Ski season starts Monday at Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain Resort plans to open Monday, thanks to a fresh blanket of snow. About 18 inches snow fell at the state’s largest ski area since Friday evening.

General manager John Kircher skied the Green Valley area Saturday afternoon before the resort issued a statement announcing the opening.

“That wait is finally over,” he said in a prepared statement. “We were lucky to get just enough snow overnight to make this happen.”

Operations will be limited to Green Valley on Monday, with the Mount Rainier Gondola and Green Valley chair offering access to intermediate and advanced terrain. Skiers and snowboarders will have to ride the gondola down the mountain to return to the base area.

Lift tickets will be $30 for all ages, and the ski area will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ski area says it will need more snow to expand operations. There will be no rentals or lessons available.

The ski area warns visitors to be aware of unmarked hazards.

Crystal is the first ski area in Western Washington to open this season. Mission Ridge, near Wenatchee, opened some beginner runs last weekend using its extensive snow-making operation.

Forecasts call for cold but dry conditions Sunday with a slight chance of snow Monday and Wednesday.