Keeping the Lifts Spinning for Spring

Sponsored by Ski the NW Rockies Association

Cover photo courtesy of Mt Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park

This season progressed with lots of ups and downs, but as of late February Spokane area resorts have kept a surprisingly-solid snowpack given what the weather threw at us. Local mountains worked hard and adapted to make the best of a challenging situation with this season’s lower-than-normal snowpack, and late-season storms could still bring some of the best skiing and riding of the season come March.

Despite the lingering early-season conditions across the region, 49 Degrees North was pleased to never change hours or shut down due to lack of snow, says 49 Degrees North marketing director Sarah Walker. “We kept open and gave folks the option to ski/board [during] the early conditions,” she says. Several mid-season dumps graced 49 with some great ski days too, and the mountain plans to remain open through March or early April, with a specific closing date TBD.

Even with below average snow totals for the 2023-24 season, Silver Mountain marketing director Gus Colburn says that Mother Nature still “brought some great snowstorms, with multiple days over 12″ of fresh powder.” Silver’s planned closing date is April 20. Though limited compared to some other years, “We have plenty of snow for tubers and skiers to get out and make lasting memories on the slopes,” Colburn says.

At Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park, general manager Jim Van Loben Sels says despite needing to pivot some plans this season, his team has done a tremendous job keeping the mountain open. “We had to get creative with operations,” he says—from hauling snow to keep the learning area open and lift operators shoveling snow to maintain safety on chairlift ramps to modifying multi-week lesson program dates. A fortunate dump of snow just before mid-February helped everything stay open too. Through it all, Van Loben Sels prioritized keeping staff morale high and it shows. Mt. Spokane plans to stay open until April 7.

For Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area—with a base elevation of 4,500’—marketing director Matt Sawyer says, “Despite it being a challenging winter, we’ve received more snow than other mountains in the region. [We’re] currently anticipating over 220” of total snow accumulation this season.” Lookout Pass plans to remain open until April 14.

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