Mt. Hood ski resorts doing their best despite a lack of December snow


The Portland area has seen a long stretch of dry weather, but the lack of moisture is not great news up on Mount Hood, where ski resorts are doing their best despite the lack of December snow.

In Government Camp, the lifts at Mt. Hood Skibowl aren’t even open.

“We’re basically doing everything except for skiing,” said Sam White with Mt. Hood Skibowl. “So our lodge is open, our restaurants are open.”

So is the Snow Tube and Adventure Park, which opens for daily operations through the holidays starting Friday at Skibowl East.

There’s not much snow on the ground – as little as six to eight inches in some places – but thanks to their snow machines, they’ve been able to make a little more when conditions allow.

“We were able to make two feet last night, so that’s really helpful,” White said.

A little farther up the mountain, roughly half of the ski lifts are open at Mt. Hood Meadows, where staff are doing the best they can to manage the dry December.

“We really haven’t received much of anything since just after Thanksgiving,” said spokesperson Dave Tragethon.

There was a nice base of 39 inches just before Thanksgiving, but then the rain moved in and melted it down to roughly 24 inches, Tragethon said. Luckily, a storm just after Thanksgiving brought another foot of powder, but there’s been virtually no new snow since.

“One of the anomalies for this particular time frame for the last 10 days or so, we’ve had days where the temperature hasn’t even gotten above freezing at night, so it’s really limited to how much we can make snow,” Tragethon explained.

Despite the challenges with the not-so-winter weather, Mt. Hood Meadows will open for night skiing starting Friday, with expanded hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. They plan to have three lifts running, and hope to have more available as the weather allows.

“It’s pretty icy out there and it’s pretty hard-packed, but hopefully we’ll get more [snow] soon,” said Holly Mondo, who was visiting from Corvallis with her brother and his friend.

Fresh flakes or not, they were determined to have a good time.

“They’ve never been up to Oregon before so we wanted to come no matter what,” she said.

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