Distance: 3.9 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2509 ft.
Shhhh…. this is one of my favorite backcountry skiing hacks in Washington State. Even though Stevens Pass Ski Resort closes in late April every year, the snow is still good enough to ski. So you can drive to the pass with no traffic, roll into the resort parking lot whenever you want, and get a spot right by the front entrance. Then you can do laps and tool around as much as you’d like with zero crowds!!! All the winning. We use backcountry skis and skins, but you could also use snowshoes with skis or a snowboard on your back if you want a more heavy duty workout.
This year we decided to skin up the Showcase Run beneath Kehr’s Chair toward Big Chief Bowl. We started skinning around 10:30 AM and reached the top of the lift around 11:30 AM. Craig and James (and Beta the dog) went farther up into the bowl while Vanessa, Laura, and Virginia decided to rip skins just above the first aid hut at the top of the Kehr’s Chair lift because it was getting icy. We all met back up on Showcase Run and had a lovely, crowdless ski down on the spring corn.
Next we skinned up beneath the Skyline Express chairlift and transitioned at the top of the chairlift at about 1 PM. It was another fun ski back down to the lodge and we were out back by 1:30 PM. We could have easily gotten more laps in, but beer was calling.
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
- Avalanche beacon/shovel/probe
- Backcountry boots/skis/skins
- Glacier glasses
- Trekking poles