Lackluster snow-pack having impact on Oregon ski areas - KPTV - FOX 12

Lackluster snow-pack having impact on Oregon ski areas

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The spring-like weather across Oregon is wreaking havoc on the mountain snow-pack, adding to an already roller coaster of a winter. 

The latest SNOTEL data shows the current snow water equivalent across much of the state is about 40-50 percent of normal. The Willamette water basin is sitting at 39 percent. 

A train of storms in January gave the snow-pack a boost, but in the last week and a half, higher snow levels and warm rains have spelled disaster for the lower elevations.

At Mt. Hood Ski Bowl on Tuesday afternoon the impact was visible. Bare spots are starting to show on the mountain. 

The ski area says they are shutting down the lifts until Saturday. On their website they wrote, “Due to conditions Skibowl will not be open the remainder of this week. We will re-open this Saturday at 9 a.m.”

“It has changed a lot in the last couple of days,” Jerry Jackman said. 

He and his wife, Julia, are from Prineville and had traveled to Seaside a few days ago. On Tuesday night they were on their way back home and had stopped in Government Camp. 

“This inner-tube hill right here, people were going up and down it, now this side where they were taking the tubes up is just nothing but mud,” Jackman said.

The lower elevations of Mt. Hood are not the only spot feeling the lack of snow. 

At Meisner Snow Park near Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon, a weekend Nordic ski race was canceled. 

A woman named Carolyn who was headed from Bend to the Seattle area Tuesday night spoke with FOX 12 in Government Camp. 

“I can’t believe it,” she said, “I come cross Highway 26 and there is nothing.”

She says when she got to Central Oregon to do some cross-country skiing it was tough to find a place to go because of the lack of snow. 

“We just kind of walked around a snowshoe trail that had barely enough ice, snow, it was mainly ice,” she said. “At least I got to see friends and it was sunny so I always look at the positive side. Bend’s always a beautiful place to be at, I was just kind of disappointed with the skiing and the lack of snow.”

Further south near Eugene regulars at Willamette Pass ski area are hoping for snow. The lifts there have only opened for one weekend this season. 

On their website, they wrote, “Thank you to everyone who came up this past weekend! We will be closed this week, but we will evaluate the snow conditions on Wednesday for possible operations this weekend. Please check back here for the most current information.”

The ski area also reports just 12 inches of snow at the lodge.

The wish for many in the Cascades is the snow will return soon at the same time a new worry, how the lackluster snow-pack could impact the state this spring and summer. 

“We’ve got a couple large reservoirs right there you know out of Prineville and they haven’t filled them because they are waiting for the snow to come down and there may not be snow to come down,” Jackman said.

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