More than six feet of fresh powder has fallen across the Pacific Northwest mountain ranges since last week, finally bringing some much-needed satisfaction for skiers and snowboarders.
The early winter snow drought feels like a long-forgotten nightmare.
An additional 5 to 10 inches was expected to hit the slopes Thursday, and another 4 to 8 inches Friday through Sunday.
That is on top of 2 to 3 feet since Tuesday, and the National Weather Service has issued an avalanche warning. Those trekking to the hillsides should be prepared for hazardous driving conditions with chains and traction tires advised along with possible road closures and delays.
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While snow quality and quantity are epic, skiers and riders should use extreme caution. With all the deep snow avoid tree wells, stay within the resort’s controlled boundary area, and ski or snowboard with a partner and keep them in sight at all times.
A skier from Seattle died at Crystal Mountain on Tuesday after he was found in a tree well, and on Monday a skier at Stevens Pass died after apparently hitting some rocks. For details on keeping it safe, go to www.deepsnowsafety.org
Events and activities
• At Summit Central at Snoqualmie, the Central Park has more than 17 features that includes a couple of jumps. The Summit at Snoqualmie is also hosting the So Gnar Snowboard Camp 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this weekend. Details: www.summitatsnoqualmie.com
• The Vertical Express for MS is Feb. 28-March 2 at Crystal Mountain Resort. Details: http://crystalmountainresort.com
• The women’s only Burton Snowboarding Pillow Fight is Sunday. Details: www.stevenspass.com
• The Rails and Ales is 6-9 p.m. Friday in downtown Wenatchee. Come view some top skiers and snowboarders throwing down tricks and kicks at a jam contest. There will also be a barbecue dinner, beer garden, a ski-snowboard village shop and live music. The Hog Loppet at Mission Ridge this Saturday is cancelled. Details: www.missionridge.com
• The Lake Wenatchee State Park offers groomed cross country ski trails at South Park (12 kilometers), Nason Ridge (20), North Park (5.3) and Chiwawa (8). Conditions are excellent, with plenty of fresh snow falling since early this past week. Sno-Park Permits are required to access the trails. Details: 509-763-3101.
• The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association received 6½ inches of snow with a total accumulation of 44 inches. Excellent ski conditions on all trails. The entire community trail was groomed from Winthrop to Mazama. Details: www.mvsta.com
• At the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, the Icicle River Trail is open with 8 kilometers and the Ski Hill is open with 7 kilometers, and all are groomed for skate and classic. The Ski Hill and Tubing Park are open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: 509-548-5115.
Source: Ski resorts and www.skiwashington.com