Ski season comes to an end

Andrew Kollar

Andrew Kollar

Andrew Kollar, Staff Reporter

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This year’s ski season was one for the books at Snoqualmie Pass during the 2016-2017 ski season, making it a season to remember for local Washingtonians.

Mother nature dropped a total of 402 inches of snowfall on Snoqualmie Pass. This lead, leading to many powder days and overcoming the 5- year-average by over 60 inches, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT).

The season started off with a lot of snow falling in the areas of higher elevation, leading many to ski above Paradise on Mt. Rainier as early as mid-November.

Ski mountaineer Thomas Chung struggled to think of the best trip of the year, considering there were so many to choose from. Chung later recalled his first trip of the ski season as one of the best of the year.

Chung’s first trip of the season entailed leaving Seattle at 6 a.m. and getting to the trailhead on Mt. Rainier with his  skis on by 9 a.m. The trail starts at the Paradise parking lot and leads to the top of Panorama Point, located just below the Muir Snowfield where mountain climbers set up camp for the night beforein an attempt for the summit the following day.

“We didn’t make it all the way to Camp Muir but I would say that was one of my favorite trips. I didn’t expect it to be that good so early,” Chung said.

Kayleigh Mill, a ski patroller at Snoqualmie Pass, spent her first winter in Washington working at Snoqualmie Pass and was most surprised with how much snow fell in such a short amount of time. Mill claims that her favorite part about Washington was the amount of powder the Cascades received.

“There was one week where three feet of snow fell in only five days. That was pretty awesome,” Mill said, regarding an early February storm.

Snowfall was sporadic in the mountains this year, but when the snow fell, it came down with a vengeance. Multiple storm cycles came through and dropped feet of snow within the span of only a few days. Feb. 4 through Feb. 7, On The Snow, a weather resource that records every inch of snow that falls throughout the year, reported that Within four days, Snoqualmie Pass received almost five5 feet of snow.

February was not only filled with powder. I;immediately following the massive amount of snow that fell between Feb. 4 and Feb. 7, On The Snow reported freezing rain and over seven days without any new snow.

Although the patterns of February were sporadic hit and miss, the snowpack remained protected with a thick layer of solid, blue ice. The ice that was eventually covered up by the 100 inches of snow that fell between Feb. 26 and March 10.

As we are coming to the end of April, mountain operations are starting to shut down., Chung and Mill will have to say goodbye to the community of skiers and snowboarders until next year.

With the ski season winding down, Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass are both closed for the summer, as both resorts had their last days of winter operation on April 23. White Pass and Mission Ridge are not far behind, having their final days of operation for the season on April 30. Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass will remain open until May 7 following their annual Cinco De Mayo celebration.

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Ski season comes to an end