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Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

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Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

Hi there,

My first trip to Washington/Seattle will be the end of November and I would like to get some skiing in. Can anyone shed some light on the best place to go... Crystal, Summit at Snoqualmie... head up to BC for some Whistler skiing?



Everett, Washington
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1. Re: Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

Just a heads up but end of Nov. snow conditions can be very iffy. Even if it gets cold enough that early and snow starts to accumulate there is a notorious tendency to get a Pineapple Express weather pattern (warm rain stream from direction of Hawaii) that wipes the snow out. Seems every year around Thanksgiving brings floods to Snoqualmie Valley and other areas when warm (relatively) rains melt the snow and it all comes down out of the hills at once. Whistler could be slightly better but gets the same weather pattern. Crystal can sometimes be better too due to farther east location and higher elevation but still a gamble. Even if there is snow expect "Cascade Concrete" instead of powder - especially at Snoqualmie.

Then again hard to tell from year to year but trend for awhile has been later start to snow season due to warmer Pacific water.

Destination Expert
for Seattle
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2. Re: Seattle base - Ski/travel advice


has offered a snow bus during ski season. If you take Amtrak you can buy a ticket direct to Whistler. It goes to Vancouver then bus to Whistler. This way you don't need a car and its very conveneient. Whistlerblackomb.com

has last minute deals that makes hotels quite reasonable.

Edited: 18 August 2010, 17:14
Destination Expert
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3. Re: Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

Well, you never know how the snow gods are feeling, and what they will bring us, but this year is predicted to be a wetter and colder year, so hopefully that means more snow in the mountains. Last year we had early snowfall, so many of the ski areas were open before Thanksgiving, which was unusual. Typically, many of the lower elevation resorts don't open til sometime in December.

I just love skiing at Whistler over the American Thanksgiving holiday (oops, I may have let my secret out). Some years they open on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving, other years slightly before. Yes, it is VERY early skiing, and most likely you can count on up-loading to mid-mountain for snow. Bring your rock skis or rent. But crowds are lightish, everyone is cheery and ready to hit the slopes. Condo and hotel rates are very affordable. We have had some amazing Thanksgiving ski days. That said, it can also be just awful, with poor snow coverage, rocks and dirt, so I never set my expectations too high. But when it's good, it's really good! In 2009, Whistler opened on November 14, with the Blackcomb side opening on November 26.

In Washington, just 1.5 - 2 hrs from Seattle, Crystal is my choice, and it opened 2009 on 11/11. Again very early skiing, not all the lifts will be open, sketchy snow coverage, but again, you never know.

On par with Crystal is Stevens Pass, northeast of Seattle, another area to consider. 2009, opened 11/19; 2007 opened 12/10.

MT Baker, also north of Seattle, and known for it's incredible snowfall opened in 2009 on November 12.

Snoqualmie is extremely doubtful for November skiing. Usually does not open until mid December or later as it's base elevation is just 2600 ft.

Whistler, British...
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4. Re: Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

Whistler Blackcomb is scheduled to open Nov. 25th, but if the snow gods are kind we will be open even before that!


5. Re: Seattle base - Ski/travel advice

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