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The weather in Washington’s mountains shifted Friday from strong winds and rain to snow, and once again all is right for ski areas relishing some of the deepest snow coverage seen in recent years.

Two disturbances are moving across the state through Saturday, and the freezing level is gradually lowering – 2,000 to 3,500 feet — just in time for weekend ski and snowboarding fun.

An upper ridge is forecast to build offshore Sunday and will create a brief dry period and sun breaks until the next wet weather system arrives early Wednesday.

For now the snow will be a little mushy from all the rain, but as the temperatures drop and with a dash of fresh snow look for conditions to improve quickly.

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“The snow coverage is very good at all the ski areas, and it is a great change from last year,” John Gifford,  president of the Northwest Ski Areas Association, said of the relatively strong 4- to 10-foot snow-pack.

Gifford says the amount of snow this winter is just icing on the cake, and from a business standpoint Northwest resorts are smiling wide from what they’re witnessing on the hills.

“We’ve got a lot of people coming up to ski and snowboard not just here in Washington but Oregon as well,” Gifford said. “Ski areas are saying the number of new people participating in the sport has increased, and that is another positive sign.”

Ample snow covers the trees and hills at Crystal Mountain ski area. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Ample snow covers the trees and hills at Crystal Mountain ski area. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

The season snowfall totals through Friday morning: Summit at Snoqualmie, 247 inches; Mount Baker, 288; Crystal Mountain, 302; Stevens Pass, 248; White Pass, 207-238; and Whistler-Blackcomb, 245.

British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and conditions couldn’t be any better this winter with very good snow coverage from peak to base levels. The top runs at Whistler are Green Acres to Emerald Express; Raven to Old Crow to Upper Olympic to Garbanzo Express. At Blackcomb: Jersey Cream to Jersey Cream Express and Zig Zag to Excelerator Express.

The top pick for cross-country skiers is the Methow Trails system in north-central Washington. The Methow Valley Pursuit and Nordic Festival is Friday to Sunday, and includes free trail access, ski lessons, ice skating, racing, tours, clinics, and a chili feed and happy hour. Details:

Elsewhere gliders can find fun trails at The Summit at Snoqualmie; White Pass; Stevens Pass; Cabin Creek Area off I-90; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; and Lake Wenatchee State Park.

Sophie Lewis, 10, of Issaquah, leaps off a snowbank and into a fresh pile of snow at The Summit at Snoqualmie. (Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times)
Sophie Lewis, 10, of Issaquah, leaps off a snowbank and into a fresh pile of snow at The Summit at Snoqualmie. (Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times)

At Mount Rainier National Park the gate to Paradise at Longmire reopened Friday, with all vehicles required to carry chains. The snow-play sliding hill at Paradise was expected to be open depending on weather conditions. Ranger-guided 1.8-mile snowshoe walks are available Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through March 27 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. outside of the Jackson Visitor Center. Be sure to check the website for road conditions and restrictions before heading up. Through Friday, Paradise was covered with 106 inches of snow. For updates, go to

In Oregon, Mount Bachelor, 108-130 inch base; Timberline, 106; Hoodoo, 61; Mount Hood Meadows, 106-165; Willamette Pass, 72-118; Mount Ashland, 84-116; and Mount Hood Ski Bowl, 52-58. Reopening this weekend are Anthony Lakes, 52; and Cooper Spur, 35.

In Idaho, Sun Valley, 68-91; Brundage, 67-89; Tamarack, 58-76; Schweitzer, 60-88; Lookout Pass, 62-95; Soldier Mountain, 58-70; Bogus Basin, 55-69; Silver Mountain, 62; Kelly Canyon, 32-59; and Pebble Creek, 27-52.

In Montana, Whitefish Mountain Resort is open daily, and has 83-inch base, and 186 inches so far this season. A total of 105 trails and 10 lifts were operating.

In British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb, 80; Cypress, 128; Mount Washington, 78-110; Whitewater, 89-90; Manning Park, 65-78; Big White, 92; Revelstoke, 28-82; Fernie, 44-92; Mount Seymour, 57-118; Red Mountain, 83; Grouse Mountain, 69-122; Kicking Horse, 35-57; Apex, 71; Silver Star, 54-70; Sun Peaks, 59-64; Panorama, 29-46; and Kimberley, 51.

Upcoming events

The Mount Baker Ski Area’s Legendary Banked Slalom Race is Feb. 18-21. Details:

The Stevens Pass Mountain Resort USASA Western Washington Series Rail Jam is Saturday (Jan. 23). Registration begins at 8 a.m., and racing starts at 11 a.m. The event is open to snowboarders and skiers of all ages. All participants need to register online for $25 and registration closes two days before each event that are held at Stevens Pass and The Summit at Snoqualmie. Details:

The Crystal Mountain Resort Vertical Express for MS is Feb. 26-28. Details:

The Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort Mountain Music Series is Saturday (Jan. 23) 6-9 p.m. at the Hampton Lodge, and features the band Mugsy’s Groove. There is also a Twilight Snowshoe Trek on Saturday, 5 p.m. that meets outside of the Hampton Ski Shop. Cost is $10, and snowshoe rental is $15. Details:

The free Whistler-Blackcomb Resort Fire and Ice Show is held every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Whistler Village base between Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas. The show features a mix of music with skiers and snowboarders showing off their acrobatic jumping through rings of fire. The Discover Whistler Days offer a 25 percent discount on select adult, youth and kids group lessons on Feb. 5; Feb. 20-March 11; and April 9-17. Details:

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:




Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: Fri and Wed-Jan. 29: 4-10pm; Sat: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon-Tue 95 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sat and Mon-Jan. 29: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm 95 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Sat-Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Tue-Jan. 29 95 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sun: 9am-3:30pm; closed Mon-Jan. 28. Tubing center open Fri-Sat: 9am-9pm; Sun: 9am-5:45pm; closed Mon-Jan. 28 95 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sat and Tue-Jan. 29: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon 104-137 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm 116-160 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm 70-91 inches

Stevens Pass Open: Fri-Sat and Jan. 27-29: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-6pm; Mon-Tue: 9am-4pm 75-98 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing Sat until 9pm.; nordic center is also open 70-94 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: Fri-Mon and Jan. 28-29: 9am-4pm; closed Tue-Wed; night skiing Sat until 8pm 59-65 inches

49° North Mountain Open: Fri-Tue: 9am-3:30pm; closed Wed-Thu 76-121 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: Wed-Sat: 9am-9:30pm; Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-Tue 65-82 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: Wed-Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-Tue 72-84 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 8:30am-3pm 80 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm 108-130 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: Icicle River, Golf Course and Ski Hill nordic trails open; Ski Hill/Tubing area Wed and Fri: 3-8 pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5pm 45 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: 20 trails groomed Jan. 20-22 at Mazama; 17 at Rendezvous; 21 at Sun Mountain; and 13 at Winthrop 40 inches