A skier takes the leap at Stevens Pass, which opens Tuesday thanks to a dumping of heavy snow in the Cascades over the past few days. (Stevens Pass image)

Washington ski areas set to open thanks to heavy snow

There's a silver, or white, lining to all the heavy rain in the lowlands: enough snow in the mountains to let a number of local ski areas to open for the season.

Stevens Pass will fire up the lifts Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. with limited operations. The area reports a base of 21 to 26 inches. Lift tickets will be $20. Early-season conditions exist so skiers and snowboarders should use caution.

Mount Baker and Crystal Mountain plan to open a couple of runs on Wednesday.

Gwynn Howatt at Mt. Baker says the area already has over 40 inches on the higher slopes.

"Thanksgiving is huge for the ski industry. The four days of Thanksgiving just help really set a mood and momentum for the winter," Howatt says.

Crystal Mountain Resort will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, running the Gondola, Green Valley and Rainier Express. Lift tickets will cost $45 on Wednesday.

The base at Crystal is 20 inches and the summit has a depth of 40 inches, with 15 inches of new snow falling Sunday night.

Mission Ridge near Wenatchee plans to open Friday. Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia opened last Saturday.

"To see it blanketed in snow right now is a beautiful thing. That's for sure," Howatt says.

KIRO Radio Editor Karen Taylor contributed to this report

KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
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