Good news for skiers as snow piles up at Snoqualmie Pass

SNOQUALMIE PASS -- When Derek Costa heard about the chance for heavy snow at Snoqualmie Pass, he decided to make the drive from Port Orchard.

“I have family members from Hawaii and my little niece who’s 2 years old. We wanted to take her to the snow, she’s never seen the snow in Hawaii.”

He was happy when the snow finally started to fall in the evening, because it had been raining for most of the day. That’s not what the ski resorts were hoping for. But it did mean better road conditions for people driving over the pass.

“The roads are slushy,” said Jaime Schultz. “We were doing a little bit of hydroplaning on the way here. But honestly, they’re not as bad as we thought they’d be.”

“There are some standing areas of water and some slush,” added Rick MacDermid. “As long as you drive carefully, it’s not too bad.”

WSDOT says their crews have been working all day and night to keep the roads clear of slush and ice. Although storms like this can be tiring for them, they say they’re happy to see the snow.

“It’s good for everyone,” says maintenance supervisor Kevin Nicholson. “It’s good for the ski area to get their business going when they get lots of snow. And in the long run, the more snowpack the better it is for the growing season and the summer. “

But since tomorrow will probably be a busy day on the roads with people returning from holiday trips, he offers this advice to drivers.

“Just plan ahead. Allow for extra travel times, have your chains. If you don’t have to travel on a snowy day, postpone it until the weather is better. Take your time and drive now and slow and safe.”

Drivers who know how bad it can get on the pass say that’s what they’ll be doing.

“Go slow, that is my plan,” says Schultz. “If we get there an hour late, it’s ok. It’s better than taking a tumble.”

The Summit at Snoqualmie had been hoping that they would get enough snow that they’d be able to open up some of their lifts Sunday. They say they’ll make the decision by 7 am.