The snow fairy came early to Stevens Pass this year.

Weren't we just at the beach? Somehow ski season is here already, with Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain opening for one-day specials.

Stevens Pass called its surprise ski day "Government De-Railment" (Ted Cruz wasn't invited). A two-foot snowfall early last week allowed them to open a jib park with six trick features. More than 400 people showed up on Saturday to enjoy the sunny day on the slopes; it's the earliest ever opening for lift skiing at Stevens.

Crystal Mountain also had an unexpected open day on Tuesday, October 1—also its earliest opening ever. POWFest was open to 75 skiers for a $15 ticket, and then for only three hours of operation on the Mount Rainier Gondola. Demand was so popular—despite the very short notice—Crystal's ticket website crashed and they had to list successful purchasers on their Facebook page (the best place to frequent in the event there's another early opening).

Neither resort has announced an official opening date for the 2013–14 season, but both usually start operations around Thanksgiving. Stevens marks November 22 as a tentative (re-)opening day...should the weather cooperate.

There's still a month before the Ski Dazzle show, this year held at CenturyLink Field November 8–10. The show includes a ski swap, a rock climbing wall, food, and free kid ski lessons on an indoor ramp. Admission ($15) comes with a free lift ticket to Crystal, the Summit at Snoqualmie, White Pass, or Mission Ridge, though only for a weekday or early season ticket.

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