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Written by shakylegs on 23 Sep, 2004
The following may seem like a big advertisement for Mount Washington, but I have tried to include as much meaningful information that I can. On Mount Washington there is usually good skiing from mid-December until the end of March. On weekends and holidays the…Read More
The following may seem like a big advertisement for Mount Washington, but I have tried to include as much meaningful information that I can. On Mount Washington there is usually good skiing from mid-December until the end of March. On weekends and holidays the slopes are crowded, but the express lifts can move a lot of skiers. On non-holiday, mid-week days, there is absolutely no waiting at all; sometimes I attempt to carve a 180 at the lift to get on the chair without stopping. As a bonus, the pass checkers are friendly, and the girl ‘lifty’s are pretty.
Mount Washington is only a relatively short distance from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. From downtown Courtenay to the parking lot of the main lodge, it’s less than an hour. The mountain usually gets over 200 CM of snow a season, and the good thing is - when it snows on the mountain, it’s usually rain in the valley.
There are five major lifts that include two express fours and an express six-pack. The alpine day passes for adults are now C$49 (about US$38) The big main lodge is what I call the ‘skier factory’ – it processes skiers. For nordic and cross-country skiers, there is a much more relaxed atmosphere at the nearby Raven Lodge. The alpine trails are the usual mixture of novice to expert; with groomed and ungroomed runs, and trees, steeps, and bumps, and the new Outback bowl pledged to shredders. The six-pack Eagle Express is devoted mainly to intermediate skiers. Some of the best skiing on the mountain is accessed from the Sunrise lift, but that lift is s-l-o-w and needs to be replaced. The top of the Hawk provides a great view of the nearby mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park and also across the Strait of Georgia to the range of snow covered mountains lining the mainland coast horizon. Lodging can be had at the chalets and condos on the mountain - there is also a hostel-type guest house, and the B&B’s, and hostel in Courtenay. From downtown Courtenay to the parking lot of the main lodge, it’s less than an hour, but a tough haul up the steep-paved access road; so I usually take the shuttle bus from the Coast Westerly Hotel in Courtenay (C$15 return) or from the chain-up area at the base of the mountain (US$10 return.)
I am usually there mid-week; ask pass checker Dan at the Hawk if he has seen Maurice that day, or email me at email@example.com.