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...but not in Washington. Here is an article for those interested.



Thursday, November 7, 2002


No, it's not ski season here yet

Storms aren't dropping enough snow in Cascades




Hot to start skiing? Consider Colorado.


The rains have returned to Western Washington after a long hiatus, but the storms carrying them are still relatively warm and wet and aren't dropping enough snow in the Cascade Range to let resorts there open for skiing.


Weather forecasters say that will continue to be the case for more than a week.


Contrast that with Colorado, where bountiful October snow and cold temperatures are helping resorts open early and the ski season is off to an early start.


"This is the best early snowfall we've had in six years," said Mike Kaplan, vice president of operations for the Aspen Skiing Co.


In Washington, snow was beginning to fall yesterday near resorts in the Cascades, but only at the highest elevations and not near lower-elevation slopes skiers use.


Yesterday, snow fell at the 6,000-foot elevation at Crystal Mountain and at the 5,000-foot elevation near the Mount Baker resort.


Spokeswomen for both resorts said they hope to open before Thanksgiving, though an earlier, heavy storm bringing freezing temperatures from the north could accelerate the date.


"We've got the precipitation; now we need the cold weather back," said Gwyn Howat at Mount Baker.


The extended outlook for the Cascades will be for above-normal precipitation but higher-than-usual temperatures, so heavy snowfalls at lower elevations aren't expected "any time in the next week to 10 days," National Weather Service meteorologist Kirsten Willman said.


As of Monday in Colorado, three resorts were open -- Loveland, Wolf Creek and Copper Mountain.


Vail Resorts announced Monday that it will open Nov. 16, six days earlier than scheduled.


Aspen said it would open Snowmass, its biggest resort, this weekend.


In California's Sierra Nevada, snow guns are allowing some resorts there to open early, too.

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