Although Mother Nature hasn’t done her part yet in dropping a lot of natural snow onto the slopes, the snowmaking machines at White Pass ski area have made enough of it that White Pass will open this weekend in very limited operation.
Because of the minimal terrain available, lift passes will be $27 ($22 after reloading the White Pass “Passport”), and White Pass will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both today and Sunday.
“We’re going to be running on man-made snow, so we’ll run just the Far East triple chair and the Platter Lift,” White Pass marketing manager Kathleen Goyette said. “The only runs people can expect to ski are the Poma Face and the area all around the beginner area that has been filled in with man-made snow.”
Goyette said White Pass also will set up a small terrain park in the base area — a “hike park,” basically because users will be hiking up the slope in order to ski or board down through a number of rails and terrain features.
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To open in full operation, White Pass typically needs more than two feet of coverage in the base area, with more like three feet further up.
“Right now, there’s very little of Mother Nature’s snow up there,” Goyette said. “There’s not a lot of coverage below the 5,000-foot level, outside of our manmade snow. Above that there’s about 18 to 20 inches up top.
“It looks like there’s some (snow systems) coming in over the next few days, so we’re kind of in the waiting mode. We’ve done everything we can do with our snow guns, so it’s Mother Nature’s turn.”