Join the 2016 Meany Lodge Patrol Race!

Participate in a fantastic backcountry journey from Snoqualmie pass to Stampede Pass
Nigel Steere Nigel Steere
January 11, 2016
Join the 2016 Meany Lodge Patrol Race!


A three-person-team backountry ski race (not a relay) 


Saturday February 27, 2016. Start time: 6am-8am.


Snoqualmie Pass (Summit West) to Meany Lodge near Stampede Pass. Covers 19+ miles and nearly 4500 feet of elevation gain/loss.

A little HISTORY

In the 1920’s adventurous Mountaineers scouted an 18+ mile ski route between their two mountain lodges (one near Snoqualmie Pass, the other near Stampede Pass). In 1930, they inaugurated a race over this route. This race was the first of its kind in North America. Three-person teams would start at intervals from the Snoqualmie Lodge over a trail broken by a party that left before dawn. Each person was required to carry a ten-pound pack of emergency provisions and the three team members had to finish within a minute of each other at the Meany Ski Hut (near Stampede Pass). The race ran for twelve years and produced tales of both misadventure and great ski prowess.

For the latest banter go to the Patrol Race Facebook page

Sound interesting? GET YOUR TEAM SIGNED UP!


Signups for this year's patrol race are via lottery. To register visit Patrol Race Lottery Signup Page and fill out the form with your team name and team members.

We will notify teams around January 18 of the results of the lottery and further instructions on how to register via the Mountaineers website. Please read the event information carefully below before registering for the lottery and make sure you have the right experience level in backcountry skiing. The registration fee for winners of the lottery will be $65 per person for Mountaineer members, $75 for non-members.

Route Map:

Important Things To Know:

  • This is a team race in which all three team members must start, race, and finish together.
  • This is a true backcountry race where you and your team need to be fully competent in route finding and moving safely through avalanche terrain. Excellent snow safety skills, backcountry skiing skills, equipment and fitness are required on this challenging route.
  • Your team should have the equipment and ability to erect a shelter and bivouac in winter conditions over night if it is necessary.
  • Each team member must have a minimum of a completed AIARE Level 1 course, or The Mountaineers Avalanche Awareness Course .
  • The route is from the base of the ski resort at Summit West, roughly following the Pacific Crest Trail and finishing at Meany Lodge (Near Stampede Pass). See map link above for details.
  • There will be two manned checkpoints, but no aid stations along the way - your team is responsible for all of your food, water, clothing and well being for the duration of the race. There is no cell service on most of the route.
  • Total on-course times are usually between 5 and 10 hours at a good race pace under good weather conditions. This can be significantly longer if weather or complications get involved. 
  • There will be specified cutoff times at the two manned checkpoints that have to be met for teams to be allowed continue. Teams that fail to make the cutoff times will be taken to Meany Lodge via snow machine.

Race volunteers will do their best to break a skin track on the route as close to race day as possible, but winter weather is unpredictable. Losing the skin track or having it become covered in blowing or falling snow is a very likely possibility. Therefore it is critical that your team is equipped and capable of doing your own route finding to the destination or exiting via a bailout route if necessary. There is no guarantee that you will be able to follow a marked trail or skin track. You must be responsible for your own navigation and route finding in the event that conditions make this necessary.

Race Day Logistics (Parking, Accomodations, Start Time, etc)

  • Teams will be started between 6am and 8am from Summit West. More specifics on the race start and the course in general will be given to the team leader prior to the race start. Here is a link to the start of the race (near the base of Little Thunder chair): Race Start Map
  • We will have a vehicle at the race start for your team’s gear that you would like taken to Meany Lodge at the finish.
  • There are a total of 20 overnight parking spots available at Summit West for racers the morning of the race. You should carpool as there are only 20 spots for about 20 teams. See this map for parking location. Please print out this Dashboard Card and place it on your dashboard with a contact phone number.
  • We will provide shuttle service for you and your gear back to the start Saturday night after the awards ceremony. The 'shuttle service' will be a 2.5 mile ride on our 60 year old cat to the Crystal Springs sno-park and a 10 mile ride in a car back to Snoqualmie Pass. The Sat evening cat will depart Meany around 9-9:30pm (a 20 min ride). Sunday cat rides are per the normal cat schedule. If you want, you can walk out the 2.5 miles to the sno-park on groomed nordic trails.
  • You are encouraged to stay overnight, relax, and enjoy everything Meany Lodge has to offer! As a racer, you will get a special discount code e-mailed to you that will allow you to stay overnight for $45 (via In addition to a bunk, this includes Sunday breakfast, lunch, all the skiing/riding you can handle on our rope tows and of course transportation back to your car at the start per the Meany cat schedule.
  • Meany Lodge is accessed from the Crystal Springs SnoPark, about 10 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit. If you park there, you will need the appropriate parking passes as described here.

Official Race Rules - subject to change as necessary:

The intent of this race is to follow the format of the original race as close as reasonably possible utilizing modern backcountry travel gear and safety equipment.

  1. Each team must consist of 3 members. The team members must start, race, and finish together (within one minute of each other). Any deviation from this rule will result in a disqualification, and for safety reasons, this rule must be followed.
  2. Teams will set out from the start at Summit West staggered by between 5-10 minutes. All three members of each team must start together, race together and arrive together at Meany Lodge within one minute of each other.
  3. Teams that fail to arrive before 1:00PM on race day to Checkpoint 1 or 4:00PM to Checkpoint 2 will be taken to Meany Lodge via snow machine. Any allowances to this rule is at the sole discretion of the race director. These “cutoff times” are for the safety of the racers and the volunteers on the course.
  4. Teams must not accept any assistance outside of their own team members.
  5. Each team member must have the following equipment:
    • The 10 essentials (very important)
    • Headlamp/illumination
    • Ski or snowboard touring gear (ski crampons may be recommended pending conditions)
    • Map of the route, compass, altimeter and/or GPS
    • Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel
    • Extra food and water. This is a self-supported race so each team must carry all hydration and nutrition needed to complete the race.
    • Ice Axe and Boot Crampons (pending conditions on race day)
    • Hand Held Radio (one per team) and extra batteries.
    • First Aid Kit (one per team)

Contact Info: For questions or more information you can contact Nigel Steere or Pat Boyle (race coordinators) at

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What if one of my team members can’t make the race? You are welcome to have alternate(s) fill in on your team as long as we know well in advance of race day. Let us know at as soon as you know of a roster change so we can get the new team member registered.
  • What does the $65 (Mountaineers member) entry fee get me? It gets you dinner at Meany Lodge and a ride back to your car at the start after the awards ceremony Saturday night and helps us cover the costs of running the race. Any and all proceeds left over go to help keep the lights on at Meany which is an entirely volunteer run operation of The Mountaineers.
  • Can I stay overnight at Meany?  YES! and we encourage it. As a racer, you will get a special discount code e-mailed to you that will allow you to stay overnight for $45 on the bunks of Meany Lodge and enjoy any and all the skiing/riding that your legs can handle on the oldest continuously operating ski resort in the Pacific Northwest (the “Mach Tow”). Breakfast, lunch and transportation back to your car at the start are included. All registration Meany overnight registration will be through
  • General Meany Information Click here for more in depth information on general Meany Lodge information.
  • What is an average race time? Team race times are between 5 and 10 hours at a good race pace, under good weather conditions.
  • Could the race be postponed due to poor weather or avalanche danger? Yes - if the conditions are unsafe we will pospone the race. The current thinking is it would be the 2nd weekend of March.