Ended up heading for Stevens today. Sort of a mixed bag.
The good news: A few lifts are running, there is plenty of snow & it skied quite nicely from around 10:00 to 1:30 or so. Interestingly the snowpack seems like it is still not fully consolidated.
The bad news: Lift ops are limited. No surprise as they made clear what would be open. But the lack of 7th, DD, Chief, etc is definitely noticeable. Especially when they would have skied really well. Doubly so when the park has been expanded and a material amount of terrain off of Skyline is not available to be skied if you do not have a park pass. So really, think of Skyline as sort of 2/3 open... I usually seek good lift served off piste skiing (and found a reasonable amount of it today - all things considered). However, a lack of grooming was noticeable on a number of runs. A decent number of them had not been groomed recently and, especially in the AM, that was certainly noticeable. Especially given the limited number of runs available. Lots of people seemed to find it rather challenging. No cafeteria service was annoying. The website had said that "Granite Peaks Food Service" would be available. My bad for thinking that this meant the usual food service. The Bull's Tooth was open - but I sort of hate it since service is always painfully slow & the food is often meh. I guess they want me to brown bag... At least my latte downstairs was good & I could grab a couple granola bars and call it lunch.
I'm actually rather disappointed in the way the "2nd season" felt today (my first day up there as part of said season). Stevens has a great mountain and ample snow. They should be able to get plenty of attention and traffic. But the way things were running it sort of felt like a few random squatters had opened up a few lifts...
There was snow. I had fun. I'm glad they are still spinning the lifts they are. A sweet deal if you buy next year's pass now. But what was not there made itself felt - and probably accounts for at least part of why the place was so empty today. It is a chicken and egg thing. I have to believe with a bit more in the way of lifts and services, they'd have people flocking to the second season.