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Originally published Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 1:55 PM

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Skiers, snowboarders should see sunshine this weekend

Fresh snow covered the Cascades early this week, but what followed in recent days has left the hillsides soiled in slush. The recent weather system...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Fresh snow covered the Cascades early this week, but what followed in recent days has left the hillsides soiled in slush.

The recent weather system shot the freezing level well above the mountain passes, bringing light rain and snow. High pressure is expected to move into the region, leading to sunny skies and a freezing level rising to around 9,000 feet by Friday.

Skiers and snowboarders should pack sunscreen to the slopes this weekend, then look for light rain and snow with a lowering freezing level to return by Monday.

All Washington ski areas are reporting machine-groomed conditions layered with soft packed snow. Those searching to carve up fresh tracks in powder might opt for a trip to British Columbia early next week.

Crystal Mountain Resort has nine lifts open 9 a.m. daily, with a base of 65 inches and a summit total of 104 inches. The season snowfall has topped 313 inches, and more than two feet of snow fell early this week. Pockets of untracked snow await those heading to Northway. Southback is closed and will reopen Saturday.

The avalanche danger at Crystal is high. Chinook Express and Forest Queen lifts will stay open until 4:30 p.m., and Quicksilver, Gold Hills and Discovery chairs will run until 6 p.m.

Stevens Pass Resort has 37 trails open (21 groomed) with nine lifts in operation on a 91-inch base, with 98 inches on the summit. The season snowfall total is 331 inches, and another 5 inches fell the past two days. Stevens is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Summit at Snoqualmie received up to 11 inches the past two days, and the Summit West base is covered with 78 inches. Alpental is blanketed with 91 inches on lower slopes and 147 inches at the summit.

Summit Central is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; Alpental is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed on Monday; Summit West is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and closed on Monday; Summit East reopens 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Summit Tubing Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Sunday. The Nordic center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

The Mount Baker Ski Area is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mount Baker received 2 inches Wednesday night with 155 inches at the Heather Meadows base and 180 inches on Pan Dome.

The White Pass Ski Area is open 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with six lifts operating on 47 machine-groomed trails. The area received a trace of snow Wednesday night, and 16 inches the past two days. They have a 73-inch base with a summit depth of 112 inches.

The drive to White Pass is somewhat slow going on Highway 12 with one lane open at Wildcat Bridge, but work is expected to be finished by Saturday.

Mission Ridge has three lifts open on 35 trails (26 groomed) on packed powder, and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays to Mondays. Mission has a midway base depth of 37 inches, and a summit total of 58 inches.

The weather is much colder at 49 Degrees North Ski Area. Two inches of snow fell Wednesday night to add to the 62-inch base and a summit total of 122 inches. They're open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays to Tuesdays, and all chairs will operate on 82 trails (31 groomed).

Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park received 3 inches the past two days, and is open 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. There are 45 trails open, 32 of them groomed, with a base of 72 inches and 79 inches on the summit.

Ski Bluewood is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, and received a trace of snow Wednesday night with 17 inches covering the slopes the past two days. Bluewood has a base of 52 inches and a summit total of 70 inches. All lifts are open, leading to 24 trails (six groomed).

The Hurricane Ridge Ski Area is open on weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday holidays through March 31. Hurricane Ridge received 3 inches of snow Wednesday night and 10 inches the past two days and now has a 100-inch base.

Ski Leavenworth is open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to Monday. They have a base of 39 inches. The Nordic trails are open daily, and the area also offers snowshoeing, a ski jumping hill, tubing and ice skating.

Slopeside events

• The All-You-Can Eat Spaghetti Feed hosted by the Alpental Ski Area Volunteer Ski Patrol is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Alpental Lodge. Cost is $6 adults, and $3 for children under age 10. All support the nonprofit volunteer ski patrol nonprofit, an Alpental tradition for more than 20 years. Details:

• The Grouse Mountain Resort overlooking the city of Vancouver, B.C., will stay open around the clock for their 24 Hours of Winter Celebration on Feb. 9-10. Lifts will run continuously from 9 a.m. Saturday until 10 p.m. Sunday. Visitors can also hit the terrain park, mountaintop ice rink or take a late-night snowshoe tour. Other events include a torchlight parade, dancing and dining. Details:

• Come watch competitors at the 49 Degrees North Ski Area take to slopes for the Inland Northwest Masters Super Giant Slalom race this weekend. Details: 509-935-6649, extension 633.

• The Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom Race is Feb. 8-10. Details:

• The Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is hosting the U.S. Airbag Tour 9 a.m. Friday to Sunday, and the Kan Jam Freestyle Festival takes place Feb. 9-10. Details:

• The Bakke Cup is 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Leavenworth Ski Hill. Come watch or participate in an event that consists of ski jumping, Nordic and alpine racing. There are divisions for kids ages 6 to 17. Details:

• The Crystal Mountain Resort KEEN Rippin' Chix Steep Skiing Camp is Feb. 9-10. Instruction will focus on steep skiing with several group levels, from first-time introduction to moguls, trees and powder, to upper groups learning how to safely jump rocks. Participants must be able to make 10 consecutive turns on a black diamond run. Cost is $350. Details: or

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or

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