SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – Despite El Nino cutting into Washington's snowfall this year, it's been a good season for the state's ski areas.
Starting at around 3,000 feet, winter hasn't been generous for Snoqualmie Pass because of warmer-than-normal temperatures. Along the side of Interstate 90, which is normally piled high by this time of year, there's no problem seeing over it while driving in your car.
With snow pack standing around 50 percent in the Central Cascades, elevation is everything. For Stevens Pass, where the base area sits more than 1,000 feet higher, snow has been less of a challenge.
Overall, ski visits are above last season. According to Ski Washington, the industry's state wide marketing organization, ski visits are up on average about 14 percent.
This week's late blast of snow came just in time for Snoqualmie. It's hosting the Ride Shakedown, a big snowboard event that will be televised on the Fuel TV cable channel this weekend with a $35,000 dollar prize. The event is free for spectators who can get close to the action. The best times to be here are Saturday afternoon and evening.