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Another storm is expected to dump more snow in the Cascades as Pacific Northwest ski and snowboard areas gear up for one of the busiest times of the season.

A winter storm watch remains in effect through Friday, and most of the accumulation is expected in the northern Cascades, where places like Mount Baker are expecting as much as 8 to 10 inches of fresh powder through Sunday.

Virtually all areas are still suffering from a lack of snow and were making the best of what was on the ground. Keep the new skis and snowboards at home as many runs have exposed rocks, dirt and gravel.

The Summit at Snoqualmie remains closed, but administrators hope the storm will change that.

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“We’re still two storms away from opening, and you have to take the lumps when they come your way,” said Guy Lawrence, the marketing director at Snoqualmie. “We have seen late openings in the past, but our average opener is Dec. 5 or Dec. 7.”

Summit West usually opens when it has a base of about 24 inches, and Alpental requires a base of at least 4 feet.

The Mount Baker Ski Area received 5 inches of fresh powder Wednesday, and conditions have improved greatly. Baker is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Crystal Mountain Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a 9-inch base and 40 inches at the summit.

Stevens Pass Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stevens has a base of 24 inches and 41 inches on the summit.

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