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Say aloha to the sunshine as wild weather is forecast with snow initially falling late Monday, and then quickly shifts to gusty winds, heavy rain and a high avalanche danger, which won’t be a pretty sight on the hillsides for skiers and snowboarders.

A winter storm watch has been issued for the northern Cascades with 10 to 13 inches of snow expected at places like Mount Baker and Stevens Pass late Monday through Tuesday with a snow level going from 2,500 to 6,000 feet.

Most other ski areas will feel much wetter effects from a strong “atmospheric river” weather system moving over the central and southern Cascades with periods of heavy rain, strong winds and a very high freezing level jumping up to 8,500 feet in some places.

The Northwest Avalanche Center has also issued dangerous avalanche conditions developing late Monday or Tuesday with unstable snowpack. Use extreme caution when heading into the backcountry or simply avoid it until conditions become more stable.

Words of advice for backcountry travelers is to always ski or ride with a companion, and stay in visual contact with each other; let others not going with you know of your precise travel itinerary; 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

On the positive side this is the first wet system to hit the Cascades in a long time, and with a solid snowpack will create a solid base and often timessimply seep into the snow without melting much away. It also isn’t expected to stick around for very long, and switches back to possibly more snow and colder weather by Thursday and heading into the upcoming weekend.

Snowfall totals through Thursday are 6 to 13 inches at Mount Baker; 5 to 13 inches at Stevens Pass; no snow accumulation at Alpental at the Summit at Snoqualmie; 18 to 33 inches at Crystal Mountain (mainly above 5,000 feet); and 6 to 11 inches at White Pass.

On the Olympic Peninsula, Hurricane Ridge Ski & Snowboard Area is open Saturday and Sunday. In northeastern Washington, Loup Loup Ski Bowl is open daily along with nordic skiing and snowshoeing on Bear Mountain, South Summit and around the ski base area.

The Paradise snow-play area at Mount Rainier National Park is open, restricted to soft sliding devices such as inner tubes or plastic discs. Snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing are allowed. Ranger-guided snowshoe walks are offered. The gate to Paradise at Longmire was open on Monday, but that could change with the soggy weather in the couple days ahead. Check the web site or call for road closures or delays at 360-569-6575 or

Cross-country skiers have plenty of options although a more sticky grip like “klister wax” for the bottom of skis could be necessary for gliders heading into wet trail conditions at Lake Wenatchee State Park; Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area; Methow Trails; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; White Pass; Stevens Pass; Summit at Snoqualmie; and Cabin Creek area, located just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open for the winter season with a 72-inch base, and 101 trails open and 10 lifts operating.

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress Mountain (119-inch base); Whistler Blackcomb Resort (70); Mount Seymour (97-127); Grouse Mountain (102-130); Whitewater Ski Resort (67-68); Mount Washington Alpine Resort (55-60); Revelstoke Mountain Resort (67); Hudson Bay Mountain (30-55); Big White (62); Sun Peaks (44-57); Silver Star (33-56); Kicking Horse (22-52); Fernie Alpine (36-66); Panorama Mountain (20-36); and Red Mountain Resort (53).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (103-121); Schweitzer Mountain Resort (34-60); Tamarack Resort (36-53); Sun Valley (78-96); Brundage Mountain Resort (44-62); Bogus Basin (56-65); Silver Mountain (50-60); and Pomerelle Mountain Resort (89-98).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (88-163); Mount Bachelor (92-118); Mount Hood Skibowl (63-74); Timberline Lodge (113); Mount Ashland (83-113); Cooper Spur (34); Willamette Pass (75-112); and Hoodoo Ski Area (78).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:




Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-5pm Monday and Sunday, and Jan. 29; closed Tuesday, and Jan. 23-24; 4pm-10pm Wednesday to Friday, and Jan. 25-27; 9am-10pm Saturday, and Jan. 28 60 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Monday to Saturday, and Jan. 23-28; 9am-5pm Sunday and Jan. 29 60 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Monday, Saturday and Sunday, and Jan. 28-29; closed Tuesday to Friday, and Jan. 23-27 60 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Monday, Friday to Sunday, and Jan. 28-29; 9am-3:30pm Jan. 27; closed Tuesday to Thursday, and Jan. 23-26 60 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Monday to Friday, and Jan. 24-28; 9am-4pm Sunday and Jan. 29; closed Jan. 23 63-106 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm 103-155 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm 48-61 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm; night skiing until 10 pm Monday, Wednesday to Sunday, and Jan. 25-29 55-69 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing until 9 pm this Saturday 65-82 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: 9am-4pm; closed Tuesday and Wednesday; and night skiing until 8 p.m. on Saturdays only 36-43 inches

49° North Mountain Open: 9am-3:30pm Friday to Tuesday; closed Wednesday and Thursday 55-77 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: 9am-4pm Sunday and Monday; 9am-9:30pm Wednesday to Saturday; closed Monday and Tuesday 40-50 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: 9am-4pm Wednesday to Sunday 63-73 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm 70 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm 92-118 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: All nordic trails open daily; tubing open 3pm-7pm Wednesday and Friday, and 9:30am-5pm Saturday and Sunday; ski hill open 3pm-8pm Wednesday and Friday, 9:30am-5pm Saturday to Sunday
 24 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: Many nordic trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop and Mazama 17 inches