Apres Ski at the Summit HouseWed Feb 02, 2011 (1) comment
What a incredible experience! Everyone should experience apres ski at the Summit House at least once in their lives—and we plan to go back again and again.
Last Sunday, we decided to take a break from work in the afternoon and ski a few runs. The weather forecasters had predicted snow in the morning, followed by sun in the afternoon, but it snowed pretty much all day (sweet!). Even though we just had a few hours, we got a lot of exercise, skiing top to bottom runs. In fact, we were having so much fun that we caught the last gondola up for skiing at 3:25 p.m.
When we got back down to the bottom around 4 p.m., we looked at the gondola still running so we dumped our skis and gear and hopped back on so that we could try apres ski at the Summit House for the first time—and are we glad we did!
The food and atmosphere were marvelous! We caught some glimpses of Mt. Rainier through the snow and clouds, but it almost felt even more magical to be in this lit cocoon in the clouds and snow at the top of the mountain. We took a few pictures but it’s hard to describe just how romantic and relaxing it was.
We were hungry (we pretty much always are) and the menu was great. We ordered an appetizer size fondue that was ideal—and it took me back to a high school year abroad in Switzerland. But this fondue had a hint of cinnamon and apples, and was perhaps the best fondue we’ve ever had. (We later talked with Ann, the restaurant manager, and she said they’re now using cider instead of wine in the fondue.)
We also ordered the mushroom toast (decadent) and for my husband’s benefit, some really delicious fries. Actually, it was a hard choice. The menu includes appetizers, small plates (like shrimp with grits, signature mac ‘n cheese, etc.) There were also wonderful hot (and cold) drinks on the menu, but we stuck with a glass of pinot noir and a Black Butte Porter. Our waiter, Ryan, was nice enough to make us hot cups of tea (with honey sticks) to keep us warm when we stepped outside.
The ride down was mystical. Clouds brushed the gondola as we descended, and the mountain was totally quiet and deserted. The main lodge beckoned like a beacon in the dark.
We were probably only at apres ski for a couple of hours, but it felt like we had taken a winter vacation in the Alps. Really, we’re not exaggerating. It was that special.
Next on our list: the new Summit Dinners on Saturday nights. A 2-course gourmet dinner and a gondola ride for just $49. We got a look at the menu and it looked pretty marvelous.