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January 12, 1998

Local News

Now boarding for Stevens Pass from Woodinville

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--The City of Woodinville wants to send you to the mountains for a day of skiing, snowboarding or cross-country skiing. To get you out shooshing the slopes of Stevens Pass, the city is arranging for a bus that will take local residents to the 1,125-acre ski area 50 miles east of Monroe on Highway 2 or the Nordic Center on the east side of the summit. For $15 roundtrip, interested snow junkies can ride the Woodinville Ski and Snowboard Bus from the Woodinville Park and Ride at 8 a.m. Tuesday mornings between February 3 and March 24 to the pass. Additional trips will be made Feb. 17 and 19 and March 30, according to Cindy Shelton, Woodinville recreation coordinator.
   Shelton points out that the bus will allow the elderly and those uncomfortable driving in snow the chance to get to the slopes. "There're a lot of people in the city who don't want to drive to the mountains. This will be a way to eliminate their fears and get them on the slopes," Shelton said. Gazelle International, a professional bus company, will do the driving and chaining of any tires. Shelton described Gazelle's buses as "deluxe" with reclining seats, heat and a restroom, "something worth spending money on." But if weather conditions are too bad, the trip may be canceled by the company, Shelton said.
   Once you get to the slopes, you're on your own to ski, snowboard, build snowmen, sit in the lodge, take pictures, or recreate however you want. Just be back to the loading zone by 4 p.m. That's when the bus heads to Woodinville, arriving back at the park and ride at 5:30 p.m. All riders must preregister by the Friday before the bus leaves. Contact City Hall at 489-2700 or stop by the offices at 13203 N.E. 175th St. The bus can hold 45. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. All-day ski passes at Stevens Pass cost only $20 on Tuesdays. Cross-country passes for the Nordic Center on the east side of the summit cost $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for children and seniors. Equipment rental packages are available locally or on the mountain.
   City Councilwoman Barbara Solberg liked the idea. "I think it's wonderful that we're going to give this thing a try... It's very exciting." The city council will vote on approving the ski bus later in January. While Shelton says the ski bus will be on a trial basis this year like the Woodinville Area Recreation Transit shuttle was last summer, "If it's a good response we'll continue [the program next year]."