Club issues challenge for guessing first day of skiing

It’s anybody’s guess when the Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area will open for the season.

So the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club, which operates the ski area under a permit from Olympic National Park, has announced a contest.

The two people who come closest to naming the date and the depth of snow on that morning each will win two all-lift tickets. One winner will be on the club’s Instagram and one will be on the club’s Facebook page.

More than 30 inches of snow were on the Ridge earlier this month, appearing to ensure the club would make its scheduled opening day of Dec. 5.

But last week’s monsoon-like rains have melted that down. According to the Waterhole Snotel site, the depth as of Sunday, Nov. 21, was 12 inches.

The club needs to see 36 inches of snow at the bottom of the intermediate rope tug to open, said Frank Crippen, vice president of the Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area and owner of North by Northwest Surf Shop in Port Angeles, on Sunday.

“And we don’t have snow-making machines,” he said. “It’s all got to be natural.”

But with snow, the amount needed can fall in as little as two days.

So, “you just have to have faith,” Crippen said.