Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Update: Stevens Pass delays opening date

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STEVENS PASS – Stevens Pass delayed its projected opening date of Dec. 1 due to lack of snow. In lieu of opening, Stevens Pass hosted a rope-tow rail jam from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.

 

The event had about six to 10 features to hit in the rope tow area, including rails, boxes and jibs. There was a live DJ, food and beverages sold at the T-Bar, and retail shopping at Fall Line Sports. The rail session was only open on Saturday, due to warmer temperatures and rain forecasted on Sunday.

 

As of Friday, Dec. 1, Stevens Pass only had snow depth of ten inches in the base area, according to Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) weather data. By the start of the rail jam, the storm brought the base level up to about 30 inches. Snow came as low as town, with Leavenworth Winter Sports Club reporting a total of 13 inches by Saturday morning. In response to the snowfall, NWAC announced the beginning of its full-forecasting operations, even issuing avalanche warnings for the Stevens Pass area over the weekend.

 

Stevens Pass has not yet announced a new opening date as of Sunday, Dec. 3. NWAC’s Sunday forecast predicted warmer temperatures and rain for this week. Targeting the specific amount needed to open can also be tricky, considering snow density as well as varying elevations and terrain. 

 

“It needs to be enough to cover our terrain, which has lots of boulders and vegetation,” said Amanda Bird, Stevens Pass Communications Manager.

 

Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area also pushed back its opening date of Dec. 3, and is watching the forecast. White Pass and Crystal Mountain had limited openings over the weekend. Mt. Baker is entertaining the idea of a limited opening this weekend, and Summit at Snoqualmie has yet to make any call. 

 

On the East side, Mission Ridge kept up its tradition of opening Thanksgiving weekend for the 11th time in 12 years. The mountain opened Saturday, Nov. 25. The early opening was due in part by snowmaking efforts, as snow coverage is still relatively low for Mission Ridge. The mountain has a limited opening and is expanding its terrain as the conditions permit.


Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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