Roundup of Ski Area Improvements

The News Tribune down in Tacoma has a great roundup of what is new at PNW area resorts, What’s new at Northwest Ski areas as has the Seattle Times, Changes on the slopes should give skiers a lift

Here’s what’s new close to home:

Mount Baker: “Mount Baker Ski Area spent $3.5 million to build a new midmountain warming hut called the Raven Hut Lodge. The two-story lodge’s design was inspired by 1920s Cascadia architecture and can only be reached on skis or snowboard. Replacing the Raven Hot Café, the lodge has room for 300 people and will offer full food service, restrooms and two fireplaces.” – News Tribune

Mount Baker’s site has some photos of the new lodge:

Crystal: “Crystal Mountain is opening its mountaintop RDL Test Center this season. RDL stands for Rossignol, Dynastar and Lange, the companies whose gear will be featured in the center. Try the latest equipment for one run or all day and swap gear as often as you like. Prices are $60 for skis boots and poles or snowboard, bindings and boots; $48 for skis only, or snowboards and bindings only; or $30 for boots only.” – News Tribune

Seattle Times reports, “Five new gondola cabins are set to arrive in early spring at a cost of $200,000, bringing the count up to 27 cabins. The gondola cable can carry 36 cabins.

Other changes include extensive tree limbing and stump removal on Upper Exterminator and Bull Run, a new event plaza in the base area, and rock work at the bottom of the gondola.”

Snoqualmie: “The Summit at Snoqualmie made several changes for this season including the installation of a 210-foot moving carpet for beginners at Summit West. The Hog Wild Trail serviced by the Silver Fir Express at Summit Central was regraded. A new Snow Cat and winch system will enable the ski area to groom more of the Silver Fir terrain. Across Interstate 90 at Alpental, a new ski patrol station, which will be open to the public, has been added near the top of Armstrong Express.” – News Tribune

For your summer mountain enthusiasts you’ll be glad to know that Obama Signs Ski Area Summer Use Bill Into Law:

It amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to permit activities beyond the alpine and Nordic skiing already allowed in ski areas on public lands. Such uses would include zip lines, mountain coasters and alpine slides as well as mountain biking and concerts that some resorts already offer on adjacent private land, but this new law allows such facilities on National Forest Service land leased to the resorts with Forest Service approval.

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