Sleeping Lady Ski Package 2005-06
Lynn Rosen and Steve Giordano
Photos by Steve Giordano
|Do you have a family reunion coming up? Or a keen desire to ski two downhills and many cross-country and walk some snowshoe trails in three days? Or a romantic itch to be in a winter wonderland with your sweetheart? Or just a desire to make a quick getaway to a remarkable retreat in Leavenworth with gourmet food and much camaraderie? We have the solution: "The Ultimate Ski Getaway."|
Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat in Icicle Canyon, just west of the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, has paired with downhill ski hills Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge to offer a package which includes accommodations, dinner, breakfast and adult lift tickets valid at either Stevens Pass or Mission Ridge. Discounted lift tickets for children are also available.
Stevens Pass, 32 miles west of Sleeping Lady, this season has boasted fluffy, dry and deep snow. Stevens also offers shuttle service to and from Leavenworth, available to Sleeping Lady guests on Saturdays.
|Sledding behind the Sleeping Lady dining hall. Steve Giordano photo|
Mission Ridge, 24 miles east, has enjoyed the same snowstorms and this year inaugurated its new quad lift, the Liberator Express.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, which is the fastest growing snowsport in North America, are both available either nearby or on the Sleeping Lady property.
The Leavenworth Nordic Trail System, just down the road from Sleeping Lady, offers 26 kilometers of tracks and skating lanes, including three kilometers of dog-friendly waterfront trails and five kilometers lit for night skiing. Kahler Glen Resort, Lake Wenatchee State Park and Stevens Pass offer an additional 63 miles of trails, while the Wenatchee National Forest maintains another 100 miles of trails. Passes can be bought at Sleeping Lady's front desk.
|"Salmon Coming Home" by Gene Drake of Cave Junction, Oregon created these 7 salmon from one piece of soapstone especially for Sleeping Lady's Icicle Creek Music Center. 1995.||
Time to take a break for lunch at Stevens Pass
|Dale Chihuly "Icicle" sculpture twinkles atop a huge rock at Sleeping Lady.|
Snowshoers can buckle up and walk right out the back door to get a workout on Sleeping Lady's 67 acres of natural landscape.
Cross-country skiers can do the same on the Icicle River Trail, 7.8 km of groomed trail which winds through the woods, over bridges and across open meadows along Icicle Creek. It's a winter wonderland of "over the river and through the woods." Grandmother's comes later, back at your Sleeping Lady family reunion.
Sleeping Lady rents cross-country skis and poles just behind their front office: $10 for adults, $7 for children. Snow shoe rentals: $9 for adults, $5 for children per day.
|Sleeping Lady Lodge. Photo courtesy of Sleeping Lady||Author serenaded at dinner with aria by John Varvaro||"Tadpole," one of Sleeping Lady's community rooms. Photo courtesy of Sleeping Lady|
When not on the slopes or the trails, guests can take advantage of Sleeping Lady's accommodations and amenities designed especially for winter travelers, including gourmet buffet-style breakfasts and dinners prepared by Executive Chef Damian Browne. Choices include fruits, cereals, pastries, eggs, meats and for dinner, many salads, vegetarian dishes as well as hearty meats and seafoods. Sumptuous meals are served in a large Cascadian-style dining room where wines and beers are available for purchase at dinner. Sleeping Lady has paired with Hogue winery in Prosser, WA to make their own label Chardonnay and Merlot. The distinctive label is designed by local artist, Patti Erikson and the special wine is available at the gift shop next to the officer.
Watch for John Varvaro, the Sleeping Lady dining hall manager. He greets you graciously at the door for dinner, sells you some house label wine and then just might serenade you at your table with an Italian operatic aria. His Sicilian father was a baritone and he inherited great tenor pipes. What a treat.
Sleeping Lady has a 24-hour hot pool which is NOT your ordinary hot tub. At the far end of a lovely lit snowy trail, the hot pool is placed in a natural setting amongst rocks and evergreens. Wear grippy shoes and take a warm wrap in which to make your way back to your room. You might want to take a sauna and a cold plunge before a visit to the Grotto Bar which opens at 4:30 p.m. It offers an extensive selection of spirits in a cozy atmosphere.
The Pantry, or O'Grady's, on Sleeping Lady property, is a cozy deli with comfy chairs around a fireplace which serves guests and the public with light fare and espresso. It opens at seven a.m. for those early morning walkers and snowsports aficionados and stays open for a late lunch or early dinner.
Sleeping Lady is a most casual resort. After you check in, grab a large cart, unload your own luggage and wheel it overh winding wooded trails to your room. The whole site is environmentally sensitive and intelligent. Guest rooms feature hand-carved log beds, no TVs (although there are TVs on property in common rooms), down comforters and towel warmers and immediate wi-fi connectivity. Note: Wear sturdy grippy shoes and warm jackets.
You'll have a large choice of room configurations. When you make reservations, let the front desk staff know your needs. Accommodations range from a two-person bungalow to an eight-person bunker, which is great for a girls or guys weekend. Sleeping Lady can accommodate whatever you want. Separate common rooms are also available to reserve for special family use.
If you're trying to make a cell phone call, either go out the back door of
the office to the big tree or to the parking lot next to the radio station on
property - KOHO - next to O'Grady's. Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't!
Sleeping Lady has a rich history. Harriet Bullitt of the Seattle Bullitt/King 5 family, started the retreat in 1995 to protect the natural beauty of a property near her home in Leavenworth. Formerly a base for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a dude ranch and a camp for the Catholic Youth Organization, Bullitt bought and renovated the site and buildings, using ecologically and environmentally friendly methods. Her reverence for a natural approach to hospitality has broken all the rules of a hotelier. But when we visited recently, the facility was full to the gills. Guess what! Breaking all the rules certainly works at Sleeping Lady. You may even have the joy of meeting Harriet on property walking with her sweet Icelandic puppy, Koci.
IF YOU GO
Prices for The Ultimate Ski Getaway begin at $90.75 per person which includes dinner, accommodations, breakfast and lift ticket. Check the web site at www.sleepinglady.com for more details or call 800 574-2123 to book and get more information. Prices depend on number of guests and seasonal rates.
To get to Mission Ridge, simply drive east to Wenatchee and follow the signs for another 12 miles to Mission Ridge. The ski area is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.
Stevens Pass is at the summit of Stevens Pass on U.S. Hwy 2. It is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.