Stevens Pass, Summit at Snoqualmie open with fresh snow

Dec 2, 2022, 11:24 AM | Updated: 11:45 am
Photo from Flickr

Ready to shred some powder? Stevens Pass and the Summit at Snoqualmie both announced that they would be opening this Friday, Dec. 2, for the first day of the ski and snowboard season.

With the recent snowstorms that started Tuesday, it should be a powdery opening. Stevens Pass is reporting 42 inches of snow in the past seven days bringing the mountain base snow to 44 inches.

The Summit at Snoqualmie reported 17 inches of snow in the past two days bringing their mountain base snow to 33 inches.

Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain ski resorts to reopen this week

Lift ticket access at The Summit will begin Saturday, Dec. 3. After opening weekend, the area will be closed on Monday and Tuesday before reopening Wednesday through Sunday.

Despite the heavy snowfall, the Summit at Snoqualmie warns visitors that early-season conditions still exist and people should watch out for obstacles on the slopes.

“Despite recent storms, snow depth is still low. Please look ahead and watch for both marked and unmarked hazards. Conditions and coverage will be best on the main runs. Ski and ride with care, it’s only the first weekend and we all want to enjoy a long and fun season!”

-The Summit at Snoqualmie

Last year’s rocky start to the ski season led to frustrations over terrain closure, limited service, and long lines.

Stevens Pass General Manager Ellen Galbraith is hopeful for a smoother run this year by addressing staffing shortages head-on.

In an announcement in March, Vail Resorts reported for the 2023-24 season, their new minimum wage for all staff would be $20 an hour.

That’s a five-dollar increase over the previous minimum wage from last winter season.

The hope is that the increased compensation will be competitive and help to attract workers to the ski area, which is set to prevent issues with attracting workers from last season, Galbraith said.

“As we start the season with strong staffing numbers, over a third of our employees are new to Stevens Pass or working in a new role.” Ellen Galbraith, Stevens Pass Vice President and General Manager, said confirming the opening on the resort’s blog.

“This winter is going to be markedly different than last year, and everyone here is focused on delivering an excellent experience,” Galbraith continued. “We know there will be a few bumps along the way, but we are committed to working through those and making this a season to remember.”

The first mountains to open this season were Mt. Baker and Crystal Mountain, where chairlifts started delivering skiers and riders Friday, Nov. 18.

Part of the reason for the earlier-than-normal opening dates is the high snowpack that Washington has gotten this November, with Natural Resources Conservation Service’s SNOTEL data showing that snowpack is 211-441% higher than average, depending on the area.

This is likely due to the third La Niña winter in a row, which leads to above-average precipitation in Washington and the mountains generally see more snow than usual.

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Stevens Pass, Summit at Snoqualmie open with fresh snow