Call it the April comeback story – more than a foot of powder fell on Mt. Hood from Wednesday to Thursday, and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.
“Powder. There it is, one word,” said McMinnville resident Kellee Macy of her decision to make an overnight trip to Timberline.
The forecast also sent Tigard resident CC Dispenza to pack up her winter gear for a quick getaway.
“We’re just going to play in the snow mostly,” Dispenza said. “There’s sleds where we’re staying – so just have fun.”
It’s Mother Nature’s evident grip on winter during the roller-coaster of a season: there was a good early dumping of snow in the fall, a large dry spell during much of winter and then the big storms that keep coming.
“Everyone was gangbusters, and then it went to hell in a handbasket,” said Valian's Ski Shop owner Bud Valian. “When winter finally did get here, it was pretty darn good.”
It’s good enough to bring Mt. Hood’s snowpack much closer to average.
This time February, the snowpack sat at just over 50 percent of average. It’s now 90 percent.
The fresh powder might entice Ski Bowl to extend operations. The resort planned on wrapping up its season Sunday, but they might keep the wheels turning a bit longer.
Ski Bowl is still giving lift tickets away for free Sunday, despite whatever they end up deciding.
A resort spokesman said they’ll likely make the call Monday.
Despite the spring delight, Valian doesn’t expect the surge of snow will bring in more customers for a nice end-of-season boost.
“It’s deader than a doornail right now,” Valian said. “The clock ticks and people decide to do their spring thing no matter what.”
The rough start to winter also hurt.
“We had nothing for a month and a half, and that turned off a lot of people for the whole season,” Valian said, but added that the growing attraction of the mountain evened things out considerably.
“If the weather would have complied it would be a banner winter,” he said. “Because there were so many new people who wanted to come play in the snow.”
Valian added, “We’re seeing people all winter long from Tennessee and Louisiana and Florida, and all over creation. We can’t complain really.”
Chains or traction tires are required for travel to Government Camp and over the pass.
The snow is expected to fall daily until about mid-week next week.
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