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Pineapple Pass

Adventuring on the lands of the sdukʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie) people. 

Route Description:

This Pacific Northwest classic is likely to be your first tour. And no matter how many times you return, the pow can be glorious with multiple line options below the pass itself. Despite its ease of accessibility, please remember to assess conditions: if you're concerned about avy danger or visibility, the trees below the pass are a fun option to play it safe.

The start of this tour will take you to Alpental's Lot 4. From here you'll hopefully snag a decent parking spot at the north end of the lot where you'll begin the tour. Heading north along a widely groomed forest path will introduce you to the Alpental Backcountry, where, along the way you'll find a Beep check and signs from the Alpental Resort: please pay attention to those signs in following your uptrack. You'll want to stay to the east side of the river since the track closer to the resort is a ski out track with regular use, thus potential collision. You'll follow the widely groomed forest path to its end, from where you'll likely see a skin track heading north.

On this northward heading skintrack, you'll gradually move through the forest of the Alpental valley slowly gaining elevation. At times, the solitude of this forest is worth a pause: At other times, you're likely to have company. The skintrack will change seasonally due to the snowpack, so it's normal to follow the well beaten path to find your way towards Source Lake. At Source Lake you'll be able to see the open bowls southeast of Chair Peak while you'll find your skintrack heading upward through the forest to your southwest. Again, you'll likely see a well established skintrack so make use of it for this switchbacking uphill. Sometimes you'll find the skintrack a bit steep from hard charging uphillers, so it's okay to reset a gentler angle to climb: often there's a couple tracks in this forest. You'll continue up slope till you find a break in the trees as the slope forms an easy bench at the top of what Alpentalics call Lower Great Scott Bowl and Big Trees.

From here, the view is open. On a clear enough day you can look all the way up to the top of Pineapple Pass which is to your south. It makes for a good chance to clearly see your terrain and assess the mountains around it. Heading up to the pass takes you south into the basin with the Bryant, Hemlock and the tooth overshadowing you from the west. You'll only be gradually climbing at first, but once you're truly in the bowl below Pineapple Pass you'll find yourself needing to switchback. The pass can be windy so be aware of wind loaded features as you top out at 5,200 feet. There are some nice trees for you to take cover in for your transition if needed.

Having topped out, pick your line. You can head straight down or you can check out the trees to your right where you can vary your angle. If you have time, it's nice to lap this upper section before skiing out the entire basin. While, the lines below the basin in the trees you climbed can also be really fun. Once you ski out the bottom of the line to below the trees, you'll take the Alpental return track which will lead back to the parking lot.


4.25 miles <distance>

Elevation, High Point.png

+/- 2,000 feet <vertical gain/loss>

5,200 feet <highest point>


December -April <best season>

None <permits>

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