Skiers and snow boarders can rejoice as it is that time of year again and the slopes are covered with skiers and boarders looking for the next great run down the well groomed slopes of the Pacific Northwest.
Located less than 75 minutes from Seattle, Stevens Pass offers a great variety of runs for skiers and boarders of all abilities from the seasoned vet to those just putting on their boots for the first time.
The resort had free parking and it was a easy walk from the lot to the base of the resort and even toting skis and poles, there was little difficulty making it to our starting point.
The resort is complete with a Nordic center, Pro Shop, rental area, and plenty of restaurant, bars, snack areas and shops.
This is ideal as no matter how well you prepare, items from sunglasses to chapstick always seem to have been left behind and you do not want your day hampered by glare and chapped lips.
After walking to the ticket line, my assistant and I were ready to go in a few short minutes. The helpful staff was able to equip her with the needed rentals. In less than 15 minutes from our arrival she had her lift ticket, ski and boot rentals, and was ready to go.
If you have your own equipment as I do, I was able to be on the slopes in 5 minutes from arrival as all I needed to do was secure my shows in a locker, click on my boots and skis, and I was ready to go.
The slopes are well groomed and attractive and have good visibility. I generally take a few runs on the Daisy slope before heading up the mountain on the lifts to ensure my boots are secured and comfortable and locked properly into the bindings.
The Hogsback lift is a good bet for advanced skiers as it is a high-speed trip to the top that allows skiers a choice of runs of various skills from Double Diamond to the more basic. I ran down both and found the Double Diamond run to be a real challenge with hip deep poweder and steep drops.
The more casual runs offered amble space and allowed for a more leisurely run that was enjoyable.
I found the food to be a mixed bag as what was listed as chicken nachos was a plate of gluten with imitation cheese plastered to stale chips. Thankfully the burgers and soup were fine. While the prices were on par with inflated theme park prices for food, the quality was hit and miss.
What sets Stevens Pass apart from other resorts is not just the great staff and runs it is the fact that boarders and skiers exist well on the same runs unlike other places I have covered where boarders run wild and often are a hindrance to skiers.
If you want a break from the slopes, I highly suggest Tube City where you can ride a tube down three different runs at amazing speeds. For more information check out www.stevenspass.com .