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Originally published February 21, 2013 at 4:20 PM | Page modified February 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM

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More snow, great conditions expected at Cascade resorts

A series of active storm systems are expected to leave bring heavy snowfall at area resorts beginning Thursday night, with some of the best conditions we've seen since December.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A snorkel could come in handy for skiers and snowboarders as plenty of snow is expected to fall in the Cascade mountains.

The weather forecast calls for a series of very active storm systems heading our way beginning Thursday night that will bring heavy snowfall, and some of the best conditions we've seen since December.

The extended outlook says this wet and cold weather pattern, and low freezing elevations will hang around possibly delivering 12 to 36 inches of snow in the next five days.

All Western Washington ski and snowboard areas were reporting an inch to 5 inches of snow Wednesday along with excellent conditions on and off the main trails.

Crystal Mountain Resort has eight lifts open at 9 a.m. daily, with a base of 63 inches and a summit total of 95 inches. The season snowfall is 329 inches. Crystal is operating on extended hours during through this weekend, with Chinook Express and Forest Queen open until 4:30 p.m., and Discovery, Gold Hills and Quicksilver running until 6 p.m.

Stevens Pass Resort has 37 trails open (28 groomed) with nine lifts in operation on an 87-inch base, with 100 inches on the summit. The season snowfall total is 358 inches. Stevens is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Summit at Snoqualmie and Alpental received 1 to 2 inches the past few days. The Summit West base is covered with 72 inches. Alpental has 87 inches on lower slopes and 153 inches on the summit.

Summit Central is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Friday and Monday to Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Alpental is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and Tuesday to Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; and closed on Monday.

Summit West is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; and closed Monday and Tuesday.

Summit East reopens 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Sunday. The Summit Tubing Center is open 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The Nordic center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

The Mount Baker Ski Area is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and received 3 to 5 inches since Wednesday. Heather Meadows has a base of 158 inches, and 186 inches covers the base of Pan Dome.

The White Pass Ski Area is open 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with six lifts operating on 47 machine-groomed trails. The area received 1 inch of snow Wednesday night, with a 73-inch base and a summit depth of 112 inches.

Mission Ridge has three lifts with 44 trails open (24 groomed) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Monday. Mission received a trace of new Wednesday, and has a midway base depth of 34 inches and a summit total of 54 inches.

The 49 Degrees North Ski Area received 4 to 5 inches of snow in past two days, and has a 62-inch base and a summit total of 122 inches. They're open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays to Tuesdays. Five lifts will operate on 82 trails (36 groomed).

Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is open 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. There are 45 trails open (32 groomed) with 3 inches of snow in past two days, and a base of 60 inches and 75 inches on the summit.

Ski Bluewood is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, and has a base of 50 inches and a summit total of 69 inches. All lifts are open, leading to 24 trails, with seven groomed.

The Hurricane Ridge Ski Area is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Sunday. Hurricane Ridge received 2 inches of snow Wednesday and has a 100-inch base, operating three lifts on three trails.

Slopeside events

• The White Pass Ski Area's Winter Carnival is March 2-3, and events include an interactive snow castle, torchlight parade, carnival games and races, snow sculptures, fireworks and live music. The fund-rasing event supports Children's Miracle Network and White Pass Volunteer Ski Patrol. The Washington State University Cougar Day is this Saturday. Wear your crimson and gray on the slopes, and visit the Cougar booth. Details: http://skiwhitepass.com.

• The Hog Loppet, a noncompetitive 30-kilometer cross-country ski trek, from the top of Mission Ridge Ski Area to Blewett Pass is 7:30 a.m. this Saturday. This isn't an event for first time skiers due to some steep terrain and ungroomed conditions. Details: www.skileavenworth.com.

• The Vertical Express for MS at Crystal Mountain Resort is Friday to Sunday. Teams of skiers and snowboarders are welcome to help raise money. Details: www.mscando.org.

• The Winthrop Balloon Roundup is March 1-3 in the town of Winthrop. Come view the hot air balloons as they lift off from town each day around 7 a.m. There will also be a nighttime balloon event on Saturday at 6 p.m. Other events include nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, fat biking and sledding. Details: www.winthropwashington.com.

• The FIS Speed Skiing World Cup Event is Feb. 28 to March 3 at the Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia. The top 50 world's fastest skiers from 10 countries will converge on the Headwalls Speed Skiing Track to see if anyone can break the Sun Peaks record of 110 mph (the world record is 155 mph). Details: www.velocitychallenge.com or www.sunpeaksresort.com.

• The Whistler and Blackcomb Resort's Snow School is offering a program titled: "Ski with an Olympian." The exclusive program includes a full-day of skiing or riding guided by an Olympic athlete with capacity capped at five people per group. Details: www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

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

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