Skiing in Mount Washington

Mount Washington has 1,600 acres of terrain with something for every level of skier including a special learning zone for beginners, progressive trails and tree skiing for intermediates and above as well as steep powder terrain for experts and a terrain park which stays open late.

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Mount Washington Ski Area Overview

The learning zone around the Green Chair and the Discovery Platter are the first stop for beginners and where the snow school teach their discovery lessons. For intermediates the Hawk 6pack Chair, the Whiskey Jack Chair and the Sunrise Quad provide access to progressive blue runs. The Goodtime Glades is popular with intermediates wanting to try tree skiing.

Advanced and expert skiers will prefer the Eagle Express, which quickly shuttles skiers to the summit. The west side features open bowls and steeper fall line skiing whereas the eastern face has more blue runs linking up to the base of the Sunrise Quad. From the top of the Sunrise you can access more open blue runs lined with denser trees.

The Outback, on the backside of Mount Washington and accessed via the Boomerang Chair, was opened in recent years due to a demand for steep powder terrain. The backside has over 360m of vertical with cliffs, steep chutes and pillow lines. There is additional backcountry terrain in the North Bowl area, accessible by hiking but skiers should exercise backcountry precautions with the appropriate equipment, skills and guidance.

The Stomping Ground terrain park has everything for the park riders and it’s even open late! Thursdays to Saturdays have night skiing on the Whiskey Jack Chair lift which accesses Stomping Ground and the Green Chair services the Easy Rider beginner park.

Beginner Skiing at Mount Washington 

First-time skiers have all that they need at Mount Washington.

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Starting on the Discovery Platter lift and the handle tow, the next step up is to the Green Chair. When confidence has built up, the next step is to ride the Hawk Chair where there is a set of green runs (Sunset, Westerly and Reverse Traverse) that will provide skiing mileage without progressing too quickly. Off Reverse Traverse you can decide whether you are ready for the blue run Exhibition.

If you are determined to make the most of your time on the slopes, the entire Green Chair and Discovery areas are open for night skiing, where you are able to book a ski lesson as late as 5pm on Thursdays to Saturdays.

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Intermediate Skiing at Mount Washington

Intermediate skiers looking to progress beyond Mount Washington’s green runs can do so safely from the top of the Hawk chair.

Skiing along the green Reverse Traverse you can look down onto the blue ski runs (such as Parkview, Riptide and Exhibition) before committing to descending down them. If you are confident on blue runs the Sunrise Chair offers a selection of enjoyable runs such as Invitation, Fantastic and Rainbow. The Sunrise chair is off to the eastern edge of the resort and subsequently has shorter lift lines.

You don’t need to be an advanced skier to get to where the best views are either. The summit at the top of the Eagle Express has a set of blue runs descending off to the eastern side. This is also where the longest ski run of the resort sits, the 1.9km Linton’s Loop.

For intermediates looking to try a hand at tree skiing, the recent addition of the Goodtime Glades offers a great introduction to gladed skiing without exposing the skier to steep slopes or tight spaces. Night skiing is also suited for intermediates as the blue run Coaster is fully illuminated for the evening.

Advanced & Expert Skiing at Mount Washington

Advanced and expert skiers in Mount Washington will no doubt want to head straight to the Eagle Express where they can descend steeper runs such as West Basin, Powder Face and Chimney.

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To get a healthy dose of vertical its best to keep descending on the fall line until you hit Reverse Traverse which will take you back to the base of the Eagle. The east side of the Eagle has enjoyable black runs such as East Bull, Whiskey Jack Glades and Park Glades.

For the off piste skiers looking for Mount Washington’s wild side, look no further than The Outback. Accessed via the Boomerang Chair (the namesake is because it loads skiers in both directions) this former backcountry ski zone now has lift service. Double black descents such as Thunderdome, Billabong and Copper all have sections of thick trees that can either be skied through or around. Chutes, cliffs, pillow lines; the Outback has the signature of a big mountain resort in British Columbia. The McKay and Copper Glades both have permanently closed areas that have been designated as unfit for skiing.

You can also cross over to the ‘backside’ from the summit or from King George by ducking the boundary rope. The North Bowl is beyond the ski resort’s boundary on the backside and offers exposed big mountain skiing. The other side of the rope is unpatrolled backcountry terrain and everyone skiing in this area should be equipped for self-rescue.

Boarding & Freestyle Skiing at Mount Washington

Mount Washington mountain can be ridden with minimal traversing making it just as suitable for snowboarding as skiing. The boundary backcountry may need traversing in order to return to the resort’s lifts, but these areas are few in number.

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For freestylers the Stomping Ground Terrain Park has all the features of a world class freestyle zone and is regarded as one of the top parks in British Columbia. All types of rails, boxes jibs and other man made features compliment the progressive sets of jumps. The Easy Rider terrain park offers a toned down version for those wanting to safely enter the world of new school freestyle skiing.

An attraction for the park riders is that the Thursday to Saturday night skiing includes the lifts that service the terrain parks. While avid skiers may not get much out of lapping blue runs for an evening, park riders can keep lapping until 10pm with all features at their disposal.

Off-Piste Skiing at Mount Washington

The summit of Mount Washington sits at 1,588m which is at tree line elevation so there are not many options for high alpine skiing in the resort or anywhere on the front side of the mountain.

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Where backcountry skiers can get their fix is in the North Bowl. By crossing over the ridge on King George you will come face to face with the cliff area of the bowl. The safer option is to traverse in or hike up the ridge from Thunderdome.  The trees below North Bowl start to get quite tight and the open chutes are obvious avalanche paths, so after skiing the North Bowl it’s a good idea to head back towards the resort boundary.

There is also the option to duck the rope and traverse out from Copper. While it may be tempting to keep traversing further and further out for fresh tracks, people need to keep in mind that they need to make it back to the base of the Boomerang at 1128m. On certain aspects the base of the chair may not be visible but McKay Lake provides a suitable landmark.

Wandering blindly past boundary ropes is not recommended without a guide as it is easy to get disoriented in the myriad of tight trees.

Mount Washington Mountain Restaurants

Almost all of Mount Washington’s on-mountain restaurants are situated in the Alpine Lodge at the base of the Eagle Express where you’ll find a choice of restaurants and a variety of cuisine including Japanese sushi and seafood as well as traditional North American dishes.

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Fat Teddy’s has the traditional North American menu with tasty sides of soups and salads. There is also a selection of sandwiches and Mexican cuisine. Fireweeds Family Restaurant has a similar menu for lunch and switches to a dinner menu complete with steaks, ribs and a pizza and pasta selection. Fireweeds open their doors early for breakfast on weekends and holidays. Alpine Sushi is upstairs in the lodge selling pre made Japanese dishes.

The Raven Lodge has food for the Nordic skiers with a traditional mountain lodge menu for lunch (burgers, wraps chilli etc) with a special fondue dinner for snow shoe tours. Starting at 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays the fondue includes the Swiss cheese, meat and seafood as well as chocolate fondue dessert.

Sushi Mon at the base of the Hawk chair offers sushi made to order as well as hot bowls of Ramen noodle soup.


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