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Originally published November 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Page modified November 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

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Ski report: More snow expected this weekend

A series of strong storms are lined up off the West Coast, and the immediate outlook calls for rain or snow mixed in the Cascades, turning...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A series of strong storms are lined up off the West Coast, and the immediate outlook calls for rain or snow mixed in the Cascades, turning to heavy snowfall by this weekend.

A mid-November storm allowed some Washington ski areas to open for early winter operations.

Crystal Mountain Resort has five lifts open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the Mount Rainier Gondola, Green Valley, Rainier Express, Chinook Express and Forest Queen lifts operating. Most of the areas are intermediate and expert terrain. High Campbell was closed Thursday due to strong wind gusts.

Snow coverage in the upper mountain at Crystal is very good, but more is needed to open the beginner lifts. The Sasquatch Jib Park is open with a limited number of features.

The base at Crystal is 15 inches and the summit has a depth of 29 inches, with 2 inches of snow overnight. Tickets are $55 for lifts only, $63 including the gondola.

On Dec. 15, Crystal hosts its Golden Anniversary Celebration birthday bash.

Mission Ridge will reopen Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Chairs 1, 2 and 3 in operation. Lift tickets are $40. Mission received 2 inches of snow Wednesday night, and has a 16-inch base and 23 inches on the summit.

Mount Baker's operation is evaluated each morning, and was open Thursday until 2 p.m. with Chairs 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 running. It was raining, but the forecast calls for the snow level to drop, bringing as much as 16 inches of snow between Friday and Sunday.

Baker has a season snowfall depth of 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet. The Heather Meadows base is 44 inches, and the Pan Dome base has 55 inches. Lift-ticket prices are based on conditions, hours of operation and number of lifts open so check www.mtbaker.us for updates.

The Stevens Pass Resort is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., conditions permitting with the Skyline, Hogsback and Brooks lifts in operation. Lift tickets are $39. Early season conditions exist, so skiers and snowboarders should use caution. Two inches of snow fell at Stevens on Wednesday night, bringing the base total to 24 inches.

The Summit at Snoqualmie continues to receive snow with a base of 14 inches, but no opening date has been set yet. White Pass has a base of 8 inches with a summit depth of 27 inches, but more snow is needed to open.

East of the Cascades, 49 Degrees North opened on Thanksgiving weekend, and plans to reopen Friday with Chairs 1, 3, 5 and 6 in operation. Many are waiting eagerly for the new Angel Peak chairlift to open at 49 Degrees North. It's the newest lift in Washington, allowing access for prime tree skiing and nine new runs.

Snow continues to fall on the Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park and Ski Bluewood, which both plan to open very soon.

In Oregon, Mount Bachelor Resort is open daily with a 20-inch base, 30-inch mid-mountain depth and a season snowfall total of 68 inches. Lifts open are Pine Marten Express, Sunshine Accelerator and Skyliner Express.

Mount Hood Meadows is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a mid-mountain snow depth of 25 inches. Lifts operating are the Ballroom Carpet, Buttercup, Mouint Hood Express, Shooting Star Express, Cascade Express and Vista Express.

Timberline Resort received 1 inch of snow overnight and has a based of 34 inches with a season snowfall total of 106 inches. The Bruno's, Pucci and Stormin' Norman lifts open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Magic Mile and Palmer are open depending on weather conditions.

In British Columbia, Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain Resort is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The resort received 3 inches of snow Wednesday night and has a base of 43 inches with a season snowfall total of 71 inches.

Lifts operating at Whistler are the Whistler Village Gondola, Creekside Gondola, Emerald Express, Franz's, Big Red Express and Peak-2-Peak Gondola. Lifts open at Blackcomb are the Excalibur Gondola, Wizard Express, Solar Coaster Chair, Excelerator Chair, Catskinner Chair, Jersey Cream Chair and Crystal Chair.

Sun Peaks Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Monday, lift tickets are $2 plus a nonperishable food donation for the Kamloops Food Bank.

Sun Peaks lifts in operation are the Sunburst Express, Sundance Express, Morrisey Express, Crystal, Elevation, and the Village Carpet and Morrisey Platter.

Other British Columbia Resorts open are Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour. Red Mountain Resort also plans to open Dec. 8 and Revelstoke Mountain on Saturday.

In Montana, the Whitefish Resort plans to open Dec. 8 and has 30 inches on the summit. Big Sky Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Amtrak has a 20 percent discount overnight train ride to Whitefish for Washington skiers and snowboarders. Details: www.amtrak.com.

In Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Silver Mountain will reopen Friday. Sun Valley is open daily, and Lookout Pass is open daily but is closed on Tuesdays.

In Colorado, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Eldora, Irwin, Keystone, Loveland, Purgatory at Durango, Steamboat, Telluride, Winter Park, Vail, Winter Park and Wolf Creek are open daily.

In Utah, Alta, Brian Head, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Brighton, Park City and Solitude are open daily. In Wyoming, Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole are open daily.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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