Ridge ski season opens Saturday

Finally, enough snow falls for winter sports

PORT ANGELES — After a long wait during a fairly warm and dry winter, there’s finally enough snow at Hurricane Ridge for the local ski club to start operations.

“Yes, we will be open (Saturday),” said Danielle Lawrence with the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Education Foundation which operates the ski area at the ridge, on Friday.

A weather system that brought several days of rain to the lowlands left 54 inches of snow at Hurricane Ridge as of Friday morning, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The sports foundation has said they need at least three feet of snow to begin operations and while previous systems had left several feet, the quality of the snow didn’t allow for winter sports.

Both the bunny and intermediate slopes will start at 10 a.m. today, Lawrence said, and tubing may be available if crews are able to move enough snow around to create a track.

The foundation stopped selling passes online Friday but tickets will be available at the summit, Lawrence said. Staff will have the names of those who’ve already purchased their passes online and it’s not necessary to have a physical copy of the pass.

Passes are $25 for the bunny slope and $44 for the intermediate.

A ticket for the bunny slope can cover one adult and one child under 12 for $25, Lawrence said.

Hurricane Ridge Road is typically open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., weather permitting, according to Olympic National Park, which also charges entrance fees to the park.

Vehicles are required to carry snow chains or other traction devices.

A fire last spring destroyed the Hurricane Ridge Ski Lodge and while there are heated portable bathrooms, there are no warming areas other than personal vehicles, Lawrence said, adding that people should remember to bring food, water and other amenities.

If snow levels remain consistent, the foundation will continue winter sports operations through March 31, Lawrence said.

It’s been a long wait for snow to fall, and Lawrence said she couldn’t remember the last time a winter sports season started as late as March, but said there were years when the season didn’t start at all due to lack of snow.

It’s been a particularly dry winter for Western Washington, with many regions seeing well below-average levels of snowfall. The Olympic region has the lowest amount of snow compared to any other regions of the state according to USDA’s SNOTEL report.

According to the March 1 report, the Olympic region was at 46 percent of the 20-year average, up from 36 percent at the end of January. The North Puget Sound region around North Cascades National Park was the second lowest at 61 percent of normal, up from 55 percent at the end of January.

Most of the state’s water reserves are kept in the snowpack, and a dry winter could lead to elevated wildfire risks over the summer. The state Department of Ecology declared drought conditions for 12 counties including Clallam and Jefferson counties in July, and those conditions have not been lifted.


Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

More in News

Port Angeles School Superintendent Marty Brewer, second from right, speaks with members of the Port Angeles Parents for Education, on Friday about the Port Angeles Paraeducation Association strike. Assistant Superintendent Michele Olsen stands at right. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula News)
District, PAPEA to pick up bargaining Sunday

Parent group presses officials for answers on strike

Instructor Josh Taylor, left, points out the workings of an electric vehicle on Wednesday at the Auto Technology Certification Program at Peninsula College. Nick Schommer, center, and Brian Selk get ready to do some testing on the electric auto’s parts from underneath the vehicle. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula News)
College's automotive technology program gets a reboot

Students can earn a certificate separate from two-year degree

Port Townsend transportation tax dollars to be put to work

Benefits district to raise $400,000 to $600,000 in first year

Retired teacher Nancy McCaleb speaks in support of striking paraeducators in the Port Angeles School District as Port Angeles Paraeducators Association President Rebecca Winters listens during a rally on Thursday at Shane Park.
About 130 rally in support of paras

District officials say funding is statewide problem

Mark Nichols.
Proposed changes to public defender caseloads could hurt rural counties

Annual limits starting in 2025 may create staffing issues

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific, cleans off a sign he used to paint a bicycle lane on Sims Way and Kearney Street, the site of the new roundabout. The workers needed at least two days of 47 degrees or above in order to paint the pedestrian crosswalks and other necessary markings. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula News)
New bike lane in Port Townsend

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific,… Continue reading

Two-lane bypass to be installed Monday

Contractor crews working for the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Twice daily bridge inspections start next week

Bridge preservation engineers from the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Funding farm-to-school programs

In the 2021-2023 state budget, Washington set aside money specifically for the… Continue reading

Gus Griffin, 11, second from left, and classmates dig up weeds in one of Port Townsend’s three gardens on March 28. (Grace Deng/Washington State Standard)
Farm-to-school programs flourish in Washington

Demand from school districts outpacing state funding

Jefferson enacts 1-year moratorium on STRs

County wants to consider possible regulations for rentals