2006 | 102 things you must do this ski season

October 29, 2006 

Even if you ski or snowboard all winter for the rest of your life, odds are you probably won't do everything the Northwest has to offer.

You most definitely haven't done it all until you've skied Crystal's backcountry, eaten schnitzel at Sun Peaks, skied a vertical mile at Whistler Blackcomb and skied 24 hours in a row at White Pass. And even then, you still have to hang with the celebs at Sun Valley and do some summer riding on Mount Hood. To get you started, here are 102 ways to get a taste of the slopes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Western Montana and British Columbia. While you might never check off the entire list, you'll have a blast trying.

1. Be the first one in the lift line on opening day.

2. Rub the wing of the B-24 Liberator, a bomber that crashed on Mission Ridge in 1944. Locals say rubbing the wing will bring a good snow year.

3. Ski with 1968 Canadian Olympic gold medalist Nancy Greene at 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. each day at Sun Peaks.

4. Ride the rails at Summit Central with some of the Northwest’s best boarders at Jib This! on Dec. 30 or Chill’s Rain City Rail Jam on Jan. 20.

5. Take a guided run down Montana’s Big Mountain with nothing more than a full moon to light your way.

6. Hit a screening of Warren Miller’s new movie “Off the Grid” in Olympia (Nov. 2-3) or Tacoma (Nov. 4-5) and score some serious freebies (six lift tickets, a $25 REI coupon and a Skiing Magazine subscription). Details at Ticketmaster.com.

7. Act like an Olympian, and rip down Whistler’s Dave Murray Downhill, site of the 2010 Olympic men’s downhill.

8. Put a mannequin or some other effigy on your skis or board and enter it in Crystal’s Dummy Downhill on March 31.

10. Toss your unmentionables into the “bra tree” halfway up the Centennial Chairlift at Brundage Mountain.

11. Give Nordic ski jumping a try at the Leavenworth Ski Hill.

12. Kick off your boots and try the bouldering cave at Schweitzer’s ref-uge, a hangout for kids 12 to 18.

13. Make the easy runs at Oregon’s Hoodoo a little more challenging by trying them on a ski bike. Details at Hoodoo.com.

14. Combine heliskiing with backcountry fishing for an epic adventure with Helivision Sports in British Columbia. Learn more at Helivisionsport.com.

15. Blow Junior’s college fund with a family trip to Montana’s Lone Peak, where it costs $79 for lift tickets good at both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin.

16. Hang out with the world’s best free skiers, boarders and partiers at the World Ski and Snowboard Fesitval in Whistler, April 13-22.

17. Ski the run 1984 Olympic gold medalist Debbie Armstrong calls the litmus test for Northwest skiers – Alpental’s Upper International.

18. Show up early Feb. 24 to get one of the 30 spots in the Holy Oly Revival high-flying snowboard competition at the Summit East.

19. Top off a day on the slopes at Stevens Pass or the Summit with a couple of hours in the tube park.

20. Quit whining about your age, and enter the Feb. 11 Over the Hill Downhill at Silver Star, where teams compete in classifications based on their combined ages.

21. Take the cheap British Columbia family vacation and stay in Vancouver while skiing at Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour.

22. Buy Martin Volken’s “Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass” (The Globe Pequot Press, $16.95) and learn how the skiing elite ski all winter without ever buying a lift ticket.

23. Go heliskiing in the North Cascades (Heli-ski.com).

24. Try to qualify for Mount Baker’s Legendary Banked Slalom snowboard race, Feb. 2-4.

25. Spend a weekend Nordic skiing out of Sun Mountain Lodge (sunmountainlodge.com) in the Methow Valley.

26. Enter a masters race on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights at Alpental.

27. Root on Walla Walla’s Whitman College, the Northwest’s only NCAA ski team, Jan. 6-7 at Big Sky, site of their closest race.

28. Get up to your waist in powder while cat skiing in private backcountry on Stevens Pass (cascadepowdercats.com).

29. Watch the world’s best aerialists at a World Cup freestyle stop, Feb. 23-25 at Apex in British Columbia.

30. Spend a weekend Nordic skiing on the Mount Tahoma Trails Association system where an overnight stay will set you back $5. Learn more at Skimtta.com.

31. Take a starlight snowshoe hike to Silver Star’s Horseman’s cabin for chocolate fondue, then take a sleigh ride back to the village.

32. Take a biathlon lesson with the Washington Biathlon Association at Stevens Pass. Details at Wabiathlon.org.

41. Get in on a pickup hockey game any night at the Big White ice rink.

42. Try body bowling (using yourself as the bowling ball) or a polar jump (taking a dip in freezing water) at BASH XXI at Bluewood near Walla Walla on April 2.

43. Skip the lift lines March 4 and climb to the top of 49 Degrees North and ski or board back down in Eastern Washington University’s “Puke Your Guts Out” Hill Climb race.

44. Road trip.

45. Save a bundle on lift tickets and get some real exercise by skiing and riding at Paradise on Mount Rainier.

46. Hire a guide at Red Mountain for two days of backcountry skiing and a night in a snow cave.

47. Rip with B-listers at the Summit’s Celebrity Snow Jam, March 23-25. Last year’s celebs included Jake Thomas (“Lizzie McGuire”), Phil Keoghan (“The Amazing Race”) and Ryan Merriman (“Final Destination 3”).

