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Originally published Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

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Best time to hit the slopes might be Sunday-Monday

There is no shortage of snow covering the Cascades, but now we've shifted into a give and take mode. A warm and moisture-laden front has...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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There is no shortage of snow covering the Cascades, but now we've shifted into a give and take mode.

A warm and moisture-laden front has streamed into the Pacific Northwest and is expected to continue through Thursday night. This will be followed by a dry and clearing pattern Friday and another warm front on Saturday.

Then a much colder and dryer weather pattern arrives Sunday through Monday, which might be the best time to hit the slopes.

Most Western Washington ski and snowboard areas reported up to 13 inches of snow the past few days, building up a nice layer. Soft, compact snow conditions await.

Crystal Mountain Resort has eight lifts open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with a base of 71 inches and a summit total of 108 inches. The season snowfall is 350 inches, with 10 inches of new snow in the past five days.

Stevens Pass Resort has 37 trails open (26 groomed) with nine lifts in operation on a 107-inch base, with 119 inches on the summit. The season snowfall total is 396 inches, and the resort received 5 inches Wednesday and 10 inches in the past two days. Stevens is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday. Hours then change for March 4-31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday to Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday.

The Summit at Snoqualmie and Alpental received up to 10 inches the past two days, and more than 2 feet since Monday. The Summit West base is covered with 87 inches. Alpental has 107 inches on lower slopes, and 181 inches on the summit.

Summit Central is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, and Monday to March 9; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Alpental is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, and Tuesday to March 9; 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 to March 8.

Summit East is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays to Sundays only. The Summit Tubing Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Sunday; and closed Monday to Wednesday. The Nordic center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday to Sunday only.

The Mount Baker Ski Area is open 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and received up to 2 inches since Wednesday. Heather Meadows has a base of 190 inches, and 213 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 has received 2 to 3 inches of snow since Wednesday, with a 92-inch base and a summit depth of 133 inches.

Mission Ridge has three lifts with 44 trails open (24 groomed) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Mission has received 3 inches of snow since Wednesday, and has a midway base depth of 38 inches and a summit total of 55 inches.

The 49 Degrees North Ski Area received 8 inches of snow the past two days, and has a 63-inch base and a summit total of 126 inches. They're open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays to Tuesdays. Five lifts will operate on 82 trails (21 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 10 inches of snow the past two days, and a base of 70 inches and 87 inches on the summit.

Ski Bluewood is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Sunday, and has a base of 66 inches and a summit total of 84 inches. Bluewood received 2 to 4 inches of snow the past two days. 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-Sunday. Hurricane Ridge has received 13 inches of snow since Tuesday, and has a 110-inch base, operating three lifts on three trails.

Slopeside events

• The B.A.R.K. Backcountry Ball is 6 p.m. Saturday at the Alpental Lodge. There will be a spaghetti feed, silent auction, raffle and dancing. Cost is $6 adults, and $3 children under age 10. Details: www.summitatsnoqualmie.com.

• The Hope for the Slopes, Ski and Ride for a Cure fundraising event to support the American Cancer Society is this weekend at the Stevens Pass Resort; March 16 at Crystal Mountain Resort; and March 16-17 at the White Pass Ski Area. The event is for all ages and skills. Individual and teams of up to 15 raise money for the most vertical feet or continued participation on the hour awards. Details: 253-207-5158 or email charlene.piercy@cancer.org.

• The Winter Special Olympics is Friday to Sunday at the Mission Ridge Ski Area. More than 1,500 athletes will participate in sports including basketball, alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, and figure skating and speedskating. Details: www.sowa.org.

• The White Pass Ski Area's Winter Carnival is this weekend, and events include an interactive snow castle, torchlight parade, carnival games and races, snow sculptures, fireworks and live music. The fundraising event supports Children's Miracle Network and White Pass Volunteer Ski Patrol. Details: http://skiwhitepass.com.

• The Winthrop Balloon Roundup is Friday to Sunday. Hot-air balloons lift off from Winthrop each day around 7 a.m. There will also be a nighttime balloon event 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 Friday to Sunday 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 Sun Valley Resort Film Festival is March 14-17, and features more than 60 short films, student films and music videos at theater venues in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey. For a complete schedule, visit www.sunvalleyfilmfestival.org.

• The submission deadline for the Mount Hood Meadows Film Festival is March 10 for the event that will be held 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 17 in the Vertical Restaurant. Prizes for the top ten finalists, including the top prize of $500. Details: 503-337-2222, ext. 1225 or www.skihood.com.

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

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