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While no copious amounts of snow is expected to fall in coming days, skiers and snowboarders will still find excellent conditions, and many ski resorts reported a record turnout during the Christmas holiday break.

“We had a great holiday period once we got the power back on and the roads cleared, and actually had record crowds,” said Guy Lawrence, the marketing director at the Summit at Snoqualmie.

“I think half the population of Seattle came up,” Lawrence said. “It was a good scenario and a very strong start to the season both for the conditions and a business point of view. We have plenty of snow for January and February, and maybe well into March.”

Make plans to visit Summit East and take a ride up the new Rampart quad lift providing access to unique trails and gladed tree areas, and a crossover trail between Summit East and Central.

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“The new crossover trail is proving to be a great link between the two areas, and has an improved family friendly zone around Silver Fir and Summit East,” Lawrence said.

A new run will be dedicated 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Summit East called Sarrah’s Run. The run is named after Sarrah A. Powers who tragically died in a car accident last March near Snoqualmie Pass.

A skier sets out at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort
A skier sets out at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort

Alysa Hetze, the communications and social media manager at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort also echoed similar news on Friday.

Hetze said from Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, Stevens – located 78 miles east of Seattle – had seen its best visitation numbers during a holiday period since skier visits started being electronically recorded in the 2006-07 winter season. Visits during the holiday period exceeded the resort’s five-year average by 35 percent, and overall visitation is up 119 percent over last season-to-date.

“We had a spectacular start to the season,” Bill Bourton, the Stevens Pass general manager said in an email. “Conditions have been amazing and we saw great snowfall in December.”

In a span of 22 days after opening last month, Stevens received 12 feet of snow and was 137 percent above average for the month.

Elsewhere places like Crystal Mountain Resort actually received a foot of snow in the past week bringing the season snowfall total to 244 inches. There are still good pockets of powder and smooth groomed corduroy conditions along the main trails.

Stevens Pass Resort is boasting a season snowfall of 198 inches with excellent conditions from the top of Seventh Heaven clear down to the base area. At White Pass there is 7 inches of untouched powder in the basin, but skiers and riders should stay away from deep tree wells. Their season snowfall total ranges from 179 to 203 inches.

A strong start to the winter season makes Heartstopper and Sideburn great choices for downhill backcountry skiers and boarders or snowshoe treks at Scottish Lakes High Camp south of Lake Wenatchee State Park in the north-central Cascades.

Cross-country gliders can find prime trail conditions at Summit at Snoqualmie; White Pass; Stevens Pass; Cabin Creek and Erling Stordahl trail system located 10 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit at Exit 63 off I-90; and east from Leavenworth to the Methow Trails.

Paradise in Mount Rainier National  Park can be a winter wonderland good for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.
Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park can be a winter wonderland good for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.

At Lake Wenatchee State Park, look for fair to good soft snow along trails at Nason Ridge, South Park, Kahler Glen and North Park with Chiwawa seeing the best conditions in years. There is some debris on trails from trees shedding snow. A Sno-Park permit is required, with self-pay stations located at each parking area. The area also has snowshoe trails and a sled hill.

Other great cross-country-skiing bets are the Cabin Creek area in the Snoqualmie Corridor, Leavenworth (which has 26K groomed trails) and 49 Degrees North (which has 25K of trails open).

Mount Rainier National Park is open for winter activities, and the snow-play sliding hill at Paradise is open on weekends and holidays. Ranger-guided 1.8-mile snowshoe walks are available Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through March 27 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. outside of the Jackson Visitor Center. Sign-ups begin one hour before each scheduled time. Be sure to check the website for road conditions and restrictions before heading up. Through Wednesday, Paradise was covered with 101 inches of snow. For updates, go to

The snowy weather pattern last month has come to an end for the moment although a weak low-pressure system brought a little dusting of snow to the Cascades in the past few days. The snowpack remains robust, and while this month might not see any heavy snowfall it won’t end up being one to worry about either.

High pressure will move back in bringing partly cloudy to mostly clear skies Friday through Sunday. The freezing level will jump around from 1,500 feet to as high as 6,500 feet.

Skiers and boarders head up the slopes at Stevens Pass Resort. (Caitlin Moran / The Seattle Times)
Skiers and boarders head up the slopes at Stevens Pass Resort. (Caitlin Moran / The Seattle Times)

In Oregon, Mount Bachelor (85-115 inch base), Timberline (88), Mount Ashland (59-91), Hoodoo (56), Mount Hood Meadows (79-109), Mount Hood Ski Bowl (56-58), Cooper Spur (34) and Anthony Lakes (45).

