Mount Baker is the first in the state to open for winter ski and snowboard operations. Meanwhile, Methow Valley Sport Trails have their earliest opening dating to 1977.

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A series of storms dropped enough snow to open a few resorts, which is an early-season blessing for skiers and snowboarders hit by last winter’s hard times.

There will be a brief break with mostly clear skies through Sunday, and then another weather system arrives Monday bringing light snowfall through Wednesday.

The Mount Baker Ski area is the first in the state to open with a solid base and all chairs running out of both bases. Early season conditions exist with exposed rocks, bare ground and other obstacles so skiers and riders should use caution.

The White Salmon and Raven Hut lodges will have full services, and the Heather Meadows lodge will have limited services.

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association began grooming trails Thursday, and is one of the earliest winter openings dating back to 1977.

Snow conditions were firm on Thursday, and snow will soften during the daytime as temperatures rise slightly above freezing. The best skiing can be found from the Mazama Corral Trailhead with tracks set in the meadows. Skating on Thompson Road up at Sun Mountain is another good choice. There are 15 miles of trails open at Mazama, and more than 75 percent of the trails will be operational by Saturday including Sun Mountain, Winthrop and Rendezvous.

Other Washington areas are still in a wait-and-see mode.

“We had planned for a projected opening of (Friday), but we won’t see that,” said Alysa Hetze, the Stevens Pass Resort communications.

“We are sitting on a 3 inch base and have about 17 inches at mid-mountain,” Hetze said. “Typically, we need to be at the two-foot base level, and hopefully the next storm that can us there. We’re prepped and ready to go, but we just need that snow now.”

At Crystal Mountain Resort, storm related issues will not allow them to open Friday. The resort had no power on Thursday, and were working on cleaning up debris from the windstorm.

To the north in British Columbia, Whistler-Blackcomb Resort and Big White Resort are open for winter operations.

Whistler’s Pig Alley mid-mountain weather station has 30-inches, and the cumulative snow fall this month is 61 inches.

Lifts open at Whistler Mountain are the Whistler Village Gondola, the Creekside Gondola, Emerald Express, Big Red Express and Franz’s Chair. There are 17 trails open and 10 are groomed. Blackcomb Mountain plans to open on Nov. 26.

Big White has a base of 34 inches with 46 inches on the upper mountain. Lifts open are the Ridge Rocket Express Quad, Plaza Quad and Lara’s Gondola with 33 trails open and four were groomed.




The latest lift and snowfall reports:


A look at ski conditions at Washington and selected Northwest resorts:




Summit West, Snoqualmie Closed 5 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Closed NA

Summit East, Snoqualmie Closed NA

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Closed

Alpental, Snoqualmie Closed 6-22 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Mon-Sun: 9am-3:30pm 35-63 inches

Crystal Mountain Closed 4-18 inches

Stevens Pass Closed 3-17 inches

White Pass Closed 5-20 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Closed 7-13 inches

49° North Mountain Closed 7-11 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Closed 3 inches

Ski Bluewood Closed 2-16 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Whistler Mon-Sun: 8:30am-3pm 30 inches

Mt. Bachelor Closed 15 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Closed 0 inches

Methow Trails Open 24-Hours 15 inches