It's snowing in Seattle, and many people have snow days off work. If you're so inclined to go skiing, here's a quick look at conditions at Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass and Mt. Baker ski areas.
Don’t be surprised if any skiing enthusiasts in your office are conspicuously “out sick” this week.
Seattle saw its first snow of the year last night, and for skiers that means some perfect powder at some of the local slopes. However, icy conditions in the city and on some of the mountain passes might mean a slower, slicker ride to get there.
If you weren’t already halfway to the slopes at the first sight of snow last night, here’s what you need to know.
According to reports from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website, as of 2pm on Monday for Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass — snow, slush and ice. At Snoqualmie Pass road conditions are bare and wet with snow and slush in places. WSDOT advises traction tires at all three mountain passes. At Mt. Baker Highway, there is compact snow and ice on the roadway.
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Traction tires are required both Eastbound and Westbound at Mt. Baker Highway, where there is snow and ice on the roadway. Chains are required on vehicles over 10,000 gross vehicle weight.
WSDOT spokesperson Joseph Calaero said that there are currently no major concerns predicted for road travel to the major local mountain passes through the weekend, but urged drivers to stay engaged on the road and take normal winter driving precautions.
Driving safety tips for the mountain passes:
- Always check road conditions before you start out. The state’s DOT website is a good resource.
- Drive slowly.
- Leave more space than usual between cars — at least 200 feet.
- Keep snow chains in your car, even if they’re not required by WSDOT.
- Drive with your headlights on.
- Don’t pump anti-lock brakes to stop.
- Keep your gas tank and windshield wiper fluid at least half-full.
- Keep a disaster kit in your car, complete with the following: windshield scraper, tire chains, extra layers or a blanket, spare food and water, shovel, cell phone, jumper cables, flashlight, road flares, and a bag of cat litter for traction on a slippery road.
What to expect at the resorts:
Per Crystal Mountain’s website, as of Monday morning, slopes are “a powder delight.”
“It’s as good as it gets as far as snow conditions,” Sales and Marketing Director Tiana Anderson said in a phone interview Monday morning. “I would play hooky if I had a choice.”
Anderson said that with six inches of new snow on Monday and reports of more snow and sustained low freezing levels the rest of the week, she suspects conditions will be even better later in the week.
As of 12:02pm Monday afternoon, Stevens Pass ski area reported only one inch of overnight snowfall, with expectations of more light snow this week.
Summit at Snoqualmie reported four inches of new snow since 5am Monday morning, according to its website.
Further north, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Ski Area reported up to eight inches of new snow today with great conditions — “The DOT has done a great job plowing the Mt. Baker highway, so come on up for a super stellar powder day,” Mt. Baker Ski Area announced via its website’s snow report.
With temperatures in the mid teens to high 20s at nearby resorts, Anderson recommended that skiers dress in layers to stay warm on the slopes.
This story was updated at 2:56 p.m. on February 4th to reflect updated road conditions and projections from WSDOT.