Photo by Grant Myrdal

What a difference two weeks can make, from bare spots and rocks to a blanket of silky fresh powder from Portland to the peak.

Just when the winter season on Mount Hood seemed in danger of ending before it really began, the snow started falling and freezing levels dropped down and stayed down. Now a major blizzard is spreading a lovely layer of champagne powder from downtown Portland to the summit, and the options for the weekend and beyond are looking excellent.

For starters, Skibowl will begin running its Upper Bowl chairlift at last starting Friday morning at 9, with access to advanced terrain only, no easy way down. This will be the first opportunity of the year to shred the steeps at Skibowl, and the resort plans to run all lifts including the Cascade Chair starting Saturday.

For those of you stuck in the city, there will be an urban race through the Pearl District starting at 9 am Friday at Powell's Books, assuming enough snow has accumulated in Portland. It isn't often you get to Shred Portland, and I can say from experience that it can be a ton of fun to tuck it down Burnside when the conditions are right. It does need to be said that Portland's woeful incompetence in dealing with snow is a very good thing for anyone with the right gear and good timing.

Up on the mountain you can expect perfect snow for at least a couple of days at Timberline, Skibowl, Meadows and points in between. The new terrain opening at Skibowl should spread out the crowds a bit, but don't kid yourself: Traffic and parking are likely to be a mess.

Still, it is going to be worth it. By the time the weekend is done, we could have another two feet of new snow or more on Mount Hood, adding to a couple of weeks that have been pretty darn good. Here are some sweet pow pics from Grant Myrdal shot over the past week at Meadows to whet your appetite for the latest batch of fresh powder. If you made it up to shred Meadows recently, chances are Grant has a photo of you. You can scroll through his galleries here. Check out the sequences below; scroll through for some stop-action animation powder dreams.