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Originally published December 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Page modified December 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

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Ski report: Mount Baker bucks trend of poor snow conditions

Sparse snowpack continues, but light dusting of snow expected in the Cascades on Friday, followed by cold, sunny weather through New Year’s.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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The drought continues throughout the Pacific Northwest mountains as snow coverage remains thin at virtually all ski and snowboard areas.

Snow showers are expected to bring a light dusting Friday to the Cascades followed by another pattern of cold and sunny weather through the New Year’s holiday.

Those who received new skis and boards as holiday gifts should leave them at home. Sparse snowpack coverage has exposed rocks, gravel and dirt for terrain in lower elevations.

One of the bright spots is the Mount Baker Ski Area, open daily 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which received a trace of snow Wednesday. The main runs were in good condition, including steeper areas like North Face. The Heather Meadows base is 56 inches, and the Pan Dome depth has 70 inches.

Crystal Mountain Resort is open daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with 11 inches on the base and 45 inches on the summit. Lifts open are the Chinook Express, Discovery, Forest Queen, Express, Crystal Gondola, Green Valley, High Campbell, Quicksilver and Rainier Express. Crystal’s Southback has pockets of powder in the tree areas.

Stevens Pass Resort is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the Brooks, Daisy, Hogsback, Skyline and Tye Mill, Skyline, Seventh Heaven, Double Diamond and Kehr’s in operation. In Mill Valley, the new Jupiter Express is open, as well as the Southern Cross lift.

Stevens has a base of 32 inches and 52 inches on the summit. Night skiing is open until 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday, and Jan. 4.

White Pass is open daily 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., and has a base coverage of 10 to 30 inches, and 47 inches on the summit. All lifts and terrain are open except Vertigo in the basin area and Front Side off the Great White area.

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort has all lifts open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have a mid-mountain coverage of 13 inches and 23 inches on the summit. Mission's snowmaking system has also boosted snow coverage on the main runs from two to four feet providing good surface conditions. Night skiing is offered until 8 p.m. on Saturday and Jan. 4.

The Summit at Snoqualmie remains closed, and Summit West usually opens when they’ve accumulated a base of about 24 inches, and Alpental requires a base of at least 48 inches.

East of the Cascades, 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort is open daily 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a 14-inch base and 39-inch summit.

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association opened additional cross-country trails, along with a few at Sun Mountain and Mazama. The area has more than 100-kilometers of groomed trails, including Rendezvous from the Cub Creek trail head and from the Klipchuck campground (located a few miles up Highway 20) from the Early Winters/Mazama area.

The Mount Spokane Ski Area is open daily through Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and night skiing Friday and Saturday until 9:30 p.m.

The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club ski hill and nordic trails are closed, but the tubing park is open.

Ski Bluewood is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 5, with a 10-inch base and a 26-inch summit snow depth.

myuasa@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8780



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