Mount Baker, Crystal Mountain, Whistler opening for skiing this Friday

Mount Baker, Crystal Mountain, Whistler opening for skiing this Friday

Credit: Crystal Mountain

Mount Baker, Crystal Mountain, Whistler opening for skiing this Friday

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 16 at 2:16 PM

Crystal Mountain Resort, Whistler and now Mount Baker ski area have announced they'll open for skiing this Friday.

The announcement comes just four months after it closed skiing in July. Forecasters say up to two feet of snow will fall in the North Cascades Wednesday through Thursday.

"It's a bold move to announce the opening date before we have enough snow, but we are pretty confident that the weather will produce enough snow over the next couple days to put us in really good shape for a limited opening on Friday," said Crystal Mountain spokesperson Tiana Enger.

KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott predicts between 8-16 inches of snow to fall in the mountains from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. While some ski runs will still need more snow, Marriott said Crystal Mountain's Green Valley, which is around the 5,300-5,400 ft. level, will get plenty of powder.

The Mount Rainier Gondola and Green Valley chairlift will operate from 9am to 4pm. Lift tickets will be reduced to $35 on Friday. Scenic gondola rides are available for $20. Crystal Mountain hopes to open Discovery, Chinook Express and Forest Queen Express chairlifts Saturday.

As of Wednesday morning, Mount Baker ski area reported no new snow and 29 inches of snow at the base at Heather Meadows.  Depending on how conditions develop, they're looking at opening both Base Areas and most chairlifts. They advised snow enthusiasts to check their snow report Thursday for final details.

Steven Pass, which has around 21-24 inches of snow, is probably still a week away from opening up for skiing, said Marriott. Snoqualmie Pass currently does not have enough snow for skiing.

Meanwhile, Whistler-Blackcomb ski area, north of Vancouver, British Columbia, plans to open for skiing this Friday as well.

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