It’s peak snow season in the Inland Northwest, and our ski areas have come up with even more incentives to get up to the mountain and make the most of that white stuff. Here’s what’s happening at a mountain near you.
Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park
Mt. Spokane will be kicking off the year on January 11 with a special night for all ladies who are intermediate to advanced skiers, ages 21 and older. You will get to spend the day with Lisa Densmore, former U.S. Ski Team member and respected coach. This memorable day will include four hours of lessons, demo skis and poles, continental breakfast, lunch, and video analysis. At the end of the day, enjoy wine, cheese, great door prizes, and a massage from a licensed massage therapist. Space is limited, so sign up early and be prepared to be both challenged and pampered. $139 per person (lift ticket additional $20). And plan ahead for the 2017 Kan Jam February 3-5. This annual event includes a rockin’ Rail Jam on Friday night, Big Air on Saturday, and Natural Jam on Sunday. Visit mtspokane.com/terrainparks for details.
49 Degrees North Mountain Resort
The more things change at 49 – with progress on new ski-in, ski-out mountain living opportunities and other mountain improvements moving forward – the more the good things you’ve always loved about this classic, community-oriented ski hill stay the same. 49 has several fun reasons to head up to the mountain through February (if the Selkirk powder isn’t enough). Night ski for a cause on January 7—bring three or more cans of food for the local food bank and ski all night for only $5. Some ski days are all about racking up as many laps as possible, and other days there’s nothing better than taking a break from the slopes to catch live music. 49’s Boomtown Bar and Grill, with its comfortably rustic and authentic Western vibe, is a favorite among many Inland NW ski hill bar aficionados. Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 14 for full moon night skiing and live music for only $15. Just Plain Darrin will be playing solo acoustic tunes from 2-6 p.m., and full moon drink specials will be flowing. Or head up for live music most Saturdays through February, including solo country with David DeVeau January 28; jazz, R&B, and funk with the Keef Green Trio February 11; and the Sarah Jean & Lucas Brown Duo February 18. And if you’re a Toyota driver, don’t miss the Toyota free ski Friday at 49 on February 3. Anyone who shows up driving a Toyota vehicle scores a free lift ticket (limited to the driver only).
Silver Mountain Resort
Silver will host the second Wardner Peak Uphill Downhill Uphill Downhill on January 28. You can either ski or snowboard the course, and the event is for both the competitive athletes as well as beer league participants. Come out and do one or two runs, or just sit with the spectators, drink a beer, and heckle the racers doin’ their thang. February 4 and 5, Silver will be building on the immense success of its summer mountain bike park with new snow bike races. The two-day event will feature short track cross-country races as well as a dual (fat bike and mountain bike) slalom. Silver’s second annual Doug E Fresh Banked Slalom event will be on February 25 and 26. This snowboard-only fundraiser was established in memory of a local icon and raises money for scholarships to send local kids to college. The event will begin with a day of qualifying activities, followed by a competition to see who can do the best old-school trick at the terrain park and a mogul run judged entirely on style instead of time. That evening, there will be night skiing until 9 p.m. as well as live music, and the bar will be open until midnight. The next day will, of course, be a ton of racing – accompanied by a barbeque and snow bar on the hill.
Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area
Breaking news: Lookout has removed the Boarderline Terrain Park from the Montana Face. Sad, yes, except that the closure has allowed the operation to add more features to the Huckleberry Jam Terrain Park and additional powder runs on the Face. Lookout has also expanded its Intermediate/Advanced Tele and Alpine Next Level lesson programs to include Fridays and Sundays, 12:30-3:30 p.m. On February 12, Lookout will be honoring educators with its first Teachers Appreciation Day. Teachers ski and snowboard for free with school I.D. For the second year, the ski area will once again host the Up, Down, Round & Round annual fat bike and skin up event, which switchbacks up Huckleberry Ridge to the summit, descends to the base area, and finishes out on Quicksilver. You can fat bike or skin up two laps, or mix it up by fat biking one lap and skinning the second. The $15 entry fee includes a lunch voucher and number plate. Check out skilookout.com for more info.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
There’s always something lively going on at Schweitzer Mountain. First up in the new year, it is partnering with the Sandpoint Nordic Club for Learn to XC Ski Day on January 7. There will be free cross-country skiing and rentals at the Roundabout, in addition to complimentary use of all Nordic trails. Bring the whole family for parades and fireworks to two brilliant events: Northern Lights at Schweitzer MLK weekend celebration on January 14, and the Coca Cola “Let It Glow” event on February 19, where kids ski as part of the neon-glow parade. The Resort will be celebrating the end of the February Friday night racing series on February 24 with a Schweitzer (K)nights Final Starlight Racing Party. Dress in your medieval best and come up the mountain for awards, drawings, games, and live music. Finally, Mega Demo Day will be held on March 4, benefitting Panhandle Alliance for Education. There are a limited number of tickets available for skiers to test the latest skis during the day, so get yours early. This is a must for any gear fanatic. //