Whether you're a powder rider or a corduroy nut, snow depth is everything. And at 49 Degrees North, rock skis are a rare necessity. The mountain's headwalls, groomers and gob-smacking glades — all 2,325 acres of them — get hammered with an average annual snowfall of 300-plus inches, and seven lifts make a day on the move a breeze. Terrain parks, night skiing and 10 miles of cross-country trails are there to scratch any itch the winter storm clouds can't quite satisfy.
What's new: As 49 Degrees enters its second full season under the ownership of CMR Lands LLC, management expects to have a new host of snow-guns ready to start making the white stuff. The mountain is candid, however, about the different look the pandemic will bring this year. According to Emily McDaniel, director of marketing and communications, 49 Degrees doesn't anticipate any limits on day tickets at this time, but capacity will be reduced in the lodge and rental shop to help meet social distancing guidelines. Staff and guests will be required to wear face coverings indoors and in more congested outdoors spaces such as ticket windows, lift lines and unloading zones. Given the unpredictability of the coronavirus situation, McDaniel encourages visitors to check the 49 Degrees website routinely for up-to-date information.
Making the most of it: Just like other mountains in the area, 49 Degrees is urging riders to invest in a season pass this year to ensure consistent access even if the resort's capacity gets dialed back. But if a pass isn't in the budget, making your turns on a weekday offers the best chance of beating the crowds (and possibly any future limits on ticket sales). On that note, keep in mind that 49 Degrees will be operating seven days a week from Dec. 18 to Jan. 5.