Warren’s World: Steep and Deep Seattle Skiing

By Beacon Staff

Since midnight Dec. 13, big flakes of snow have been falling like dandruff on a dark-blue suit and are now up to two-feet deep on front lawns all over Seattle.

A late breaking news story interrupts mellow music on KING FM:

“Thirty-eight inches of snow have fallen on Snoqualmie Pass in the last 24 hours. The pass is closed, and so is Stevens, and you can forget trying to get to Crystal Mountain because the Enumclaw snowplow driver couldn’t even get home from his Thursday night bowling tournament. If you have to drive east, you will have to go south to Portland and turn left.”

A lot of skiers and boarders are stuck in Seattle, 50 miles from the nearest ski lift. Don’t worry about missing that all-time deep powder snow day. You can carve your turns right here in town. Perhaps some cross country skiing late in the day, a little après-ski shopping and then some fine wine from a Washington state vintner to top off the day.

Any and all of this is available to anyone with a sense of adventure, and it will help if you have a low IQ.

Powder hounds can find the steep and deep stuff all over Seattle. For that first run, you can point them down Columbia between Fourth and Fifth and get an awesome Black Diamond. Even if you don’t get first tracks in the middle of the street, you can still find a lot of untracked powder on the sidewalk among the parking meters.

Better be careful here and not run into anyone, because at least half of the guys standing around near the courthouse are contingency fee attorneys looking for their next client.

The steepest and possibly the deepest Double Diamond run in the city is a wonderful run on Queen Anne Hill between Prospect and Highland. It’s my favorite ski run in Seattle. It was named 80 years ago after riders all warmed up by prohibition rum sloshing around their bellies slid down it in a toboggan.

My favorite run in Seattle is called Warren Avenue.

After a dozen or so runs in deep powder it’s time for a sidewalk cappuccino and some other local specialties for lunch: a hot bowl of clam chowder, some pink tofu, kim chee, sprouts or yogurt at one of the many special spots in town.

After lunch, fire up your Beemer and head southwest towards west Seattle and Alki Point. Here you will find cross country skiing on the beach with the Puget Sound and Seattle skyline for a backdrop.

You can dazzle the locals with such statements as, “Sure looks a lot like The Lake of Geneva from the Swiss side, but the boats are bigger and it’s salt water, not fresh.”

Now as the sun begins to set, it’s time to purchase a few mementos of your day spent skiing in Seattle. Stop by the Pike Place Market for a big selection of Abalone Shells that light up to put on your mantel. You can even find the occasional rare mink-covered holder for your fake Oakleys. There’s a large but quaint selection of T-shirts sold by a large but quaint T-shirt bootlegger who is easy to find because he is fat, bearded, pony tailed, smokes a pipe, semi-bald and wears a 12- year-old faded Sportscaster vest.

Now it’s time for dinner. What about that darling little waterfront spot over on Lake Union? How about “Scenery by the Sea,” where the menu is very Northwestern? It features salmon 12 different ways, all fresh, and some wine stomped by local feet in eastern Washington. Here, you might discover that you are not the only people who have skied locally today.

A sunburned group is hoisting some local beer to Hugo Slow. Hugo climbed part way up the Space Needle elevator shaft and set some kind of a record for a tip drop off the Space Needle when he landed in one of the transitions in the nearby roller coaster track.

He dropped 63 vertical feet. The group is sending their video of his tip drop to KIRO TV, which promised to interview Hugo as soon as he gets out of the intensive care unit at Virginia Mason Clinic.

Yes, there is steep and deep skiing all over Seattle, so get out and do it before it melts …