The ski season got off to a relatively early start this year, with the Stevens Pass lifts beginning operations Nov. 20, and it’s been good ever since, according to snow enthusiasts.
“We have 80 inches at the top, and 79 at the base, and that’s probably much more snow than anyone else has, except Mt. Baker,” said ski instructor Henry Parker.
A productive series of storms early in the season dumped about 300 inches of snow in total so far this year. Although it hasn’t snowed in some time, there’s enough depth that groomed runs are in good shape.
Some of the more advanced trails have grown quite icy in the absence of fresh snow, but all in all, it’s a great year, said Parker.
A heavy snowfall isn’t what the resort needs right now, though, he said.
A thick layer of snow atop the hardened layers that have formed in the last week or so would be likely to slide, creating dangerous avalanche conditions.
Rather, a warm spell followed by about three feet of snow that bonds with the layers underneath could stabilize the slopes for more storms, he said.
“We hope for another 10 feet this year,” he said.
On the other side of the mountains, great cross country skiing can be had near Leavenworth, said Monroe dentist Cindy Folsom, who spent a weekend this month at a resort there.
“We stayed at the Sleeping Lady and skied out from there and the trails are just right,” she said. “It was very dry and beautiful snow.”