Bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills created an icy, hard-packed, snow base on many of the Cascade ski and snowboard hillsides, but change is coming soon.
Surprisingly, just Mount Spokane was closed Thursday due to the extreme cold weather, and all other areas were in operation.
Another weather system shows light to moderate snowfall by Friday and Saturday mainly from the southern Cascades into Oregon, which should cover up a messy surface layer at some resorts.
Forecasters say there is some skepticism how far north this snow track will extend into the Cascades. Thankfully temperatures are expected to rise into the low- to mid-20s making it much more bearable in the days ahead.
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The snow depth base at Summit West, located at the Summit at Snoqualmie is 43 inches. The base at Alpental is 53 inches with a summit total of 107 inches.
Summit Central is open 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.
At long last Summit East, formerly known as Hyak, will be open this weekend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Nordic Center is open Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Mount Baker Ski Area is open daily 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the Heather Meadows base at 80 inches, and the Pan Dome depth is 93 inches. Midweek operation is out of the White Salmon Lodge with Chairs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Baker’s Legendary Bank Slalom Race is Friday to Sunday.
Crystal Mountain Resort is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 26 inches on the base and 66 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.
Stevens Pass Resort is open 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 60 inches and summit total of 82 inches. All lifts except Brooks, Southern Cross and Double Diamond are open.
White Pass is open through Monday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a base coverage of 30 inches with 86 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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Tuesday and Wednesday. They have a midmountain coverage of 26 inches and 37 inches on the summit, which is boosted by an excellent snow-making system. Night skiing is offered until 8 p.m. this Saturday.
There is a twilight snowshoe trek and Mountain Music Festival with Junkyard Jane this Saturday at Mission Ridge, and the Hampton Cup Ski Race is this weekend.
The 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort is open Friday to Tuesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a 82-inch base and 68-inch summit. Chairs 1, 3, 5 and handle tow are operating on 69 trails and 18 were groomed. Check out the latest gear at Demo Day this Saturday.
The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association has decent tracks on top of newly groomed trails await at Sun Mountain, Mazama, Rendezvous and Klipchuck. Grooming will alternate between Patterson Lake and Klipchuck until more snowflakes arrive.
The Mount Spokane Ski Area was closed Wednesday and Thursday due the extreme cold weather. They will reopen Friday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The hillside has a 43-inch base and a 64-inch summit snow depth. The Kan Jam Freestyle Festival is Friday to Sunday.
Ski Bluewood was closed Thursday due to chairlift maintenance issues, but is planning to reopen Friday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a base of 42 inches and 60 inches on the summit. They have 24 trails open and 12 are groomed.
At the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club the Icicle River Trail is open and groomed. The Tumwater Campground is also open for nordic skiing.Tumwater grooming is planned for Friday to Sunday. The Ski Hill and tubing areas were closed and will reopen Saturday.
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