Speeding down slopes

Students discuss skiing and favorite spots

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

Illustration by Caitlyn Schnider

On level ground, there is chaos, confusion, and complicated emotions. On top of a mountain, even if you can’t directly see what’s in front of you at all times, there is peace.

“It’s kind of an adrenaline rush at times, when you’re just flying down the run,” First-Year Aiden McKenna said. “Being in the mountains is just really cool, when you get to the top of the mountain, you can just look around at all the snow, it’s really pretty up there.”

McKenna spends most of his time skiing at Stevens Pass, two hours away in Skykomish, Washington. He enjoys that the resort has something to offer for everyone.

“It has some harder runs, I like to do black diamonds and double blacks, but then for other people, there’s blue runs, which are intermediate difficulty,” McKenna said.

First-year Blakely North has been skiing for an incredibly long time.

“My parents told me that the first time I was on skis was the year I learned to walk,” North said. “Obviously I just flopped forwards on my face because I didn’t know what to do.”

Third-Year Lexi Hellums enjoys being in nature, and skiing is one of the easiest ways to do that in the winter.

On Christmas Day last year, Hellums and two of her sisters got away from spending time staring at their phones and went skiing instead.

“There wasn’t a lot of snow actually, cause it doesn’t start snowing ‘til later in the winter in Colorado, but it was still fun, even though they only had a couple lifts open, but it was still fun to do something outside with my sisters,” Hellums said.

North also recalled a special time skiing with his dad and sister during the Seattle snowmageddon of 2018.

“We knew that there was going to be a ton of snow, and so we packed our stuff the night before,” North said. “We went up to Stevens pass, and there was so much powder. While you’re skiing, it was probably mid-thigh. It was crazy. I’ve never been skiing in the powder like that before, and it was super fun.”

While skiing might not be something everyone thinks about doing, Hellums sees it as an enjoyable activity.

“It’s hard, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun, especially if you go with your friends and family,” Hellums said.

Most skiing areas in Washington are still open at limited capacity. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about skiing in Washington this year.

Face Masks required at all locations when not skiing or eating, social distancing enforced, must ride ski lift solely with members of your group, reservations required and limited capacity at all locations except Mount Baker. Day tickets are limited at White Pass, but no restrictions to passholders.

Snoqualmie Pass: 1001 WA-906, Snoqualmie Pass, WA, 98036. 55.8 miles from SPU.

Stevens Pass: US 2, Skykomish, WA, 98288. 82.5 miles from SPU.

Crystal Mountain Resort: 33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd, Enumclaw, WA 98022. 84.6 miles from SPU.

Mount Baker: Mt Baker Hwy, Deming, WA 98244. 131 miles from SPU

White Pass: 48935 US-12, Naches, WA 98937. 143 miles from SPU