SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — The Summit at Snoqualmie is where to go if you crave snow. Just about an hour from Seattle, with four ski areas, an innertube park, nordic skiing and even snowshoe trails, there's something for everyone on these slopes at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass.
Alpental at The Summit ski area on the flank of Denny Mountain opened in 1967 after famed mountaineering twin brothers Jim and Lou Whittaker scouted the terrain and deemed it too steep to ski. Hardy and hardcore Northwesterners have been tearing down these hills ever since. Actually, don't let the reputation scare you; Alpental has a friendly beginner hill called St. Bernard, in addition to the legendary steep n' deep.
Every ski area at The Summit at Snoqualmie is doing things a bit differently this year, so that they can keep people safe and stay open. First of all, you'll need to plan in advance and buy lift tickets online. Folks who hold IKON passes will need to make a reservation. This is to keep the capacity at the Summit down to a safe level for social distancing.
There are COVID-19 prevention protocols in place as well. Wearing a face covering that goes over your chin, mouth and nose is required in the base area and in lift lines and on chairlifts. Unless you are seated and eating or drinking, or sliding down the hill, mask up. Social distancing in lines is required, there is food available for purchase (use a card, they have a no-cash policy in place right now) dining is all outdoors, and firepits help keep it all cozy. Ride chairlifts with who you came up with only, and use your car as a base camp. And this should go without saying at this point, but if you don't feel well, stay home. You don't want to be the reason they have to close this season.
Some more tips:
- If you want to go on a weekend and it's sold out, consider an afternoon or night ticket, those are still available, cost less, and are a way to avoid peak times/crowds.
- Those neoprene face coverings with nose holes do not count as a legitimate face covering on the ski slopes.
- The grilled burgers at Alpental are 100% tasty.
- When you're in that chairlift, looking at the beautiful landscape and happy people sliding down the hill, you'll feel like you've discovered one of the secrets to beating this pandemic. And you'd be correct.