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Substantial snowflakes are finally filling the air at all Pacific Northwest ski and snowboard areas after what has turned into one of the driest winter seasons seen in a long while.

“Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful second half of the season,” said Jordan Lindstrom, the marketing director at Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort. “The new snow is providing a much welcomed refresh for the mountain.”

A cold front arrived earlier this week bringing anywhere from 3 to 12 inches of fresh snow with another 3 to 6 more inches expected to fall in the Cascade passes by Friday. The freezing elevation is expected to remain around 2,500 to 3,000 feet.

That means fresh powder on the hillsides with plenty of wondrous leftovers for weekend cruising as well as super groomed runs.

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The snow depth base at Summit West, located at the Summit at Snoqualmie, has climbed 39 inches. The base at nearby Alpental is a healthy 51 inches with a summit total of 101 inches.

Summit Central is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., except Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alpental is open Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summit West is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Nordic Center is open Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summit East remains closed at this time.

The Mount Baker Ski Area is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the Heather Meadows base is 74 inches, and the Pan Dome depth is 88 inches. Midweek operation is out of the White Salmon Lodge with chairs 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. Baker’s Legendary Bank Slalom Race is Feb. 7-9.

Crystal Mountain Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 25 inches on the base and 70 inches on the summit. The High Campbell was open Thursday. Other lifts are the Chinook Express, Discovery, Forest Queen Express, Crystal Gondola, Green Valley and Rainier Express.

Crystal is having a Super Bowl Party Hit the Slopes event at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Entry is $20 and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and more fun activities. For details, go to

Stevens Pass Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Saturday, until 6 p.m. Sunday and 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. They have a base of 59 inches and summit total of 84 inches. Nine of 10 lifts and 46 runs are open, plus the terrain parks.

White Pass is open through Monday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a base coverage of 29 inches with 84 inches on the summit. All trails are open with Great White, Platter, Carpet, Far East, Basin and Couloir lifts shuttling guest up the hillsides. Night skiing is offered until 9 p.m. on Saturday, and free when you purchase a day ticket.

East of the Cascades, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort is open through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have a mid-mountain coverage of 21 inches and 32 inches on the summit, which is padded even more by an excellent snow-making system. Night skiing is offered until 8 p.m. this Saturday.

Some specials happening this weekend at Mission include, $10 lift tickets, free lessons and $5 rentals for night skiing. There is an all-you-can-eat Super Bowl Party Buffet when you buy a lift ticket on Sunday. For details, go to

49 Degrees North Mountain Resort is open Friday to Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a 32-inch base and 62-inch summit. Chairs 1, 3, 5 and handle tow are operating on 69 trails and 13 were groomed. The Rail Jam Event is this Saturday.

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association received 2 to 3 inches with 12-inch total snow coverage, and has allowed them to reopen nearly all the trails in Mazama, Sun Mountain and Rendezvous. A few more inches of new snow is needed at the Winthrop trailhead and Big Valley before grooming can start.

The Mount Spokane Ski Area is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The hillside has a 36-inch base and a 57-inch summit snow depth, and 49 trails open, with 23 groomed.

Ski Bluewood is open Thursday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a base of 39 inches and 55 inches on the summit. They have 20 trails open, and 12 are groomed.

At the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, the nordic trails at the Tumwater Campground are open, and was groomed at midweek. The Icicle River Trail preparation is under way for a planned Friday opening. More good news is the Ski Hill and Tubing areas are set to reopen this Saturday. or 206-464-8780

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