Opening day at The Summit at Snoqualmie draws big crowds following big snow
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. -- Skiers and snowboarders are rejoicing! The wait is over and people are hitting the slopes for opening day at The Summit at Snoqualmie.
Operators estimate that as many as 3,000 people turned out Saturday. A lot of fresh snow this past week and overnight means opening day came a bit earlier this year.
It's what snowboarders have been hungry for -- getting out and making turns with everyone else.
Kenny Roy and his friends made the two-hour drive from Gig Harbor. They say making it to opening day was "so worth it."
“It's working out pretty good, other than the visibility. The snow is pretty nice. There are some cracks and holes here and there, but it’s pretty good," Roy said.
“It's pretty fresh. Got some snow falling right now,” Layne Bruner said.
Thousands of snowboarders and skiers couldn't wait a second longer to hit the slopes.
“We were excited this morning to pack up our stuff and get out here and make a few turns,” said Peter Fontano from Seattle.
The lifts at Summit West started spinning just before 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Four chairs are open now following a dumping of snow Friday night.
“We got four inches overnight. It just adds to the base and makes it's a little nicer for people out here on opening day,” said Guy Lawrence, the marketing director for The Summit at Snoqualmie.
Many say it's been a good week with lots of snow in the Cascades.
“We picked up to 18 to 20 inches already this week," Lawrence said.
Considering it's the first day for many back on the slopes...
“It's early conditions. Its kind of heavy and sticky. We found some fluffy stuff,” Fontano said.
Six-year-old Makenna and her mother Kelly O’Connor say their prayers have been answered.
“We just had a pray for snow party at our house last night so we had 80 friends over, praying for this,” O’Connor said.
A lot of skiing and a lot of fun are in their future.
“There’s lots of jumps,” Makenna said. “And lots of turning.”
Resort operators say they're optimistic for a good season thanks to La Niña.
“When we hear those two little words we get really excited. It usually means colder and wetter and those are the magic things we need for snow,” Lawrence said.
Opening day at The Summit at Snoqualmie usually falls around December 7. It's a bit earlier this year. Considering that it's Saturday, there was big crowd. It's about two to three times as large as last year when opening day fell during the week.