Green ski slopes

You've probably never thought, trembling with cold at the top of a ski run, "Gee, I wonder what this place looks like in the summer."

We can understand that. You're either so hyped by the angle of the slope or so scared, wondering if this run is above your skill level, that what you most want is for the scenery to be (successfully) behind you.

Things are changing.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, backed by Sen. Patty Murray, both D-Wash., and others, have pushed through the Senate a law that allows Ski Bluewood and other resorts on federal lands to expand operations during the off season.

Cantwell says new activities could include mountain biking, "expanded scenic opportunities," summit hiking and "expanded hospitality opportunities," such as restaurants and summer weddings.

These are good ideas -- extending jobs that usually only last as long as the snow flies.

The change would affect the entire country, but of particular note are these nearby ski areas:

Crystal Mountain in Pierce County, 49 Degrees North near Chewelah, Mount Baker in Bellingham, Mission Ridge in Wenatchee, Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, White Pass and Ski Bluewood near Dayton.

The changes sound inviting.