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The calendar says March, but never mind that spring is officially less than a few weeks away as winter weather continues to boost snow levels at all ski resorts in what has turned out to be a grand season.

The western slopes of the Cascades received a few inches of snow late Wednesday, with 4 inches falling at Alpental, and 9 inches at Mount Baker.

Powder-hounds will rejoice as a winter-storm warning has been issued, bringing significant snowfall with a snow level hovering between 2,500 and 3,000 feet, then dipping down to 1,000 to 1,500 feet heading into this weekend.

Phil Schaller of Ballard finds deep powder at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort. Skiers and riders should continue to see plenty of fresh powder on the local slopes in the days ahead. Photo courtesy of Matt Gallagher of Seattle.

The initial front is expected to arrive late Thursday with strong alpine winds, and moderate to heavy snowfall, especially in the Olympics and northwest Cascades. A second front hits the region Friday and really ramps up the situation, in a weather pattern expected to remain situated over the state clear into the middle of next week.

With snow dumping heavily in the mountains, some skiers and riders will venture to the backcountry in search of untouched powder that brings the potential of avalanches and other hazards.

The Northwest Avalanche Center’s website listed avalanche conditions as “considerable to high.” A group of skiers at Washington Pass, near the Highway 20 hairpin on the east side of the pass, Tuesday afternoon was hit by a cornice-released avalanche from a group above them. Four skiers were caught and carried up to 1,000 feet down a slope. There were injuries, but no fatalities. The release occurred on a very steep slope at the top of a northeast facing bowl at about 7,500 feet. Details: http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/.

When traveling in the backcountry it is important to ski or ride with a partner(s), and stay in visual contact with each other; let others know of your travel plans; avoid tree wells and keep a safe distance from trees; stay on groomed runs; and avoid unmarked areas in off boundary areas of ski resorts. For more information, go to www.deepsnowsafety.org.

A pole measures depth at the WSDOT snow study area at Snoqualmie Pass. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

Expected snowfall totals through Sunday are: 24 to 44 inches at Mount Baker Ski Area; 17 to 32 at Stevens Pass Resort; 11 to 26 at Alpental, at The Summit at Snoqualmie; 11 to 20 at Crystal Mountain Resort; and 10 to 19 at White Pass Ski Area.

The total snowfall this season is 534 inches at Mount Baker Ski Area (big snow periods were 115 inches in November, 207 in December, and 133 in January). The average season total is 659 inches. The record was 1,140 inches in the 1998-99 season, and the runner-up was 857 inches in the 2010-11 season.

Other total snowfall this season: 281 inches at the Summit at Snoqualmie; 327 inches at Stevens Pass Resort; 312 inches at Crystal Mountain Resort; 330 to 364 inches at White Pass Ski Area; and 321 inches at Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia.

The Loup Loup Ski Bowl – located between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20 – is open Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a 42-inch base. The Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area in Olympic National Park is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

A skier catches air off the cliffs at the Mount Baker Ski Area. Photo by Brad Andrew, who recently earned honorable mention by Snowboard Magazine for Exposure Photography Competition.

Lots of fresh snow along the cross-country trails and some grooming has occurred at Lake Wenatchee State Park; Scottish Lakes High Camp; Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park; Mazama; Echo Ridge; Methow Trails; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; White Pass; Stevens Pass; and Cabin Creek, east of Snoqualmie off I-90.

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open daily with a 122-inch base (4 to 7 inches new snow), and has 101 trails and 10 lifts open with night skiing offered Friday and Saturday. The resort got 115 inches of snow, which is by far the snowiest February in the past 10 years. Big Sky Resort is open daily with a 52- to 78-inch base.

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (133-inch base); Whistler-Blackcomb (100); Mount Seymour (104-143); Grouse (98-126); Whitewater (116-117); Mount Washington (70-87); Revelstoke (92); Hudson Bay (42-63); Big White (86); Sun Peaks (60-74); Silver Star (57-83); Kicking Horse (34-71); Fernie (53-110); Panorama (32-55); and Red (28-94).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (102-110); Schweitzer (69-114); Tamarack (54-98); Sun Valley (61-123); Brundage Mountain (72-100); Bogus Basin (88-93); Silver (70-82); and Pomerelle (152-163).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (121-189); Mount Bachelor (122-147); Mount Ashland (119-185); Willamette Pass (75-112); Hoodoo (107); Timberline (156); and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (78-91).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: 4pm-10pm Thursday to Friday; 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 11-12; closed Monday to March 10 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 93 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday to Saturday, and Monday to March 11; 9am-5pm Sunday, and March 12 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 93 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Thursday and Friday, and Monday to March 10; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 11-12 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 93 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Thursday, and Monday to March 10; 9am-4pm Friday to Sunday, and March 11-12 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 93 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday to Saturday, and Tuesday to March 10; 9am-4pm Sunday, and March 11-12; closed Monday (1 to 5 inches new snow) 105-156 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm (4 to 9 inches new snow) 138-179 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm (no new snow) 72-97 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm; night skiing until 10 pm Friday to Sunday, and March 10-11; cross-country trails are open Thursday to Sunday (2 inches new snow) 92-108 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing until 9pm this Saturday only (trace to 1-inch new snow) 89-109 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: 9am-4pm Friday to Sunday and Thursday to March 12; closed Monday to Wednesday (1-inch new snow) 48-50 inches

49° North Mountain Open: 9am-4pm Friday to Sunday and March 10-12; closed Wednesday and March 9 (6 to 19 inches new snow) 107-166 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: 9am-9:30pm Friday to Saturday; 9am-4pm Sunday; closed Monday to Thursday (no new snow) 66-88 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday; closed Monday to Wednesday (15 inches new snow) 86-98 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm (2 to 3 inches new snow) 100 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm (no new snow) 122-147 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: Nordic trails open daily, except golf course was closed Monday; ski hill open Wednesday and Friday, and Saturday and Sunday (no new snow)
 25 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: All nordic trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop and Mazama (no new snow) 29 inches