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Yakima Herald-Republic

Yakima Herald-Republic - Bristol, Chris, "Did you know: Satus Pass ski area ran out of snow"

Satus Pass ski area was located 12 miles north of Goldendale, WA on U.S. Highway 97. The area opened in 1952 on 160 acres near Brooks Memorial State Park.

Satus Pass was developed by a coalition of skiing enthusiasts and businessmen from Yakima, the Lower Valley and Goldendale with help from the state Department of Parks and Recreation. Originally, the area consisted of three rope tows powered by a flathead Ford V-8 engine.

By 1964, when the Goldendale Jaycees began operating the ski area, Satus Pass had a lodge with a fireplace, a ski shop and snack bar, heated bathrooms and parking for 100 cars. Tow fees were $1.75 a day. A $30,000 T-bar was installed for the 1966-67 season. Night lights were added.

The ski area struggled due to weather. In a Yakima Herald-Republic article on March 28, 2004, freelance writer Lisa Freund wrote: "The skiers kept coming, but the snow didn't."

Operating privately as Miracle Mountain, the ski area failed to open for the 1975-76 season amid claims of debt and failure to pay bills. On January 12, 1976, the lodge burned down. The ski area never reopened after that. "Today, all that remains are the parking lot, the hole where the lodge stood, the towers for the T-bar and the now-overgrown ski slope."

The article includes a B&W photo of skiers riding a rope tow in front of the Satus Pass ski lodge.

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Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 8:38:21 PM