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Our region’s ski season has arrived, though participating in it means leaving the country — for now, anyway.

The Whistler Mountain half of British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb ski resort opens Saturday, thanks to cool temperatures, natural snowfall and snow-making machines, resort officials have announced. More information at

In Central B.C., Big White Ski Resort is also set to open Saturday, and more than 70 kilometers of cross-country trails are open at Silver Star (with alpine lifts to open Nov. 28), while Sun Peaks had its earliest-ever Nordic opening on Nov. 8.

The season isn’t moving so quickly in Washington. Despite early-October one-day operations at Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass, snowfall hasn’t kept up the pace. Midweek, Crystal Mountain reported only 2 inches at the base and 12 at the summit, with rain falling.

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At the state’s perennial early opener, Mount Baker Ski Area, “We’re waiting on Mother Nature,” spokeswoman Gwen Howat said Wednesday, with snow totals of “anything from 18 inches at the summit to patches of bare dirt at the base.”

But heavy snow is in the forecast for Baker by the weekend, and “giving the way things are looking, we may be open by the 20th or sooner,” she said.

Dependent on sufficient snowfall, Stevens Pass has a targeted opening date of Nov. 22. Early in the week, Stevens reported 13 inches at its base and 25 inches at the top — with rain.

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