2006 | Swoosh into Stevens for sweet skiing

October 29, 2006 

Excellent skiing pairs with spectacular views at Stevens Pass. The ski area offers something for everyone – from great snow for boarding to pristine backcountry areas. “You get spoiled at Stevens,” says T.R. Revere, who started skiing there in 1962.

PETER HALEY/THE NEWS TRIBUNE FILE

T.R. Revere skied at Stevens Pass for the first time in 1962 when he was 2 years old.

The 46-year-old Leavenworth man has been exploring the area ever since.

Whether you ski, telemark or board, Revere is the guy to talk to about Stevens Pass. He’s covered almost every inch of the resort using all three modes of transportation.

“It’s great up there because you have such varied terrain,” said Revere, who owns Uncle Uli’s restaurant in Leavenworth. “Even if conditions aren’t great in one area, you can find someplace where it’s good. It’s always a good day.”

From his house, Revere can get to Mission Ridge or Stevens in about 40 minutes. While he admits he follows the snow most days, he prefers Stevens.

“You always have a good chance of getting the untouched snow at Stevens, especially during the week,” Revere said. “The backcountry is outstanding. You get spoiled at Stevens.”

Here’s Revere’s tips for spoiling yourself.

GO TO 7TH HEAVEN

The 7th Heaven chair drops you off near the top of Cowboy Mountain, where you can find numerous steep double-diamond routes down to the intermediate slopes.

“It’s my favorite area at Stevens,” Revere said.

GO AROUND THE WORLD

Going “around the world” is the local tradition of taking a lap around the resort to sniff out the best conditions.

Start by taking the Skyline Express and 7th Heaven lifts to make first tracks on Cowboy Mountain. Then take the Tye Mill lift up Big Chief Mountain to make runs on both Mill Valley lifts.

Then finish on the front side with a run down the aptly named Double Diamond.

“By the time you’ve finished the loop you’ve found the best area to spend the rest of the day,” Revere said.

BEAT THE CROWDS

When the resort is slammed on Saturdays – and it usually is – Revere suggests making a beeline for Mill Valley. Big Chief Mountain offers tree runs near Gemini and steep runs like Andromeda Face that usually scare off the masses.

RIDE THE HILL

A snowboard ride from the top of Stevens to the bottom can include tight lines through trees and chutes. You can even end your run in the terrain park.

“Stevens is a boarder’s paradise,” Revere said.

Revere said his favorite snowboard run is Highland Bowl in the backcountry.

VISIT UNCLE ULI

Revere’s restaurant, Uncle Uli’s, is the popular après hangout for eastsiders.

Among other things, Uncle Uli’s is famous for being dog friendly.

While you dine on ribs or Portobello burgers while watching snowboard videos, your server will bring a water bowl for your dog.

YOU’LL LOVE

The base lodge has wireless Internet access. The terrain park is one of the best in the state. And not only does Stevens have 600 acres of night skiing, but it also has some of the state’s best-lit terrain.

YOU’LL HATE

The lifts in Mill Valley are very slow.

THE BIG RUN

Vertical drop: 1,774 feet

Lifts: Take Hogsback Express, and then ski down intermediate Hagen Hill to the Tye Mill lift. From the top of the Tye Mill, ski down intermediate Aquarius 1,200 feet into Mill Valley. Take the Southern Cross lift to the top of Big Chief Mountain.

Hardest way down: Andromeda Face should be attempted only by advanced skiers.

Easiest way down: Follow the ridge to intermediate Aquarius.

WHAT’S NEW

The ski school building and group sales area are remodeled. And a new Mexican restaurant will replace the X-Mountain restaurant. The trails have been widened.

RESORT STATS

Lift tickets: $52 general, $35 ages 62-69, $33 ages 7-12, $9 ages 70 and older, $6 children

Season pass: $729 general, $289 college pass

Night skiing: $32 general, $30 ages 62-69, $27 ages 7-12, $9 ages 70 and older, $6 children; six lifts

Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Terrain: 1,125 acres serviced by lifts, including a 25-acre terrain park with a super pipe

Lifts: 10 (two high-speed quads, one quad, four triples, three doubles)

Trails: 37 (11 percent beginner, 54 percent intermediate, 35 percent advanced)

Summit elevation: 5,845 feet

Base elevation: 4,061 feet

Vertical drop: 1,784 feet

Annual snowfall: 450 inches

Cross-country: 28 kilometers

More information: 206-812-4510; snow line 206-634-1645; stevenspass.com

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