Washington’s ski season could kick off Friday, if the weather unfolds as expected. Predictions call for a large snowstorm to blast into the Cascade Mountains Wednesday and Thursday, dumping up to two feet of snow. By noon today, the storm had arrived.

Based on the forecast, [R124R, Crystal Mountain Resort] and [R266R, Mt. Baker Ski Area] plan to open for skiing and riding starting Friday, Nov. 18. Both resorts are confident that the storm will arrive. Just how much snow it will deliver remains to be seen.

Crystal begins loading its first skiers and riders at 9 a.m. on the Mt. Rainier Gondola on Friday. Open runs will be in Green Valley with the Green Valley Chair running. By Saturday, Crystal aims to open the Discovery, Chinook Express and Forest Queen Express chairs.

Crystal Mountain

The Mt. Rainier Express will open for skiing, snowboarding and sightseeing on Friday, Nov. 18. Photo Courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort.

Friday lift tickets will be reduced to $35. Scenic gondola rides will cost $20.

As of Wednesday morning, Green Valley had just over a foot of snow. Check the snow report Thursday afternoon for the storm accumulation.

Mt. Baker plans to open for skiing and riding on Friday, too. The slopes at Mt. Baker accumulated a 29-inch base at Heather Meadows prior to this morning, and the forecast calls for 15-20 inches of snow by Friday. Temperatures around the northern end of the Cascades are expected to stay cold with the freezing level down around 1,000 feet through the weekend.

by Cloganese Flickr 09b601_b

Mt. Baker hopes to open most of its chairlifts Friday, Nov. 18. Photo by Cloganese/Flickr.

The ski area is hoping to open both base areas and most of its chairlifts on Friday. First chairs load at 9 a.m. The Thursday afternoon snow report will have the final details for opening day.

Skiers, riders and area operators are looking for a return of La Niña this winter. Last year, La Niña brought Crystal Mountain enough snow to ski into July and Mt. Baker amassed 857 inches.

For more information, click here: Crystal Mountain, Mt. Baker.