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U.S. Forest Service - North Cascades Winter Sports Study
p. 1: This study was undertaken to address complaints that the North Cascades Study Team report ignored winter recreation needs. Sixteen potential winter recreation sites were identified in the North Cascades. Three came under National Park administration when the North Cascades National Park was established. The remaining thirteen sites were to be administered and studied by the Forest Service. This study evaluates those thirteen sites.
p. 4: "The true vacation skier will travel to the resort that provides total facilities, and a dependable climate (quality snow, sunshine, and blue skies). The total resort cannot be financed by skiing alone and must provide year-around facilities and activities. The North Cascades and its respective sites on either side of the Mountain range, at the present time, do not have the makings for a total resort. The reasons:
- The climate is not conducive to dependable quality snow and sunshine.
- Today the sites are remote from the population centers and large air terminals; i.e., Seatac, Portland, Spokane, etc.
- Nine of the 13 sites do not have the necessary physical qualities for a feasible ski area, no less the total resort.
- Base acreage is limited."
p. 7: The report recommends: First, emphasis must be placed on full development of existing ski area sites: Mt Baker, Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, Snoqualmie Pass areas, Crystal Mtn and White Pass. Second, an intensive study of the possibilities for ski touring, snowshoeing, and ski mountaineering should be undertaken. Two sites, Schriebers Meadows and Washington Pass-Cutthroat Pass, should be studied and designated as Alpine Tour Sites. Such sites may provide facilities such as huts or hostels, marked trails, rescue service, guides, helicopter transportation, and equipment rentals and sales. Third, new downhill skiing sites may be developed, but only if "an undamaged mountain environment" can be assured. Of the thirteen sites investigated, three were rated as good, seven marginal, and three unacceptable. "Of the three sites rated good, only Sandy Butte was considered to have the necessary physical features for a site of major importance." Of the others, Glacier Basin and Tiffany Mountain are considered locally important.
p. 16: During the 1950s, skiing in Washington state grew by an annual average rate of 6.9 percent. During the 1960s, the annual average growth rate was 20.8 percent. In Oregon, the growth rates were 5.2 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. "A very cursory estimate of the percent of developed capacity at a few existing sites is as follows: Crystal Mountain, 35 percent; Stevens Pass, 50 percent; White Pass, 20 percent; Mission Ridge, 40 percent; Alpental, 40 percent."
p. 37: The Appendices have details about each potential site, including an aerial photograph (by Roland Emetaz), a topographic map, and a table that rates each site for snow quality, skiable terrain, slope aspect, weather, avalanche potential, base area, access, optimal development size, and other factors.
- Site 1 - Glacier Basin - NE facing basin below Grouse Ridge on the NW side of Mt Baker including the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead. Recommendation: Study.
- Site 2 - Twin Sisters - NNE facing basin 1.5 miles NE of South Twin Sister, above Middle Fork Nooksack River, below Peak 5187'. Recommendation: Reserve.
- Site 3 - Schriebers Meadows - SE facing basin between Schriebers Meadows and the Railroad Grade on the south side of Mt Baker. Recommendation: Study (for alpine tour site).
- Site 4 - Dock Butte Basin - N facing basin between Dock Butte and Washington Monument, seven miles NW of Concrete. Recommendation: Eliminate.
- Site 5 - Snowking - Found Creek - Twin NE facing basins holding Whale and Arrowhead Lakes, two miles north of Snowking Mountain. Recommendation: Eliminate.
- Site 6 - Gabrielhorn - NE facing basin above Granite Creek on the North Cascades Highway, below Peak 6730', two miles NW of Easy Pass. Recommendation: Reserve.
- Site 7 - Cutthroat Pass - Three miles NE of Rainy Pass near the North Cascades Highway. Recommendation: Study (for alpine tour site).
- Site 8 - Liberty Bell - NW facing basin below Early Winters Spires one mile SW of Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway. Recommendation: Reserve.
- Site 9 - Harts Pass - SE facing basin immediately south of the pass. Recommendation: Eliminate.
- Site 10 - Sandy Butte - NW facing slopes of Sandy Butte above Mazama in the Methow Valley. Recommendation: Study.
- Site 11 - Tiffany Mountain - NW facing slopes of Tiffany Mountain above Boulder Creek, seventeen miles NE of Winthrop. Recommendation: Study.
- Site 12 - Marten Lake Basin - SE facing basin below Lava Divide on the SE side of Mt Baker, west of Baker Hot Springs. Recommendation: Reserve.
- Site 13 - Stormy Mountain - E and NE slopes of Stormy Mountain nine miles west of Manson above Lake Chelan. Recommendation: Reserve.
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