Alpental, WA, Getting New Lifts Making the Back Bowls More Accessible

Shaw Clifton | | Industry NewsIndustry News

To accommodate the increasing number of visitors, The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington is adding a new chair and upgrading two others to increase capacity and terrain accessibility at Alpental. This is part of a larger project, Summit 2030, funded by Boyne Resorts to revamp Snoqualmie.

Summit 2030 is the future of Summit at Snoqualmie. It’s a visionary, massive, multi-year undertaking by Summit’s owner Boyne Resorts to improve virtually all aspects across the four ski areas. Eight new or improved lifts, new lodges, extended snowmaking, and more are all part of the big plan for one of Washington’s most visited ski areas.

“Summit 2030 is our vision for the future of your home mountain. Our trail forward is designed for our local outdoor community, those that call Washington home and share their love of playing in the mountains with friends and family. It’s a plan built to enhance the experience from Summit East to the top of Alpental, to provide outdoor fun across seasons, to make your escape even easier and more convenient, and to ensure responsible growth no matter the type.” – Summit at Snoqualmie

The resort is upgrading the Edelweiss and Sessel lifts to triples and adding a new lift spanning from the top of Sessel to the lower half of Upper International. This will spread skiers across the mountain to reduce the notoriously long lines at Edelweiss and Armstrong. While this will improve the visitor experience, I believe the changes will diminish the intimacy of the community. Until now, Upper International was a skill gate to the rest of the mountain because of its prominent icy moguls, but the addition of the International lift will make the back bowls more accessible to skiers, allowing uniformed skiers to venture into the back bowls without the necessary gear or ability. With these upcoming changes, I hope that ski patrol takes a firm stance on backcountry safety.

The Summit at Snoqualmie is in the northwest United States, located on Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. It provides alpine skiing and snowboarding, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, winter tubing, and scenic lift rides. Owned and managed by Boyne Resorts, it is 52 miles (80 km) east of downtown Seattle on Interstate 90.

The Summit consists of four base areas that used to be individually owned and operated resorts. Alpental, Summit West (formerly Snoqualmie Summit), Summit Central (formerly Ski Acres), and Summit East (formerly Hyak and PacWest), border Lake Keechelus on the East and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the West/North. The Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski area to Seattle, about an hour away.

The vertical drop ranges from 2,280 ft (690 m) at Alpental, to 765 ft (233 m) at Summit West. Combined, the four base areas have 19 chairlifts and 6 surface lifts across 1,914 acres. The resort is open seven days and six nights per week.

Alpental trail map.

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