Every skier in the Pacific Northwest had something to be thankful for when the new area at Mt. Spokane opened its lift and lodge for business last year. For one thing, Mt. Spokane offered a 4,400-foot double chair lift, which took some of the tremendous pressure off the other major lifts in the ski-crazy states of Washington and Oregon. Furthermore, the trails at Mt. Spokane are covered from December well into March with real powder snow, so dry it squeaks when you walk on it, a rare thing in wet, wet Washington, where the usual blizzard settles onto the earth like a heavy helping of mashed potatoes.

The nearest big town, Spokane, is only 30 miles away, on a good road, but bring chains for the last short stretch from the turnoff into the area. Most of the business on the mountain comes from families up from the city for the day. Parents and older children usually ski the big mountain, especially the two-mile trail down the lift line, with its 1,523-foot vertical drop. The lift-line run is also a favorite for gangs of high school schussboon ers. However, there is plenty of action for the small fry on the two double rope tows—one 800 feet long, the other 400 feet—and the two single ropes—1,400 feet and 350 feet. The lodge at the bottom of the big lift has a cafeteria but no beds.

Incidentally, the lift prices here are a real bargain: $3.25 for an all-day ticket, good on the chair and the rope tows. Tip: bring warm clothes (quilted parkas are best), because in January and February the wind really howls around the top of the mountain.

Be sure to check resorts for latest condition changes

UP—inches of snow on upper slopes and trails LO—inches of snow on lower slopes and trails CR—crowd last Saturday SN—inches of snow last week


Mount Spokane, Wash.: Skiing perfect with warm sun and hard-packed powder snow. Austrian Blizzard skis favorite with college crowd. UP 60, LO 36, CR 2,000, SN 8.

Stevens Pass, Wash.: Skiing excellent. Best snow on Seventh Heaven trail off top of Barrier. Vacationers just back from Switzerland sporting Hurni corded cotton parkas and ski shirts. UP 120, LO 88, SN 3, CR 1,500.

Government Camp, Ore.: Skiing excellent last weekend in beautiful, clear weather. Ski school, teaching rotation system, getting good crowds, but many skiers learning Austrian reverse shoulder on their own. UP 61, CR 2,500.

Badger Pass, Calif.: New snow made skiing excellent on all runs. Austrian cardigans, Bogners, French gloves are favorites of well-dressed bunnies. Skating rink in top condition. UP 24, CR 2,900.

Dodge Ridge, Calif.: Excellent powder skiing. UP 56, SN 8, CR 4,400.

Squaw Valley, Calif.: Light powder snow over packed base. Poor road into Valley still making access difficult. UP 60, CR 1,500, SN 8.

Reno Bowl, Nev.: Skiing generally good but new snow needed to cover rocks. Junior program has 1,000 enrolled. UP 30, CR 800, SN 4.


Aspen, Colo.: Snow conditions excellent. Slim-hipped girl skiers wearing spectacular red-and-blue striped Bogners. Hotel Jerome has new supper club with dancing and gourmet's dinner at $3. UP 42, LO 18, CR 2,000.

Berthoud Pass, Colo.: Lodge open and skiing good. Junior slalom on Hell's Half Acre every Sunday. Metal skis favorite. UP 40, CR 900.

Bridger Bowl, Mont.: Hot skiers using reverse shoulder to round bumps on Nose Run. Deep powder experts schussing Avalanche SN 10.

Brighton, Utah: Area swamped with small fry trying to learn to Wedeln. SN 3, CR 3,000.

Bogus Basin, Idaho: Skiing excellent. FIS Nordic elimination meet won by Leo Massa of Matawan, N.J. Runner-up: Olympian Mack Miller of McCall, Idaho. UP 42, CR 250, SN 4.

Santa Fe Basin, N. Mex.: Skiing very good on fresh powder. UP 38, CR 1,000, SN 4.


Porcupine Mt., Mich.: Perfect snow brought biggest crowds in area's history. SN 12.

Rib Mt. Wis.: Skiing good on 8-inch packed base. CR 1,000.

Caberfae, Mich.: Powder skiing very good. All 30 runs and 20 tows open. Wedeln taught to advanced skiers, modified Alberg to intermediates. LO 10, SN 8, CR 1,050.


Areas with snow-making equipment had only available skiing in East before New Year's while natural-snow resorts suffered estimated loss of $30 million. However, business was not all bad in natural-snow areas, since many family groups kept reservations to fill vacation time. And new snow over past weekend made outlook brighter.

Black Mt., N.H.: Snow machines made good base for natural snow. UP 6-8, CR 1,500.

Cranmore, N.H.: So far business off 50% from last year receipts. But skiing now good on east and north slopes. CR 2,500.

Stowe, Vt.: Only limited skiing over holidays at top of Toll Road. UP 12, CR 1,200, SN 6.

Bromley, Vt.: Thin, well-packed cover over most of area. Bare spots showing by Sunday. Lift lines moving fast. CR 2,500, SN 10.

Laurel, Pa.: Machine-made snow offered good skiing to crowd of 800. SN 6.

Snow Ridge, N.Y.: Good packed-powder skiing on south slope. UP 12, CR 1,600, SN 10.

Bear Mt. and Fahnestock, N.Y.: Snow-making machines provided fair to good skiing on all slopes with packed base. UP 6-12, CR 1,000.

St. Sauveur, Que.: Skiing conditions excellent throughout Laurentians with subzero temperatures. $2.50 all-day tow ticket attracting large crowds. CR 2,000, SN 10.

Mont Tremblant, Que.: Good powder skiing on most trails. CR 300.

PHOTODOUG HALIN (LEFT) AND STEW McNEILLY, both from Spokane, stoke up with coffee and milk before braving winds around summit of Mt. Spokane (background). Note to rained-out, frozen-out eastern skiers: snow in foreground is real.

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)