Mount Baker Ski Area is opening Thursday after a series of storms dropped more than two feet of snow.

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Mount Baker Ski Area is opening Thursday after a series of storms dropped more than two feet of snow.

“We got 14 to 15 inches of snow (in past two days), and lucked out as we were on the leading edge of that storm cycle’s cold front,” said Gwyn Howat, operations manager at the Mount Baker Ski Area. “It looks like there will be a brief bump up in the temperature, and then it drops back down again so it looks fantastic coming into Thursday and the weekend.”

Currently, the base is 36 inches at Heather Meadows with another 60 inches on top of Pan Dome.

“We still need to determine how many runs will be open, but it looks favorable that we’ll be able to open five chairlifts and hope to open the White Salmon base area,” Howat said.

Mount Baker will be very busy getting the hillsides prepped over the next few days, and there will be heavy equipment in the parking lots and roads so the public is asked to please give their work crew lots of space for the safety of those in the area.

Snow stacked up on the chairs on Chair 8, with Mount Shuksan in the background. (Courtesty photo / Mount Baker Ski Area)
Snow stacked up on the chairs on Chair 8, with Mount Shuksan in the background. (Courtesty photo / Mount Baker Ski Area)

Stevens Pass Resort is taking a wait-and-see approach as to what will happen in next few days.

“The next 48 hours is going to be entertaining, and the forecast says we should get 3 to 7 inches (Monday), and another 18 to 24 inches (Monday night and Tuesday),” said Chris Danforth, vice president of marketing and sales at Stevens Pass.

Stevens has about 11 to 16 inches at mid-mountain with another 7 inches in the base area.

“We could see a scenario of opening on Thursday, but a lot of that depends on what happens with the weather,” Danforth said. “We have started to make snow (with snow-making machines) in the base area, and that is a first. In past years we’ve just pulled snow from the parking lot to fill the base area.”

To the south, Crystal Mountain Resort is also in a holding pattern after getting some snow and then losing a bit to the warmer weather this past weekend.

“We picked up an additional 6 inches of snow (Sunday), and we’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next 48 hours,” said Tiana Anderson, the marketing director for Crystal Mountain Resort. “We’ll know if it’s a reality by then.”

The upper mountain at Green Valley has 14 inches of snow on the ground after losing 8 inches this past weekend.

“We need another 6 or 8 inches, but right now everything looks good and hopefully this next weather system will move us in the right direction,” said Anderson, who added their four new snow-making system should help boost coverage at the lower base.

Lower elevation ski areas like The Summit at Snoqualmie reported 17 inches on top of Alpental.

To the north in British Columbia, Big White Resort opened Friday and Whistler-Blackcomb Resort is opening Thursday.

At Whistler-Blackcomb’s Pig Alley weather station they’ve received 22 inches in the past week with a base of 31 inches. The cumulative snow fall this month is 52 inches.

Whistler Mountain will have five lifts running that includes the Whistler Village Gondola, the Creekside Gondola, Emerald Express, Big Red Express and Franz’s Chair. Blackcomb Mountain plans to open on Nov. 26.

Washington and Oregon residents can get a discounted EDGE card adult rate of $71 (U.S.) if purchased before Nov. 23 (discounts are higher for multiple days).

Big White – located near Kelowna is currently open, which is nearly two weeks sooner than expected, and is the resort’s earliest opening since the 2001/02 season. To sweeten the deal, lift tickets will be half-price.

Big White received 4 inches of snow Sunday with a base total of 31 inches. The lifts open are the Ridge Rocket Express Quad, Plaza Quad and Lara’s Gondola with 14 trails open.

Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia also plans to open this Saturday.