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Don’t count on springlike weather on most ski slopes just yet as another round of snowfall is expected, mainly in higher elevation areas.

Extremely soggy weather has watered down the hillsides during the past several days, but a cooling trough crossed the state Wednesday night and an onshore flow will create mostly cloudy skies with periods of sunshine for most of Thursday.

Varied terrain, powder snow and wide-open slopes are the draw at Idaho’s Silver Mountain ski resort, which has a new Seattle-area owner. (Willy Bartlett)
Varied terrain, powder snow and wide-open slopes are the draw at Idaho’s Silver Mountain ski resort, which has a new Seattle-area owner. (Willy Bartlett)

Look for a storm track to develop, bringing rain initially then shifting to mountain snow – moderate to heavy at times – and strong winds late Friday and into early Sunday. The freezing level will bounce around from 3,500 to 7,500 feet on Friday before plummeting back down to 2,000 to 3,500 feet by this weekend.

Those hungry for fresh powder will need to make their way to higher elevation ski areas such as Mount Baker, where they’re expecting about 6 to 14 inches of snow, Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia, with 10 to 17 inches; or Crystal Mountain, expecting 13 to 20 inches. The majority of snow is expected between late Friday and Saturday.

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The Northwest Avalanche Center’s website reports that avalanche danger has started to wane, but is still listed as “moderate” near, above and below the tree-line.

Members of Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol assist in a 2014 rescue after a skier was caught in an avalanche on Snoqualmie Mountain. It took 13 hours for 65 responders from various groups to bring the victim to an ambulance. (Photo courtesy of Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol)
Members of Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol assist in a 2014 rescue after a skier was caught in an avalanche on Snoqualmie Mountain. It took 13 hours for 65 responders from various groups to bring the victim to an ambulance. (Photo courtesy of Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol)

When traveling in the backcountry it is important to ski or ride with a partner(s), and stay in visual contact with each other; let others know of your travel plans; avoid tree wells and keep a safe distance from trees; stay on groomed runs; and avoid unmarked areas in off boundary areas of ski resorts. For more information, go to www.deepsnowsafety.org or http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/.

Cross-country skiers have plenty of decent groomed options including Lake Wenatchee State Park; Scottish Lakes High Camp; Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park; Mazama; Echo Ridge; Methow Trails; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; White Pass; Stevens Pass; and Cabin Creek, east of Snoqualmie off I-90.

The Loup Loup Ski Bowl – located between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20 – is open Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a 40-inch base. The Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area in Olympic National Park is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Deep powder greeted this skier at the Mount Baker Ski Area, and more snow is expected to fall this weekend. Photo courtesy of Mount Baker Ski Area.
Deep powder greeted this skier at the Mount Baker Ski Area, and more snow is expected to fall this weekend. Photo courtesy of Mount Baker Ski Area.

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open daily with a 126-inch base (1-inch new snow), and has 101 trails and 10 lifts open with night skiing offered Friday and Saturday. Big Sky Resort is open daily with a 50- to 74-inch base.

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (156-inch base); Whistler-Blackcomb (117); Mount Seymour (122-171); Grouse (137-171); Whitewater (118-124); Mount Washington (72-94); Revelstoke (116); Hudson Bay (42-63); Big White (94); Sun Peaks (74-87); Silver Star (57-94); Kicking Horse (43-86); Fernie (63-110); Panorama (30-60); and Red (28-94).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (116-134); Schweitzer (65-113); Tamarack (38-102); Sun Valley (55-114); Brundage Mountain (65-101); Bogus Basin (72-78); Silver (82-94); and Pomerelle (146-160).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (118-195); Mount Bachelor (114-152); Mount Ashland (108-175, closed on Thursday); Willamette Pass (75-112); Hoodoo (93); Timberline (166); and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (68-81).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Thursday and Friday, and Monday to March 26; 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday (trace new snow) 85 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday to Saturday, and Wednesday to March 25; 9am-5pm Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and March 26 (trace new snow) 85 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Thursday and Friday, and Monday to March 24; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 25-26 (trace new snow) 85 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Thursday and Friday, and Monday to March 24; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 25-26 (trace new snow) 85 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday; 9am-4pm Friday to Sunday, and Tuesday to March 26; closed Monday (trace new snow) 101-165 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm (5 to 8 inches new snow) 160-223 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm (1-inch new snow) 64-92 inches

Stevens Pass Open: 9am-4pm Thursday, and Monday to March 26; 9am-10 pm Friday and Saturday; 9am-6pm Sunday; cross-country trails are open Thursday to Sunday (2 inches new snow) 95-113 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm (1 to 2 inches new snow) 88-111 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday, and March 23-26; closed Monday to Wednesday (no new snow) 48-57 inches

49° North Mountain Open: closed Thursday, and March 22-23; 9am-4pm Friday to Tuesday, and March 24-26 (no new snow) 103-176 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday, and Wednesday to March 26; closed Monday and Tuesday (trace new snow) 60-84 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday; closed Monday to Wednesday (trace new snow) 79-89 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm (4 inches new snow) 117 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm (2 inches new snow) 114-152 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: 8K at Icicle River trail is open, others were closed; ski hill open Saturday and Sunday (no new snow)
 16 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: All nordic trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop and Mazama (no new snow) 25 inches