Thursday, March 07, 2013

Mountaineers Meany Lodge is unique

I haven't been a member of the Mountaineers since the mid 1960s. But when I was I went to the most unique ski area in Washington. I don't know that there is a second place.

Meany Lodge was built by the Northen Pacific railroad tracks and was served by passenger trains. There is road access in the summer, but not the winter. But the pax service was stopped in 1960. So they improvised. A road was (now anyway) less than 3 miles away. They used - and still do - a snow cat trailing two ropes to haul the skiers. You put your pack in the snow cat. Then you get behind and grab the rope. And hope you won't be the first to fall off.

I went there once either in high school or college. Quite an experience. Also because the lift is a gasoline-powered rope tow. If you have never "ridden" a rope tow you have missed another experience.

Meany Lodge is still there. The change that puts it in the news is that the rope lift has to be converted to electric power. And - I didn't know it/see it - the gas power is a very old Chevy truck, chassis and all.

Tacoma News Tribune - Also describes the fun of riding a rope tow.

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