Eachann Dilley skiing and spraying snow.



Spokane Fiver

Every once in a while, the question comes up: Is Spokane a ski town? A few miles west of the Idaho border and nestled on the western edge of the Northern Rockies, Washington state’s second-largest city is about as far from Seattle as you can get geographically and culturally, but it’s within 90 minutes of a handful of beloved ski areas, each with its own charm—and some downright decent turns. Ski town? That phrase tends to elicit eye rolls in a community that identifies as the gritty smaller sibling of the Emerald City, a home to 300,000 souls that’s perhaps best known as the home base of Gonzaga University’s men’s basketball team. Perhaps more accurately, we’re a town that skis. 

For nearly a decade, my friends and I have tried to game a road trip wrapping all five of the region’s ski areas—Mount Spokane, 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Lookout Pass, and Schweitzer—into one long day. Pulled up to the bar at Mogul’s in Kellogg, ID, I threw out the idea to Brandon Byquist and Damian-Eachan Dilley. Four hundred miles, three states, two time zones: Was it possible to hit them all in a single push? A trip like that would require the planets aligning—late enough in the season that we wouldn’t hit a traffic-snarling storm, but not so late that night skiing at Mount Spokane, our final stop, was finished for the year. That’s to say nothing of work and family obligations, nor the desire to take ski trips where we would actually get to ski a lot…

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