Another wave of moisture should produce a decent shot of snow or rain, and heaviest on the west slopes of the Cascades heading into Saturday and early Sunday.

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Northwest ski and snowboard options are growing, with White Pass, Mission Ridge and Idaho’s Silver Mountain and Schweitzer ski areas opening for winter operations, and more snow expected in the days ahead.

“The crew says it looks like we can run Great White, Platter and Carpet for certain on Saturday and Sunday with plenty of snow on the east side of the area,” said Kathleen Goyette, White Pass Ski Area marketing director. “We will be adding more lifts if we get more snow, and at this point we plan on operating daily (from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.), conditions permitting.”

Other “go-to now” options include the Mount Baker Ski Area, Crystal Mountain Resort (six lifts open with two more opening Saturday) and Stevens Pass Resort (four lifts plus terrain park), which are all open daily with good snow coverage from top to bottom.

Plenty of blue sky and powder greeting skiiers and snowboarders at Crystal Mountain on a perfect ski day.
Plenty of blue sky and powder greeting skiiers and snowboarders at Crystal Mountain on a perfect ski day. This is looking up at the Mt. Rainier Gondola.

At The Summit at Snoqualmie, another big dump of snow could be enough to get a firm idea on when they might be able to open.

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“We definitely need another big storm, but the good news is about halfway up the hill at Summit West (3,500 foot elevation level) we have a decent snow-depth coverage,” said Guy Lawrence, marketing director at The Summit at Snoqualmie. He said the area’s 70-year opening-date average is between Dec. 4 and 7.

“We could be opening sooner than later and right now we’re counting the snowflakes,” Lawrence said. “It appears we are on track for our average opening date timeframe and will hope for the best.”

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, near Wenatchee, will open Friday for its 50th anniversary season, with limited operations on Chairs 1 and 2, and Pike Peak rope tow.

“We finally got some snowmaking temperatures, and plan to get more lifts and terrain open, weather permitting,” said Tony Hickok, marketing director at Mission Ridge.

Greg Lum knee-deep in powder at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.
Greg Lum knee-deep in powder at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort. Photo courtesy of Jason Jo at Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.

In eastern Washington, 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort and Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park will open Friday. In Idaho, Silver Mountain and Schweitzer also open Friday with limited operations.

Forecasters say a weak disturbance may bring light to moderate snow showers through Friday, and a much stronger system will generate a mixed bag of snow or rain heading into the weekend.

Another wave of moisture should produce a decent shot of snow or rain, and heaviest on the west slopes of the Cascades heading into Saturday and early Sunday. The freezing level will hover between 1,500 and 3,500 feet in northern and central Cascades, and 3,000 to 4,000 feet in southern Cascades. Look for a big dip in the temperature and light snow showers Sunday with a freezing level from the surface up to 2,000 feet.

Holly Sato of Seattle is all smiles after finding fresh powder at Stevens Pass Resort.
Holly Sato of Seattle is all smiles after finding fresh powder at Stevens Pass Resort. Photo courtesy of Jameson Florence.

The next series of weather systems through Sunday are expected to bring 10 to 20 inches at Mount Baker; 12 to 28 inches at Stevens Pass; 10 to 22 inches at Alpental on Snoqualmie Pass; 11 to 21 inches at Crystal Mountain; and 9 to 16 inches at White Pass.

In British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb Resort (68-inch base); Cypress Mountain (60); Sun Peaks (30-41); Silver Star (17-41); Mount Seymour (26-37); and Grouse Mountain (26-37) are open daily.

In Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Resort will start the winter season on Friday with daily operations on Musical Chairs and Basin Express Quad running from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Then on Saturday they will open the Lakeview Triple lift.

Other areas in Idaho include Sun Valley (12-13) open daily; Lookout Pass (14-21) is open Thursday to Sunday; and Silver Mountain (31-53) is open Friday to Sunday.

In Oregon, Mount Ashland announced it will begin operations this Sunday and Monday, and then a five-day-a-week schedule beginning Thursday (Dec. 8). The Ariel lift and upper mountain won’t be open until more snow falls, but all the other lifts will be running as well as the terrain park.

Willamette Pass will also be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.  to 4 p.m. under limited operations on the “Twilight” lift and “Magic Carpet” serving beginner and intermediate terrain. Seven of the runs will be groomed.

They join Mount Bachelor (28-46) with three lifts open daily; Timberline Lodge (32) with five lifts open daily; and Mount Hood Meadows (37-53) with six lifts open daily.

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Closed: Stay tuned for official opening date 11 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Closed: Stay tuned for official opening date 11 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Closed: Stay tuned for official opening date 11 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Closed: Stay tuned for official opening date 11 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Closed: Stay tuned for official opening date 18-40 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm 69-93 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm 21-44 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm 27-49 inches

White Pass Opens daily on Saturday: 8:45 am-4pm 18-33 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open Friday-Sunday: 9 am-4 pm 18 inches

49° North Mountain Open: Friday to Tuesday 9am-3:30pm 15-24 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: Friday to Sunday 9am-4pm 12-21 inches

Ski Bluewood Closed: Opening date TBD 15-22 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm 68 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm 28-46 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Closed: Opening date TBD
 0 inches

Methow Trails Closed: Opening date TBD 0 inches