The blast of snow that hammered the Cascades earlier this week has snowboarders and skiers looking past Thanksgiving and to the slopes. They may not have to wait much longer.
Crystal Mountain Resort has gotten — and created — enough snow to open its Discovery Meadow area this Friday for the weekend. It will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. The mountain got 13 inches of snow Monday, and cold temperatures allowed Crystal’s snow-making machines to put 12 inches on the lower slopes. Scenic gondola rides will be available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the weekend, but you won’t be able to ski from there.
Crystal is often the first to open in Western Washington. But other snowboard and ski areas shouldn’t be too far behind.
Stevens Pass has a tentative opening date of Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Summit at Snoqualmie is also eyeing Dec. 4, which is its average opening day. The Summit West area is likely to be the first part of the mountain to open because it gets the best snow coverage.
Farther north, the Mount Baker Ski Area, which usually gets dumped on early and often, got 6 inches of snow Monday night and a trace Tuesday night. Baker has no opening date yet, but its website has this note to skiers and snowboarders: “Keep shaking your snow-makers and we hope to see you on the mountain soon!”
Conditions are looking promising on the eastern side of the Cascades. Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort will open for the season on Friday.