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There is no end in sight for what can be termed as “snowmageddon” and that is great news for skiers and snowboarders heading to the slopes.

Snowy weather should continue possibly through the upcoming weekend, and this time it appears the southern Cascades will benefit the most with places like Crystal Mountain and White Pass forecast to get another whopping three-plus feet of snow.


Another broad trough of low pressure with a cold unstable air mass is pushing across the state keeping the freezing level from 500 to 2,000 feet. Then look for a rather stormy Tuesday as a much stronger low pressure system moves inland bringing moderate to heavy snowfall mainly to the southern mountainsides before decreasing as the day progresses.

Weather stations from Stevens Pass to Mount Hood received 2 to 9 inches of snow in a 24 hour period ending early Monday morning, but top honors went to Mount Baker with a grand total of 23 inches, according to Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC).

A snowboarder catches plenty of air on a recent sunny day at the Mount Baker Ski Area. Photo courtesy of Brad Andrew.

Not to encourage calling in sick to work, but there could be an uptick of “ski fever” during the middle of this week as oodles of powder stashes will be found all along the hillsides.

Expected snowfall totals through Thursday are: 11 to 23 inches at the Mount Baker Ski Area; 18 to 37 at Stevens Pass Resort; 16 to 33 at Alpental at The Summit at Snoqualmie; 24 to 51 at Crystal Mountain Resort; and 20 to 38 at White Pass Ski Area.

There is a negative side to all this snowfall, which has raised the danger of avalanches in the Cascade backcountry that included a fatality over the weekend.

The NWAC reported numerous serious avalanche involvements in the Olympics and Cascades on Saturday, and included a snowmobile fatality near Gallagher Head Lake located northeast of Cle Elum Lake; a full burial and recovery in the Cedar Creek Drainage just east of Washington Pass; a four- to five-foot triggered wind slab on Mount Herman that fully and partially buried a separate party of three at the base of the slide; a triggered slide on a north aspect of Chair Peak in the Alpental Valley resulting in a broken femur to a skier who was rushed to a Seattle hospital that required an organized rescue. Numerous other avalanche involvements occurred on Saturday as well.

In this Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 photo, John Stimberis climbs up into an elevated platform at Snoqualmie Pass, Wash., just off the side of the road, which is used for avalanche control when conditions become hazardous. Stimberis is an avalanche forecasting and control supervisor for the Washington State Department of Transportation at Snoqualmie Pass. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times via AP)

Anyone heading to the backcountry should be on alert until the recent storm snow stabilizes although the warning doesn’t apply to ski areas where avalanche prevention operations are maintained. The avalanche conditions were listed as “considerable” near and above the tree-line, and “moderate” below the tree-line on the Northwest Avalanche Center’s website.

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 or http://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/.


The total snowfall this season is 534-plus inches at Mount Baker Ski Area (big snow periods were 115 inches in November, 207 in December, and 133 in January) through March 1, and 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.

Other total snowfall this season are 296 inches at the Summit at Snoqualmie; 356 inches at Stevens Pass Resort; 335 inches at Crystal Mountain Resort (more than nine feet fell in February alone); 350 to 384 inches at White Pass Ski Area; and 350 inches at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia.

Cascade Backcountry Ski Patroller Chris Stoll, right, leads a group on a ski tour near Snoqualmie Pass in December. (Caitlin Moran/The Seattle Times)

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 (4 inches new snow). 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.

Inner-tubing or sledding and snowshoeing options are Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park; the Summit at Snoqualmie tubing center; Lake Wenatchee State Park; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; Hurricane Ridge; Stevens Pass; Lower Gold Creek Basin; Lake Wenatchee State Park; Suncadia Tubing Hill near Cle Elum; Echo Valley; and Sno-Parks at Hyak, Oldham Pass and Lake Wenatchee. Be sure to check with each area before going to make sure they are open.

Ranger-guided guided snowshoe walks are also offered at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Hurricane Ridge. Snowshoe rentals are available at the Summit at Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass Resort with accessible trails nearby.

Many cross-country ski trails were groomed 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.

A view of Mount Rainier from a Paradise-area webcam on a sunny winter day. (National Park Service)

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open daily with a 123-inch base (2 to 4 inches new snow), and has 101 trails and 10 lifts open with night skiing offered Friday and Saturday. Big Sky Resort is open daily with a 54- to 80-inch base (4 to 8 inches new snow).

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (156-inch base); Whistler-Blackcomb (115); Mount Seymour (134-173); Grouse (98-126); Whitewater (116-117); Mount Washington (73-91); Revelstoke (97); Hudson Bay (42-63); Big White (92); Sun Peaks (66-80); Silver Star (57-83); Kicking Horse (39-82); Fernie (53-113); Panorama (35-59); and Red (28-94).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (122-139); Schweitzer (75-118); Tamarack (56-110); Sun Valley (61-123); Brundage Mountain (82-113); Bogus Basin (88-93); Silver (78-89); and Pomerelle (154-165).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (129-199); Mount Bachelor (133-157); Mount Ashland (120-180); Willamette Pass (75-112, closed on Monday); Hoodoo (108); Timberline (166); and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (81-92).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Monday to Friday, and March 13-17; 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 18-19 (1 to 4 inches new snow) 95 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Monday to Saturday, and Monday to March 13-18; 9am-5pm Sunday, and March 19 (1 to 4 inches new snow) 95 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Monday to Friday, and March 13-17; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 18-19 (1 to 4 inches new snow) 95 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Monday to Friday, and March 13-17; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 18-19 (1 to 4 inches new snow) 95 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: Closed Monday, and March 13; 9am-10pm Tuesday to Friday; 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and March 14-19 (1 to 4 inches new snow) 109-165 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm (12 to 23 inches new snow) 181-228 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm (4 to 5 inches new snow) 81-105 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm; night skiing until 10 pm Friday and Saturday, and March 17-18; cross-country trails are open Thursday to Sunday (5 inches new snow) 105-124 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing until 9pm this Saturday only (10 inches new snow) 93-117 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: Closed Monday to Wednesday, March 13-15; 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday, and March 16-19 (2 to 3 inches new snow) 50-53 inches

49° North Mountain Open: 9am-4pm Monday and Tuesday, and Friday to March 14; closed Wednesday and Thursday, and March 15-16 (1 to 3 inches new snow) 110-175 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: Closed Monday and Tuesday, and March 13-14; 9am-9:30pm Wednesday to Saturday; 9am-4pm Sunday, and March 15-19 (3 inches new snow) 68-90 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: Closed Monday to Wednesday; 9am-4pm Thursday to Sunday (8 inches new snow) 86-100 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm (5 to 7 inches new snow) 115 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm (7 to 9 inches new snow) 133-157 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: Nordic trails are open daily are 8K at Icicle River and 7K at ski hill; ski hill open Wednesday and Friday, and Saturday and Sunday (no new snow)
 22 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: All nordic trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop and Mazama (2 inches new snow) 31 inches