This past spring/summer, my coworkers and I were neck deep in Washington State ski history. I’m a native of the Evergreen State, but knew little about the background of our local ski areas. So, when we started into a project documenting the history of Stevens Pass, it was new territory. We spent months sifting through boxes and boxes of old negatives picturing the first explorers, railway builders and skiers; listening to tales from Stevens’ local gurus and old-timers; scanning documents, old lift tickets, and trail-maps—we wanted to know it all, and I found the more I learned, the more connected to my snowy home state I began to feel. It didn’t matter that the connection developed in an office and not on the hill.
Despite the months of being inundated with everything Stevens Pass it wasn’t until last week while I was snowboarding underneath the 7th Heaven chair that it truly hit me how special of a place it is. Consistently cold weather over the holidays had left the snow soft despite a couple days without precipitation in one of the deepest Decembers on record. Although my dad preferred the corduroy, a little bit of exploring led us to plenty of untracked powder. The sun even made a brief appearance.
And it’s not just Stevens—no matter the ski area, Washington skiers and snowboarders have a wonderful, beautiful playground out their back doors, and knowing the decades of blood, sweat and tears that went into their creation only lends a better understanding of how magical they are.
For the 2012/2013 season, Stevens Pass is celebrating 75 years of offering snow-seekers that Washington magic. Whether you’re a Stevens local or a Washington local or just a history buff, the Stevens Pass Anniversary book will only strengthen your connection with those mountains, wherever your home ski hill may be. Buy a book today and visit Stevens Pass to celebrate 75 years of Pure PNW.