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For skiers and snowboarders this winter will go down as one of the more memorable ones, and there’s still plenty of time to head up to the slopes as the snow pack remains relatively stable.

“It has been a very good season, and visits were up significantly and well above their normal average compared to the last four years,” said John Gifford, president of the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association. “I’m sure people were hungry after the bad season we experienced last year.”

“We’ve had a few periods of days when it rained hard, but we had a great start in December through early January, and that really helped to get everyone excited,” Gifford said. “Folks need to remember that historically March oftentimes brings on some additional storms, too. As for the snow pack we’re in good shape, and it should carry us well into spring for the resorts that stay open.”

The recent sunny days and springlike ski conditions will soon give way to a mixed bag of weather that includes brief rain or snow showers peppered with drier weather into next week.

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Another weather system is expected to arrive late Friday. Freezing levels will stay high – 5,000 to 6,000 feet — and then gradually drop heading into the weekend.

Skier Jameson Florence of Seattle stands atop a ridge at Stevens Pass Resort.
Skier Jameson Florence of Seattle stands atop a ridge at Stevens Pass Resort.

High pressure will briefly rebuild Saturday before another weaker weather system crosses the state bringing scattered light precipitation on Sunday. Early next week will become partly cloudy to mostly clear and much cooler, with the freezing level dropping to between 2,500 and 4,000 feet.

Season snowfall totals through Thursday:

  • Summit at Snoqualmie, 330 inches for the season.
  • Mount Baker, 480.5.
  • Stevens Pass, 313.
  • Crystal Mountain, 397.
  • White Pass, 275-326.
  • Whistler-Blackcomb, 333.
  • Mount Bachelor, 358.5-368.
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)

At Mount Rainier National Park the road to Paradise at Longmire was open Thursday with traction tires advised. All vehicles are required to carry chains. The snow-play sliding hill at Paradise is generally open depending on daily 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 Thursday, Paradise was covered with 103.7 inches of snow. For updates, go to www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm.

Oregon: Mount Bachelor, 99-130 inch base; Timberline, 114; Mount Hood Meadows, 100-188; Mount Ashland, 70-127; Hoodoo, 57; Willamette Pass, 64-118; and Mount Hood Ski Bowl, 39-48. Cooper Spur, 24, and Anthony Lakes, 68, will reopen this weekend.

Idaho: Sun Valley, 55-83; Brundage, 64-100; Tamarack, 44-82; Schweitzer, 55-101; Lookout Pass, 67-108; Bogus Basin, 53; Kelly Canyon, 33-61; Pebble Creek, 22-56; and Silver Mountain, 60-72.

Montana: Whitefish Mountain Resort is open daily, with 99-inch base, and 260 inches this season. A total of 105 trails and 10 lifts are operating, with night skiing Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

British Columbia: Whistler-Blackcomb, 97; Cypress, 138; Mount Washington, 80-120; Whitewater, 106-107; Manning Park, 61-92; Big White, 103; Revelstoke, 28-96; Fernie, 53-114; Mount Seymour, 65-131; Red Mountain, 100; Grouse Mountain, 76-118; Kicking Horse, 37-68; Apex, 86; Silver Star, 63-81; Sun Peaks, 73-81; Panorama, 25-50; and Kimberley, 46.

Greg Lum knee-deep in powder at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.
Greg Lum knee-deep in powder at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort. Photo courtesy of Jason Jo at Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.

Upcoming events

The Crystal Mountain Resort Vertical Express for MS is Friday to Sunday. The event benefits Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit and innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that help families living with multiple sclerosis. Skiers and snowboarders (of any age or ability) can participate in a variety of on-snow activities including a Heuga Vertical Challenge. Details: www.mscando.org/crystal or http://crystalmountainresort.com or Eric Wiseman at skicrystalforms@yahoo.com.

The Stevens Pass Resort Hope on the Slopes Ski and Ride for the Cure is Saturday and Sunday. This 24-hour event raises money and awareness for the American Cancer Society while participants test their endurance skiing and riding. Details: www.stevenspass.com.

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: www.whistlerblackcomb.com.\

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: Thu-Fri: 4-10pm; Sat: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon-March 4 73 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: Thu-Sat and Mon-March 5: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm 73 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Sat-Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-March 4 73 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sun: 9am-3pm; closed Mon-March 4. Tubing center open Fri-Sat: 9am-9pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon-March 4 73 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: Thu-Sat: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon 92-133 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm 137-165 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm 62-100 inches

Stevens Pass Open: Thu-Sun: 9am-10pm; Mon-March 3: 9am-4pm 68-96 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing Sat until 9pm.; nordic center is open Thu-Sun 70-102 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: Thu-Sun and March 3-4: 9am-4pm; night skiing Sat until 8pm; closed Tue-Wed 49-66 inches

49° North Mountain Open: Fri-Sun and Mon-Tue: 9am-4pm; closed Wed-Thu 82-127 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: Wed-Sat: 9am-9:30pm; Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-Tue 45-85 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: Thu-Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-Wed 72-92 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 8:30am-3pm 97 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm 99-130 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: Three nordic trails open; ski hill/tubing Fri: 3pm-8pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5pm 19 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: 17 trails groomed Feb. 24-25 at Mazama; three at Rendezvous; 15 at Sun Mountain; and 11 at Winthrop 27 inches