Westside Snow Report 12-20-15
By Greg Whittaker
The faithful are being rewarded for being prepared for a return of winter to the Northwest. All Washington ski areas are OPEN for business, and we are off to a fantastic start for what the NW needs and thrives on, a healthy snow pack in our majestic mountains.
Every day people are coming in our shop with stories of “my greatest day in 2 years!” The thin early season rocks have been covered by storm after storm. The active cool westerly flow from over the northeast Pacific should carry more weather systems across the Northwest through mid-week with snow levels staying low.
All this lines up for the holidays when families have time to spend with each other to explore and rediscover the fun to be had skiing and snowboarding. The collective ski industry is breathing a deep sigh of relief, and the culture of skiing is reemerging from the pits of doldrums to visit local shops, fondle the shiny trinkets, and froth over upcoming powder days.
With all this fun comes some serious responsibility. The local patrols are bombing in bounds, and the Northwest Avalanche Center is running its daily forecasts as well as publishing trip observations for those of you who are heading in to the backcountry. When riding in deep snow, there are real hazards that all riders should be aware of such as tree well safety and steep life protocols. Go with friends or hook up with another ripper when riding off piste and keep an eye on each other. Enjoying our sports involves risk, so the best thing is to continue on your lifelong winter safety education, because we are never done learning until the last snowflake falls.
So if you’re an occasional skier or snowboarder and have been waiting for the return of winter, your wait is over. If you’re new to the Northwest and haven’t explored our mountains, there are a lot of friendly snow folks around to show you the ropes. Gear up step by step and give yourself a reason to cheer when its 45 degrees and raining in the city.
Here are links to local ski areas so you can visit their sites for the most up to date info. If you want to contribute this dialogue, come by Mountain to Sound Outfitters and let us know how your trip was or feel free to post in the comment section.
Make sure you check the WSDOT Pass Reports for driving conditions.
Greg Whittaker is the owner of Mountain to Sound Outfitters your West Seattle ski, snowboard, kayak, and paddle board expert that can also rack out your vehicle so you can carry all that gear that won’t fit in your trunk.