Are you like most people who balance work and life by buying housing near work instead of where they're truly alive? (Congratulations to those that can be truly alive at work.) A skier can buy a house near downtown Seattle to shorten the work commute, and maybe get up into the mountains to play; or, a skier can buy a house in the pass, and trust the snowplows to let them get to work most days - and have a great excuse to play on the other days. One of the original alpine chalets near Alpental is for sale at $499,500. In 1969, they built them on bigger lots, so it comes with 0.26 acres; which, in good years, is usually covered in snow, so there's less to mow. The style is old-world Bavarian instead of amplified American log cabin. Inside there are 3 bedrooms and 2.25 baths in 1,800 square feet. Part of it is separated into an apartment, which means a second kitchen and the opportunity for the adults and the kids to have two separate places. Pizza and energy drinks downstairs. Steaks and cocktails upstairs. Every good ski chalet has an equipment space, and this one has a heated garage, and a shop space under that. The gear never has to come into the house. Of course, if you have to be at work every day, regardless of living, well, at least going to work is a downhill drive, that lane is more likely to remain open, and for most of the year, the commute times may not be much different than driving I-5 or dealing with Aurora. Now, if only El Nino will let it snow.