White Pass Ski Area

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White Pass Ski Area
Looking northward, down the liftline
Looking northward, down the liftline
Location White Pass, Washington,
 United States
Nearest city Yakima - 50 mi (80 km)
Tacoma - 110 mi (180 km)
Coordinates 46°38′07″N 121°23′15″W / 46.63528°N 121.38750°W / 46.63528; -121.38750 (White Pass Ski Area)
Vertical 2,000 ft (610 m)
Top elevation 6,500 ft (1,980 m)
Base elevation 4,500 ft (1,370 m)
Skiable area 1,402 acres (5.7 km2)
Runs 45
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 30% Beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 50% Intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 20% Advanced
Lift system 6 chairlifts,
- 2 hi-speed quads
- 1 quad
- 1 triple
- 2 doubles
2 surface lifts
- 1 platter lift
- 1 magic carpet
Lift capacity 9,700 / hr
Snowfall 350 in (890 cm)
Snowmaking none
Night skiing limited:
Saturdays & holidays
Website Ski White Pass.com

The White Pass Ski Area is a ski area at White Pass, Washington, located 50 miles (80 km) west of Yakima on US-12, and 110 miles (180 km) east of Tacoma.[1]

Alpine Skiing[edit]

The base elevation of White Pass is at 4,500 feet (1,370 m) above sea level, with a lift-served summit at 6,500 feet (1,980 m), yielding a vertical drop of 2,000 feet (610 m). Located on the south side of the east-west highway, the slopes primarily face north.

The mountain has six chairlifts: two high speed quads, a fixed-grip quad, a triple, and two doubles. It also includes two surface lifts: a platter lift and a magic carpet for beginning skiers. There is a terrain park that regularly features rail jams, slopestyle, and the like.

Cross-Country Skiing[edit]

The Nordic Center provides access to a variety of groomed, double-tracked cross-country ski trails in the Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests. The terrain challenges all ability levels in classic cross-county, skating cross-country, and snowshoeing on 18 km (11 mi) of trails.

Base Facilities[edit]

The day lodge has rental skis and boards, food, lockers, and a bar.[1] Across the highway to the north, the White Pass Village Inn offers overnight accommodations.

History[edit]

White Pass added its second double chairlift in the fall of 1958, in parallel with the original of two years earlier; both were built by Riblet of Spokane and were a mile (1.6 km) in length, with a vertical rise of 1,500 feet (460 m) from the highway base area to 6,000 feet (1,830 m). The second chair had nearly 30% greater capacity (900 vs. 700/hr), with a more robust cable and gearbox. It also had 50% more lift towers, which were greater in height in anticipation of high snowfall. The installed cost of the second chair exceeded $200,000. The area started full-week operations for the 1958-59 season, with daily adult lift tickets priced at $3.50.[2]

Former World Cup racing twins Phil and Steve Mahre (b. 1957) grew up at White Pass, where their father Dave "Spike" Mahre was the mountain manager. The twin brothers and their seven siblings lived with their parents in a house near the base of the lifts.

The expansion in the Paradise Basin opened in the 2010-11 season and added 767 acres (3.1 km2) of terrain and two new chairlifts. The Basin Quad is a fixed-grip quad and the Couloir Express is the area's second high-speed detachable quad.

Trail Map[edit]

The expansion required a new trail map to show the new terrain. The new map was drawn by James Niehues and will be redrawn for the 2011-12 season to show runs that are not on the current trail map. Many runs also still need to be named because White Pass Ski Area wanted to let everyone ski on the expansion, then decide the names of the runs via Facebook.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b White Pass ski resort map 2006
  2. ^ Spokesman-Review - White Pass expands winter ski facilities - 1958-11-19 - p.13

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°38′07″N 121°23′15″W / 46.63528°N 121.38750°W / 46.63528; -121.38750