November 22, 2009 in Awayfinder destinations

49 Degrees North

Judy Fulkerson Awayfinder Correspondent
 
Courtesty of 49 Degrees North photo

49 Degrees North, photo taken January 2009
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

This hill may not be the steepest you’ve ever skied (and certainly not the most expensive!), but 49 Degrees North has once again ramped it up with the largest ski resort expansion in the state this year.

Most of the new terrain at Angel Peak is now open and ready for the 2009-2010 season, says Director of Sales and Marketing Brad Northrup.

He adds the project involved creation of seven new runs plus selective thinning of 170 acres to create more of the legendary glades the ski hill is famous for.

Northrup says the upper half of Angel Peak will require about a 10-minute hike, while the remainder of the new runs are accessible via chair 4 and the existing Lost Dutchman run which cuts across the middle of Angel Peak. A chairlift all the way to the summit is planned for 2011.

Located 42 miles from Spokane at 3311 Flowery Trail Rd. in Chewelah, 49 Degrees North has been a popular destination for skiers (and now snowboarders) of all ages since the 1930s. With a vertical slope of almost 2,000 feet and 75 trails, wide open, groomed runs, moguls, dry power and hundreds of acres of tree skiing are the draw here. Trail breakdown is 30 percent novice, 40 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced and 5 percent expert. In addition, a terrain park offers rails, boxes and hits.

About two years ago, 49 Degrees North added a Nordic Center adjacent to the North Alpine Area. The Center includes 16 kilometers of groomed trails with skate lane and tracks. Snowshoeing is also available. At the trail head of the Nordic Center sits a cozy yurt, the perfect place to take a break and a snack.

The Nordic Center is usually open Friday through Sunday and holidays. Trails are groomed during those times.

Contacted at the end of October during a brisk sale of season passes, Northrup touted other improvements to the hill. The deck of the day lodge has been doubled in size and lighting added. Also, Northrup says, the resort is ready for crowds of skiers and boarders and their rigs.

Following complaints from the US Forest Service regarding too many cars squeezed along Flowery Trail Rd., 49 Degrees North has added a third parking lot.

That said, you still won’t find any long lift lines or annoying freeway noise here, just wide open spaces framed by amazing vistas of the Pend Oreille River Valley and the Kettle range.

Consistently named the most family friendly resort in the Pacific Northwest region by OntheSnow.com, Northrup says 49 Degrees North is indeed a great place to bring the kids. “The layout of the mountain is very conducive to them, with the large amount of beginner trails. We also keep the intermediate trails groomed very well, and the bunny hill is well segregated from the other runs.

“We have excellent resort amenities to take care of families,” Northrup avows. These include a ski school, with group and private lessons for all levels.

49 Degrees North traditionally opens the first weekend of December and operates Friday through Tuesday each week, with the area dark on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For the holiday period commencing Dec. 21 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2010, the resort is open seven days a week, including Christmas, from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Four days of night skiing are also scheduled. These are Dec. 19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 16 from 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m., and Feb. 13 from 4 p.m-8 p.m.

While there are no on-mountain accommodations at the ski hill, he says the Chewelah Peak Learning Center located about a mile away offers dorm-style lodgings which are becoming very popular with young people and groups of skiers. “It’s gaining in momentum as a great way to go skiing on the cheap,” he notes.

For those who prefer larger or more upscale digs, a number of ski and stay packages at motels in and around Chewelah are available.

For more information on 49 Degrees North, click on ski49.com or call (509) 935-6649.

49 Degrees North—quick facts

Location: 3311 Flowery Trail Rd., Cheweleh

Total patrolled acres: 2,325

Average annual snowfall: 301”

Elevation-top: 5774’

Vertical drop: 1851’

Base: 3923’

Number of trails: 75

Trail breakdown: 30 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced, 5 percent expert.

Cross Country trails: 16 KM (10 miles)

Lifts: 1 quad, 4 double chairs, 1 surface lift

New this year: Seven new runs as part of Angel Peak expansion, additional gladed areas created by thinning of trees, new parking lot.

Contact: ski49.com or call (509) 935-6649


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