Pass Skiing: The excitement of going down hill fast

The emphasis is on fun in the snow this year at The Summit at Snoqualmie.

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 2:29am
  • Life

The emphasis is on fun in the snow this year at The Summit

at Snoqualmie.

And with modernized facilities, low-cost passes and a

fleet of ski toys, all visitors need is some snow to get in on the

fun, just 20 miles east of North Bend via Interstate 90.

Booth Creek Ski Holdings Inc. invested $10.5 million

into improvements at the ski area the last two years, said

Joanne Nelson, director of marketing and sales.

“This year, we’re toning it down a bit,” Nelson said.

“We’re concentrating on the experience up here. … We’re getting

back to the fun and excitement of going down the hill.”

The experience should be better this year, thanks to

four new groomers. The new groomers boost the fleet to 14,

promising better-groomed snow on the slopes.

“Our skiers and snowboarders are going to

find the snow quality is better than in years past,” Nelson said.

“We can’t (raise) the altitude. What we can do is (improve) the

quality of the product. What you’re going to see is

a professionally groomed area.

“Booth Creek already improved The Summit ski

areas. The ski slopes are under one owner and marketed as a

single entity. Combined, the four areas give skiers a variety of

terrain. About half of Alpental, with 2,200 vertical

feet of runs, is in advanced terrain. Summit West (the old Snoqualmie

Summit), Summit Central (former Ski Acres) and Summit East

(once called Hyak) all have about 1,000 vertical feet and are

mostly intermediate or beginner runs.

Last year, Booth Creek made $6.5 million in improvements

to the ski areas, including two new high-speed detachable quad

lifts and two “magic carpets,” which are snow-level conveyor belts

for novice skiers.

Nelson said one emphasis this year is on value. The

Summit offers ski bargains through its season passes, topped by

an unlimited pass ($329 through October), a less expensive

pass that is good all except holidays and some weekends, and a

midweek pass.

“We want to make it affordable,” Nelson said. “We want

to concentrate on a really good experience for everyone.”

Since The Summit has one of the biggest night skiing

programs in North America, the midweek passes are an especially

good deal, Nelson said. To enhance the night skiing, Nelson said,

Summit West will be closed during the day on Wednesdays

and Thursdays to leave better snow conditions for evening skiers.

The Summit rents out snow toys, including snow bikes

(like a BMX bike) and uni-skis, a sit-down apparatus in which

riders lean to control it.

“That’s a great way to learn how to get down the

slopes,” Nelson said.

The Summit offers rental packages, including a

special price for equipment and lessons for newcomers. The

Learning Center offers lessons in downhill and cross-country

skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Snowboarders are allowed on all slopes, plus there are

special half-pipe areas, one of which Nelson said is the longest in

the Northwest.

The nordic (cross country) area has more than 50

kilometers of groomed trails, part of it lighted. There is room for

both parallel and skating styles. Rentals and lessons are available.

The Summit also has an inner tubing area _

Mount Tubemore _ with rentals available. The tubing area is open

on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

For additional information, phone The Summit at (425)

434-7669 or visit the Web site

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