Share story

Spring break is coming soon, and mountainside getaways will be on the agenda for many skiers, snowboarders and winter-recreation enthusiasts.

The winterlike weather won’t surrender its tight grip. The highest snowfall total in the past 24-hour period measured 8 inches at the Mount Baker Ski Area, and 5 inches on summits of Alpental and Stevens Pass. In general, 1 to 4 inches had fallen in the Cascade and Olympic mountains.

Varied terrain, powder snow and wide-open slopes are the draw at Idaho’s Silver Mountain ski resort, which has a new Seattle-area owner. (Willy Bartlett)

Look for sun breaks on Friday and warmer temperatures. A weak front will stall over the state on Friday night bringing rain or snow showers mainly in the northern Cascade and Olympic mountains. There will also be a likely chance of rain or snow Sunday and well into early next week.

The freezing level will bounce around, with a low of 1,500 feet in the northern hillsides jumping up to 4,500 and 8,000 by late Friday.

The snowfall over the past few days pushed the season total at Mount Baker Ski Area to more than 785 inches, so it now has the most snowfall of any ski area in North America. Big snow periods were 115 inches in November, 207 in December and 133 in January. Add a whopping 195 inches through March 23, which doesn’t include all the extra snow that has fallen since then. 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.

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.

Maintenance at state Sno-Parks will end after Friday, but cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling will remain in operation. Trail grooming and parking-lot plowing will come to an end. Portable restrooms may remain available at some Sno-Parks.

Sno-Park permits are valid through the end of April, but many state parks may require just the Discover Pass after March 31. The Winter Recreation Program manages Sno-Parks on lands owned or managed by other agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service. Details:

The Northwest Avalanche Center’s website lists avalanche danger as “moderate to considerable” near, above and below the tree-line. The warnings do not apply to controlled ski areas. The avalanche danger is likely to be higher in the Mount Baker area. Change can happen quickly especially as the weather warms and causes unpredictable snow stability.

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 or

Cross-country skiers got a workout last January  on the 3.7-mile Big Tree Loop out of Pineside Sno-Park in the Mount Adams District of  Gifford Pinchot National Forest.<br/>

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open daily with a 132-inch base (2 to 6 inches new snow), and has 101 trails with eight lifts open. Big Sky Resort is open daily with a 50- to 74-inch base (6 inches new snow).

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (190-inch base); Whistler-Blackcomb (137); Mount Seymour (144-202); Grouse (137-171); Whitewater (141-142); Mount Washington (83-121); Revelstoke (117); Hudson Bay (42-63); Big White (114); Sun Peaks (85-98); Silver Star (69-106); Kicking Horse (31-98); Fernie (63-131); Panorama (25-63); and Red (28-113).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (127-143); Schweitzer (69-125); Tamarack (29-105); Sun Valley (48-105); Brundage Mountain (60-106); Bogus Basin (60-66); Silver (75-83); and Pomerelle (144-159, open weekends only).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (129-216); Mount Bachelor (126-162); Mount Ashland (102-176); Willamette Pass (75-112); Hoodoo (98); Timberline (183); and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (71-86).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:




Summit West, Snoqualmie Closed: Thursday through April 9 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 78 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Thursday through April 9 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 78 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Closed: Thursday through April 9 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 78 inches

Nordic and Tubing Center, Snoqualmie Closed: Thursday through April 9; inner-tubing area open 9am-5:45pm Saturday and Sunday, and April 8-9 (1 to 5 inches new snow) 78 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday, and April 6-9; closed Monday through Wednesday (1 to 5 inches new snow) 107-194 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm (4 to 7 inches new snow) 199-246 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm (1 inch new snow) 72-107 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm Thursday through April 9 (4 inches new snow) 105-125 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm (1 to 4 inches new snow) 88-124 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: 9am-4pm Thursday through Sunday, and April 6-9; closed Monday through Wednesday (3 inches new snow) 56-63 inches

49° North Mountain Open: Closed Thursday; 9am-4pm Friday through April 9 (3 to 4 inches new snow) 57-134 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday, and April 5-9; closed Monday and Tuesday (3 inches new snow) 58-94 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday; closed Monday through Wednesday (no new snow) 54-87 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm (4 to 6 inches new snow) 137 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm (6 to 8 inches new snow) 126-162 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Closed for the season

Methow Trails Open daily: Most trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop and Mazama (no new snow) 15 inches