAT’S NEW What’s new at Spokane-area hills: Mount Spokane The snowpark area and its features have been expanded for snowboarders for this season.

49 Degrees North Two new runs have been added for this season. Cy’s Run will offer intermediate and advanced skiers an additional 68 acres of open glade skiing. Powder Keg will provide access to 40 acres of tree skiing for the advanced skier. The terrain park for snowboarders has been enlarged to provide kickers, rails and an improved half-pipe.

2. GOOD DEALS 49 Degrees North Skiers can show a current season pass from any other ski area and receive a 30 percent discount on a full-day lift ticket on any weekend or holiday period.


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