Winter is moving in and skiers and snowboarders in the area are waiting in anticipation to make their first turns on Mt. Hood. Though the white stuff seems to be “fashionably late” this season, current snowstorms are building a solid base on the mountain. Last weekend’s storm dropped 15 inches of snow at Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood’s largest ski area.
The first snowfall this year dropped over 12 inches on Hood on Oct. 20, however, the precipitation in the Cascade mountains ceased and temperatures rose back into the 40s and 50s, melting the start of the base snowfall.
This time last year, the three major ski resorts on Hood (Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Timberline and Meadows) were already gearing up for an early start to their seasons with snow bases averaging around 100 inches by Thanksgiving. Snowfall for the 2011 season began as early as mid-October and several large storms provided a generous amount of snow in the Cascade mountains.
According to the Meadows Facebook page, the best way to prepare for the season is to purchase season lift passes now as prices will soon increase. Season lift passes for Meadows range from $449-$999. The Mt. Hood Fusion Pass, which includes a season pass to both Timberline and Ski Bowl areas, ranges from $425-$675.
Forecasts for the next two weeks predict temperatures in the 20s and 30s with steady snow accumulation. Lifts are able to operate when a base of approximately 20 to 36 inches of snow are secured. For daily conditions updates, visit www.skihood.com to sign up for email notifications or call Snow Phones for Meadows (503)-227-7669, Ski Bowl (503)-222-2695 or Timberline (503)-222-2211.