After record-breaking warmer temperatures earlier this month, back to normal November weather dumped lots of snow in the mountains - prompting ski areas to open for the season.
Stevens Pass ski area opened Tuesday, after a string of storms hit the Cascades since Thanksgiving. Stevens follows Crystal and Mount Baker, which opened the day after Thanksgiving.
Stevens was hit with 14" of snow in the last 48 hours.
Opening Day came earlier than last year, and after a major infrastructure improvement. The resort spent nearly $2 million breaking up rock and clearing the way for an additional 350 parking spaces.
Several dozen skiers and boarders took advantage of the "bluebird" day, and the three lifts that were open. The resort will be open again Wednesday morning, closing at 4 p.m. Stevens says it expects another round of storms to ring fresh powder Wednesday, which may allow them to open up other parts of the resort.
Many other ski areas are primed and ready to open as soon as the snow falls and they get their minimum snow bases. Here is the latest from our local areas:
Crystal Mountain: Crystal Mountain Resort officially opened ski season the day after Thanksgiving. Mt. Rainier Gondola, Green Valley Express and Chinook Express lifts are open. Forest Queen Express opens Wednesday. Quicksilver and Chair 6 are scheduled to open Saturday.
Mission Ridge: Plans to open for the season on December 2, depending on snow conditions. There was 1.5 inches of new snow.
Mount Baker: Mount Baker opened last Friday with more than 68 inches of snow--the deepest base in the U.S. There were 10 inches of new snow that fell in the last 48 hours.
Stevens Pass: With up to 14 inches of snow fall in the past 48 hours, Stevens Pass opened Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
Summit at Snoqualmie: Reporting 17 inches at the top of Alpental, but needs more snow at the base to open.
White Pass: Reporting 8 inches of new snow in the past 48 hours at the base. They need a bit more snow, but are getting closer.
And elsewhere around the Pacific Northwest:
Whistler: If you're willing to head north for a long drive, Whistler is OPEN for ski season! They've had 6 centimeters of new snow in the last 24 hours.
Schweitzer: Reports 6 new inches of snow in the last 24 hours, but tentatively scheduled to open on December 2.
Sun Peaks: The resort reported Alpine and Nordic skiing is now open! Sun Peaks has had 5 centimeters of new snow fall in the past 24 hours.
Mount Spokane: There's been 10 inches of fresh new snow in the past 24 hours. Still currently scheduled to open on Dec. 3.
Silver Mountain: In the last 24 hours there's been 7 inches of new snow. Select trail and tubing open on a daily basis.
Lookout Pass: Will re-open on Dec.1, as they look toward more snow in the forecast. In the last 24 hours there's been 4 inches of new snow.
Mount Hood Meadows: Now open 7 days a week with a limited number of lifts. 15 inches of snow fall in the last 24 hours.
Timberline: Now opening for skiing with 11 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours.
Mount Bachelor: Now open for skiing with 9 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours.
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