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Cascade ski season finally in full swing thanks to winter storms

Conditions are excellent at Cascade ski areas including Alpental, thanks to a series of recent winter storms. (Summit at Snoqualmie image)

After an unusually dry start to the season, the recent winter storms have finally allowed all of the Cascade ski areas to get up to full speed.

"I'd say its rebounded well," says John Gifford, president of the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association. "The conditions are great for skiing and snowboarding, and with more storms on the way, it should set us up for the rest of the season."

Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, and Mount Baker have been open since November, thanks to an early season snow, but the Summit at Snoqualmie and others didn't get enough snow to fire up the lifts until after Christmas.

"For some resorts there is some catching up, but it's pretty tough to make up for losing the holiday," Gifford says. Still, with a more usual weather pattern sending snow streaming into the Cascades, skiers and snowboards are flocking to local resorts.

"The last few weeks have been great," he says. "Frankly, the Northwest skier likes storms, so we're seeing far more heading for the slopes."

Snow depths have grown significantly in the last few weeks, and a winter storm watch remains in effect through Wednesday in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

The Summit at Snoqualmie currently reports a base of 47 to 102 inches; Stevens Pass, 61 to 84; Mission Ridge, 30 to 40; Crystal Mountain, 34 to 72; White Pass, 36 to 96; and Mount Baker, 87 to 100.

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