In Idaho, areas open daily include Sun Valley (57-80), Brundage (51-76), Tamarack (46-60), Pomerelle (71-88 with 1 new), Schweitzer (42-71), Lookout Pass (48-76 with 3 new), Soldier Mountain (50-65), Bogus Basin (44-50) and Silver Mountain (27-48 with 1 new).

In Montana, Whitefish Mountain Resort is open daily, and has a 57-inch base, and 139 inches so far this season. A total of 105 trails and 10 lifts were operating.

To the north in British Columbia, areas open daily include Whistler-Blackcomb (65), Cypress (125), Mount Washington (58-76), Whitewater (80 with 4 new), Manning Park (50-62), Big White (83 with 1 new), Revelstoke (28-64 with 1 new), Fernie (33-70 with 3 new), Mount Seymour (68-116), Red Mountain (67), Grouse Mountain (80-125), Kicking Horse (29-49 with 2 new), Apex (63), Silver Star (49-61), Sun Peaks (52-56), Panorama (24-41 with 2 new) and Kimberley (48 with 4 new).

Upcoming events

The Smash Life! Banked Slalom event is 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Back Bowls of Alpental. Cost is $25. Details: or

The Mount Baker Ski Area’s Legendary Banked Slalom Race is Feb. 18-21. Details:

The Crystal Mountain Resort Free Snow Safety Seminar is 7-8:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Crystal Chapel. The event is hosted by the Crystal Mountain Founders Club and Pro Patrol. A free whistle will be given to the first 100 who attend. Details: or call Kim Jarvis at 206-954-2122.

The Stevens Pass Resort Gro Sno Ladies Day is Saturday, Jan. 9. Registration is 8-9:45 a.m. Activities include demos, lunch, raffle, discounted lift ticket (cash only), group ski/board for all abilities, and more fun. Details:

The Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort Twilight Snowshoe Trek is 5 p.m. (check-in is 4:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 9 outside the Hampton Lodge Rental Shop. There are several routes available and each trek is fitted to the group interests and abilities. Cost is $10. Snowshoes may be rented at the Ridge Mountain Works Rental Desk for $15 if you don’t have a pair of your own. Details:

The Never Ever Days will return to the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 9-10. The program is open for 450 beginner skiers and snowboarders ages 19 and older, and includes a one-day Max4 lesson, lift ticket, ski or board rental and refreshments at the Garibaldi Lift Company for just $25. Register online at In addition the Discover Whistler Days will be offered with a 25 percent discount on select adult, youth and kids group lessons Jan. 18-Feb. 5; Feb. 20-March 11; and April 9-17. Details:

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:




Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: Fri, and Wed-Thu: 4pm-10pm; Sat: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon-Tue 74 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sat and Mon-Thu: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm 74 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: Sat-Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Sun-Jan. 15 74 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sun: 9am-3pm; closed Mon-Thu. Tubing center open Fri-Sat: 9am-9pm; Sun: 9am-5pm 74 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: Fri-Sat and Tue-Thu: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-5pm; closed Mon 85-120 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm 101-133 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm 59-90 inches

Stevens Pass Open: Fri-Sat and Wed-Thu: 9am-10pm; Sun: 9am-6pm; Mon-Tue: 9am-4pm 53-73 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm; night skiing Thu-Sat until 9pm. Nordic center is also open 58-79 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: Fri-Mon and Thu: 9am-4pm; closed Tue-Wed; night skiing Sat until 8pm 53-60 inches

49° North Mountain Open: Fri-Tue: 9am-3:30pm, 1-2 inches new 55-94 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: Fri-Sat and Wed: 9am-9:30pm; Sun: 9am-4pm; closed Mon-Tue 44-67 inches

Ski Bluewood Open daily: 9am-4pm 52-65 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 8:30am-3pm 65 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm 85-115 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: Icicle River, Leavenworth Golf Course and Ski Hill nordic trails. Ski Hill open Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5pm; Wed and Fri: 3pm-8pm 35 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: 21 trails groomed at Mazama; 19 at Rendezvous; 21 at Sun Mountain; and 13 at Winthrop 26 inches