The Cascades were pounded by a series of snowstorms the past two weeks, creating a blissful early ski and snowboard season.

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The Cascades were pounded by a series of snowstorms the past two weeks, creating a blissful early ski and snowboard season.

Snow accumulations have been measured over 100 inches at Mission Ridge, Mount Baker, Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, Alpental and White Pass.

“We’ve received 124 inches of snow in November and December,” said Jordan Lindstrom, Mission Ridge Ski Area marketing director. “We’re on track for one of the best snow totals ever for those two months, which was 133 inches in 1996-97. This is already the second-best total since record-keeping began 42 years ago.”

Lindstrom said skier and snowboarder visits are up 32 percent over the previous five years.

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“This will go down as one of the best early ski seasons we’ve seen in a long time,” Lindstrom said.

More than 9 feet of snow has fallen at Crystal Mountain Resort since last week. That puts the area 150 percent above normal for this time of year.

The wintry weather will fade by Friday, bringing on chilly and mostly sunny days this weekend.

No. 13 Gonzaga

takes on Baylor

Gonzaga’s minitour of Big 12 opponents resumes with Baylor visiting the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane for a men’s basketball game at 5 p.m. Friday.

The 13th-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) have wins by a combined 75 points over West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kansas State, teams predicted to finish in the middle tier of the Big 12. Baylor (8-3) was picked second in the conference’s preseason poll, and No. 22 Oklahoma State, Monday’s opponent in Stillwater, was third.

Baylor ended Kentucky’s 55-game home winning streak with a 64-55 victory at Rupp Arena on Dec. 1. The Bears thumped BYU by 15 points a week ago, but they also dropped home games to College of Charleston and Northwestern.


owner dies

Frank L. Gaunt, one of the most successful Thoroughbred owners in Emerald Downs history, died Saturday of cancer. He was 81.

A resident of Eatonville, Gaunt achieved a dream in November when his 3-year-old filly, Stormy Lucy, competed in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. She finished 11th. Earlier in the year, Stormy Lucy had a runner-up finish in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks.

At Emerald Downs, Gaunt is No. 8 all-time with 101 wins and enjoyed stakes successes with Random Memo and Charming Colleen.

The late Aubrey Villyard, Doris Harwood, Dennis and Monique Snowden, and Frank Lucarelli trained horses for Gaunt at Emerald Downs.

Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Jan. 5 at Powers Funeral Home in Puyallup.


• The Everett Silvertips added four players to offset the absence of players away at international tournaments. Forward Mitch Skapski will join the team full-time, and forwards Logan Aasman and Kyle Raymond and 15-year-old defenseman Kevin Davis will be added temporarily.

The Spokesman-Review and sports-information reports contributed to this article.

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