Pacific Northwest Best Bet For Holiday Powder
Is Saint Nicholas delivering fat skis for Christmas? If so, then you may want to point them toward the Pacific Northwest where Mother Nature has been delivering tons of early-season snow.
Many resorts in the Pacific Northwest have upwards of 80 percent of their slopes open heading into the Holiday Season. However, a number of areas, including Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon are already 100 percent open.
“We opened the Summit and 100 percent of our terrain (last week)” marketing and communications director Andy Goggins told SnoCountry.com. “This is the earliest in the history of the resort that we’ve had 360 degree access off the Summit.”
Mt. Bachelor averages 387 inches of snow annually, and has already received more than 127 inches so far this season. As of Sunday (Dec. 16), Mt Bachelor was reporting a 58-77-inch base depth with 16 inches of new snow in the past three days. The forecast is calling for another two to three feet of snow through midweek.
Elsewhere in the Northwest, Schweitzer, Idaho is 100 percent open with a 35-75-inch base. Stevens Pass, Wash., has a 69-74-inch mid-mountain base with all terrain and all 10 lifts open. Mt Baker, Wash., - one of the snowiest places on earth – is 100 percent open with a massive 129-inch mid-mountain base.
In the Rockies, more terrain has been opening in Utah as snow continues to fall. Snowbird has received more than two feet of snow in the past week and has 62 of 85 trails open. In Colorado, Crested Butte has picked up more than a foot and a half of snow in the past seven days.
In the Midwest and Northeast, winter has been sputtering in terms of snowfall with more resorts only able to open 35-50 percent of their terrain. However, colder temperatures have been allowing many resort to continue round-the-clock snowmaking and terrain expansion in preparation for the Holiday Season. The forecast is also calling for snow in the Northeast right through Christmas Day.
Photos: Top and Bottom, Mt Bachelor has received more than 127 inches of snow already this season. / Mt Bachelor Photos