48. Run the six-leg Ridge to River Relay (r2r.org) by yourself or with a team. The race starts with Nordic and alpine skiing at Mission Ridge and continues with running, biking, paddling and a portage.

49. Ski the double-diamond Cirque chute on Whistler Peak. You might want to wear a parachute.

50. Dust off your neon jacket, straight skis and ’80s hairstyle for the Feb. 10 Big Hair Big Air retro terrain park competitions at Montana’s Bridger Bowl (Bridgerbowl.com).

51. Rub elbows with Big Mountain locals at the Wednesday night Frabert awards, where staff is honored for blunders (the former CEO once won for falling off a lift) and everybody gets free beer.

52. Lace up and take a few laps at the Sun Valley ice rink, where three-time Olympic gold medalist Sonja Henie starred in the 1941 movie “Sun Valley Serenade.”

53. Ski Crystal’s north and south backcountry.

54. Attend the Redneck Games at Idaho’s Silver Mountain on Nov. 18 and compete in the hubcap toss or keg rolling championships or the tire-changing time trials.

55. Ski or ride in Idaho and Montana on the same run at Lookout Pass.

56. Spend a day in Mount Hood Meadows’ experts-only Heather Canyon.

57. Watch the U.S. ski team compete in NorAm Cup races at British Columbia’s Panorama (Dec. 11-14 and March 14-18) and Apex (Feb. 4-7) and Montana’s Big Mountain (Feb 8-16).

58. Let your kids inner-tube through the giant snow castle at the White Pass Winter Carnival, March 3-4.

59. Take a run down Stevens’ Seventh Heaven on a powder day.

60. Put in the longest Saturday possible in the Northwest by skiing from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Mount Hood SkiBowl.

61. Can’t ski? Hop on a snow limo at Whistler, Big White or Sun Peaks. Sit in a chair while your chauffeur skis you down the hill.

62. Hunt for eggs on your skis or board at Mount Baker the day before Easter.

63. Attend the Dirt Bag Ball fundraiser for the Crystal Ski Patrol. The March 17 event doesn’t have a theme yet, but the most popular recent theme was “Feathers, Leather and Lace.”

64. Attend the sunrise Easter service at Crystal Mountain’s Summit House.

65. Cruise the Blues at Big White. Try to ski all of the resort’s blues (intermediate runs) over two days, punching a passport after each run; Dec. 28-29, Jan. 13-14, Feb. 19-20 and March 20-21.

66. Ski off the summit of Mount St. Helens on Mother’s Day, when it is customary to wear a dress (yes, men too) in honor of your mom.

67. Learn to ride the halfpipe with a lesson at the Summit at Snoqualmie.

68. Ski the narrow 50-degree pitch known as Pinball in Crystal’s backcountry.

69. Swing by Wapiti Woolies in Greenwater to pick up their trademark Happy Humpers ($40) ski cap. Look closely, and you’ll see that the pattern depicts elk, uh, playing leapfrog.

70. Teach somebody how to ski or ride.

71. Attend Fernie’s Powder 8 Canadian national championships, Feb. 10-11.

72. Get your thighs in shape or get your kids a preseason lesson at the indoor skiing treadmill at Bellevue’s Mini Mountain (minimountain.com).

73. Hit the Stevens Pass terrain park under the lights.

74. Attend a demo day and see how many pairs of $1,000 skis you can try on in an afternoon.

75. Look over your left shoulder while riding the sluggish Paradise double lift at White Pass and take in the Northwest’s best chairlift view of Mount Rainier.

76. Take a late-season run with Timberline Lodge fixture Rainer Hertrich, who on July 27 became the first person to ski 1,000 days in a row.

77. Take a lesson.

90. Take the 5,000-foot plunge from the top of the Palmer Lift on Mount Hood, through the Timberline Lodge ski area and backcountry trails to Government Camp.

91. Make the two-hour loop at Sun Peaks on which you will ski under a road and on three mountains – Tod, Morrisey and Sundance.

92. Discover the region’s secret powder stash on the “steep, deep and cheap ($26)” slopes of Turner Mountain near Libbey, Mont. (skiturner.com).

93. Tour the Icicle River trails near Leavenworth on cross-country skis.

94. Give the luge a try at Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington, home of the Northwest’s only natural luge run.

95. Cross-country ski deep into the Central Cascades east of Stevens Pass to stay a night at one of the Scottish Lakes High Camp’s nine A-frame cabins (Scottishlakes.com).

96. Cap a day at British Columbia’s Whitewater Winter Resort by soaking in the nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs (hotnaturally.com).

97. Watch your kids march with glow sticks in the twice-weekly Torchlight Parades at Silver Star and Big White.

98. Ski for free all year by scoring a job at a local resort. The Summit is the only job fair left on the calendar – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4-5 at the Summit West.

99. Race for your school with a team of five college buddies (at least one woman) to win up to $1,500 for your school, March 29-31 in Sun Valley’s annual Holding Cup (Holdingcup.com).

100. Migrate from Summit West to Summit East on Snoqualmie Pass, making at least one run on each of the 15 lifts along the way.

101. Go pond skimming at Mount Bachelor on the last day of the season.

102. Extend your season through summer with trips to Mount Hood’s Palmer Snowfield or Whistler’s Blackcomb Glacier.

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