A bus to the pass

After Friday’s storm, I’ve had enough excitement for the season. For those still looking for a thrill: I provided some suggestions for getting to the higher elevations without a car in this week’s Real Change column. (Thanks to Laura from Bellevue for the tips.) Winter sports aren’t really my “thing” (plus, I have word count limits), so please let me know if I missed any good options.

A Bus to the Pass

I have to admit it: I’m not much of a winter sports fan. My first clue that snow-related activities weren’t for me was in 7th grade, when, less than an hour into my first skiing lesson (bundled from head to foot but still teary-eyed from the cold), I asked the instructor if I could head into the lodge for the remainder of the afternoon. A few years ago, I tried snowboarding. It was fun and all, but after every fall, I thanked the man upstairs that I didn’t break, tear, sprain, strain, or hyperextend something. And the thing is: I need my legs to get around.

Many of my fellow Seattleites, on the other hand, take their winter sports seriously. For those who actually like performing death-defying acts in ungodly temperatures: If you’ve decided car-free living isn’t for you because you can’t imagine giving up your weekends on the slopes, it might be time to reconsider. After all, you can take the bus to the Pass!

One of the coolest options is Snowbus (www.snowbus.com), which heads to Snoqualmie Pass every Thursday night during the season. It leaves Seattle (from Pyramid Alehouse) at 5:30 p.m., stops again in Bellevue at around 6, and arrives at the pass by 7. For $49, you get a lift ticket, a sandwich and beer courtesy of Pyramid, and a round-trip ride on a luxury bus (with a bathroom). If you don’t need a lift ticket, you can ride the bus only for $25. Snowbus is reputed to be as much a social event as a form of transportation, but you must be 21 or older to ride. (Hey, they can’t be handing out pints of beer to teenagers.)

Beeline Tours (www.beelinetours.com) offers daily trips to Snoqualmie. It leaves the 65th Street Park & Ride at 7:00 a.m. and makes two stops — Colman Dock and the South Bellevue Park & Ride — on the way to the Pass. The ride costs $35. On weekends, you can buy a ride/lift ticket combo for $75. Beeline offers the advantage of daylong trips, and children are welcome.

For those who’d rather head farther afield for their winter adventures, Crystal Mountain (www.crystalmt.com) operates weekend shuttles to the Pass from Seattle and Tacoma. Cost for adults is $70 with a lift ticket and $35 without.

If you’re not into tour buses, Rideshare Online (www.rideshareonline.com) has a special section for folks looking to carpool to the slopes. For the cost of a few gallons of gas, you can probably find a ride to any pass in the region.

Of course, if you don’t know how to ski or snowboard yet, you can always sign up for lessons with a ski school like Fiorini (www.fiorinisports.com) and travel to the Pass in style: on a yellow school bus.