Still, one question remains: Can local areas stay open for the Thanksgiving holiday break?
Areas are crossing their fingers that they’ll be open for the holiday and subsequent weekend, which generate huge revenue.
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“We did a ton of grooming work on the mountain’s main runs, and now we’ve got really good snow coverage,” said Gwyn Howat, the operations manager for Mount Baker, who reported a decent turnout of skiers and riders for Thursday’s opener. “When we open we do it with the intention of staying open.”
The White Salmon and Heather Meadows base areas are open daily 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with all lifts and lodges open. Lift tickets are $45. Heather Meadows has a base of 36 inches, and there is a 42-inch base on top of Pan Dome.
The bottom of Baker’s Chair 5 has very low snow conditions, so people are advised to proceed with caution. Austin, North Face and Upper Canucks will be open on Pan Dome. All other steep areas are closed, and anyone caught in those areas could face fines.
Crystal Mountain Resort is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (upper lifts close at 3:30 p.m.) through Sunday, and will then close Monday to Wednesday. The Mount Rainier Gondola will shuttle passengers to the Green Valley Lift.
“We’re currently making snow on top of the mountain, and as long as it stays cold we should be in good shape,” said Tiana Enger, the marketing manager at Crystal Mountain, which has 3 inches on the base and a summit total of 29 inches.
“But we aren’t committing to anything beyond this weekend. We’ll see how conditions hold up, and then re-evaluate toward the end of the weekend.”
Stevens Pass Resort was to open until 4 p.m. Friday, with the Daisy, Brooks, Hogsback and Skyline lifts operating. Expect all four lifts to be operating Saturday and Sunday. Stevens has a base of 22 inches and 37 inches on the summit.
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort opens Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Chairs 1 and 2, and the Pika Peak rope tow. It has a base of 9 inches and 15 inches on the summit. Lift tickets are $20. Mission plans to close Monday, and reopen Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.
East of the Cascades, 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort will reopen 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Chairs 1, 3, 4 and 5 will operate with 13 inches on the base and 27 inches on top. The area plans to reopen on Thanksgiving.
The Mount Spokane Ski Area will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with Chairs 2, 3 and 5 operating on a base of 22 inches and a summit total of 31 inches. Lift tickets are $30.
In Oregon, Timberline Lodge Resort plans to reopen daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Friday. Weather and conditions permitting, the area will operate the Palmer, Magic Mile, Pucci and Bruno’s chair lifts. Timberline has a base of 22 inches.
Mount Bachelor Ski Resort will open the Sunshine Accelerator lift Saturday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The terrain park is open, and this weekend the walk-up tubing hill and Nordic Center will be open with 5-kilometers of groomed trails. The snow depth at mid-mountain is 19 inches with a West Village base total of 18 inches. Lift tickets will be $29.
Mount Hood Meadows Resort will be open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and has a 19-inch base with limited terrain open.
The Buttercup, Cascade Express and Easy Rider lifts will be open as well as the Fun Zone serviced by the Ball Room Carpet Conveyor for lessons. The Shipyard Rail Park will be open with several features. Lift tickets are $29.
Lookout Pass ski area, just off I-90 on the border between Idaho and Montana opened Thursday with most of the front side of the mountain operating Chairlifts 1 and 4. The area has a base of 10 inches and 26 inches on top.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary season, with a “Sneak Peak” this weekend with 400 acres of terrain open, and the Basin Express and Musical lifts open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Schweitzer, with a base of 21 inches, also plans to have a few intermediate terrain park features and limited groomed trails on the Nordic system open. It plans to reopen Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
In British Columbia, the Whistler Mountain portion of Whistler Blackcomb resort is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with five lifts running from the Whistler Village Gondola or the Creekside Gondola. Whistler has a 29-inch mid-mountain base total. Blackcomb Mountain is expected to open Nov. 28.
Big White Ski Resort is open with a limited number of lifts operating daily.
Silver Star Mountain Resort will be open Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a total of 25 runs, and the Comet and Silver Queen lifts shuttling skiers and snowboarders up the hillsides.
Skiers and snowboarders can also get their winter fix by heading to McCaw Hall in Seattle to view the new Warren Miller Film “Ticket to Ride” with showings at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Cost is $22.50. Details: www.WarrenMiller.com.
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