Sure it’s spring and skiers are trading their Gore-Tex for Hawaiian shirts and shorts. The SkiZer isn’t quite ready to give up the best part of ski season — the powder day memories. Check out this list of powder shots from a stellar season of fluff.
1. Bobby and Nancy Chutes >> Stevens Pass
Access: Off the top of the 7th Heaven chairlift, take a short hike up to a gate leading to a steep drop that returns to the chair base.
Why it’s great: The harrowing 7th Heaven chairlift seems to go straight up a cliff, which is a thrill in itself. Not many skiers hit the north-facing chutes, where the entry can be a little tricky. Once in, skiers will generally find excellent snow quality and steep, untracked pow.
2. Throne Chutes >> Crystal Mountain
Access: Take a traverse along the ridge off Chair 6 in Campbell Basin at Crystal Mountain. At the saddle, shoulder your skis for a 10-minute hike to the top of the Throne.
Why it’s great: The chutes are steep, but not too narrow, leaving room to find your own line. Hikers on this route often keep going into the South Backcountry, leaving the Throne just for you.
3. Pan Face >> Mt. Baker Ski Area
Access: At the top of Chair 6 and Chair 1 at Mt. Baker, a wide-open face winds around a cliff band overlooking Heather Meadows.
Why it’s great: The face starts as a low-angle glade and gradually gets steeper. Hugging the cliffs (skier’s right) brings you to steep, and often-untouched powder terrain in a picturesque basin.
4. Bomber Cliffs >> Mission Ridge
Access: Just off the Boundary Road run, a traverse leads skiers along the beautiful cliffs overlooking the ski area. Thrill-seekers drop into the narrow cliff chutes, but keep going and you’ll find a open powder run back into Bomber Bowl.
Why it’s great: If nothing else, the scenery is spectacular. But the effort to get there is rewarded with freshies at the end of your travels.
5. West Ridge >> White Pass
Access: A traverse off the Couloir Express chairlift in Paradise Basin leads skiers into lovely, gladed tree-skiing. From the ridge top, pick your line.
Why it’s great: At the top of Paradise Basin (elevation 6,500 feet), the snow remains cold and protected. The lightly-treed terrain leads skiers into a maze of powder drops that hold their quality days after a storm.
6. Schluct >> Alpental
Access: Just off the top of Chair 2 (Edelweiss).
Why it’s great: This steep, narrow chute is challenging on any day. If you can hit it for first tracks after a storm, the turns down into Edelweiss Bowl will be soft and fluffy. Come back later on a windy day and Schluct will refresh with soft blown-in powder.