WA ski resorts having one of worst seasons in decades

KING 5's Michael Konopasek reports.

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. -- February in Western Washington is usually a great time to hit the slopes, but not this season.

Skiing is off at the Summit at Snoqualmie because the season has left much of the mountainside bare and dry. There's not even enough snow to build a snowman in most areas of the resort.

"We're just trying to find some snow and get some tubing done," visitor Pat Busick said.

Only those rubber tubes are currently allowed at the summit. The ski slopes are closed until further notice. Snoqualmie has seen just about 40 days of skiing conditions. Usually, the resort has at least 100 days.

"There really hasn't been much of a season," said Nathan Novak, a Snoqualmie season pass holder.

Novak knows buying a season pass is a gamble, but now he and many others are crossing their fingers for some sort of a refund. Snoqualmie says they may get one, but it's just a bit too early to make that decision.

Farther south, the base of Crystal Mountain is some 1,400 feet higher. The higher elevation means more snow. Crystal Mountain has managed to stay open. Stevens Pass is open as well, but it had to close for three days in January. Mount Baker hasn't had to close this season, but staff members there are already calling this winter one of the worst in 50 years.

"It's really frustrating, but there's not much you can do about nature," said Novak.

Skiers, employees and families are looking for this mild weather to just go away.

"We're hoping maybe next year we'll get the kids up if there's some snow," said Busick.

The season isn't over yet. If the weather cooperates, there could be skiers on Western Washington slopes as late as mid-April.


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