Unusually dry weather delays ski season - KPTV - FOX 12

Unusually dry weather delays ski season

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Clear skies over Mount Hood on Monday are conducive to frigid air that makes it feel like ski season, but a lack of clouds and moisture, mean it doesn't quite look like ski season.

"Mother Nature hasn't been kind to us, obviously," said Mark Deen with the Mt. Hood Ski Bowl resort.

Deen said the resort fully opened on Dec. 16, 2012. This year, he's not sure when that might happen. There is currently not enough snow in Government Camp to run the lifts at Ski Bowl.

"We are very fortunate that we can be creative that we have the snow guns to be able to make snow which allows us to have beginning skiing lessons. We also have our terrain park open," Deen said.

Tubing runs are also operating and Deen said the resort stayed open two hours longer than normal on Saturday night to meet demand for the snow-starved.

"On most years everybody would be looking at night skiing right now: You'd have Timberline night skiing and Meadows night skiing and we would be night skiing," Deen said.

Timberline and Meadows are at a higher elevation and are operating some lifts on about a two-foot base of snow. 

"The groomers up there are doing a good job of farming [the snow] and keeping it smooth and covered on the main trails," said David Livermore, who runs Meadowlarks Ski and Snowboards in Sandy.

Livermore said he has more rental inventory on hand than he'd like so he's focusing more on repairs of equipment for the time being. But after 40 years in the ski industry, Livermore said December is not a make-or-break month.

"Everybody wants to be skiing by Thanksgiving. That's in their head and it's been like that forever," said Livermore. "When it's off to a slow start like this, they starting talking about it, but realistically most people don't start skiing until after the holidays."

In recent years, that's when the clear skies have clouded over and most of the snow has fallen.

"The snow will get here," said Livermore. "It's just a matter of time."

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