snow-in-trees

Intense weather pounded Mount Hood all weekend, soaking skiers and snowboarders with heavy rain Saturday before rewarding them Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with deep, fresh snow that continues to accumulate.

The snow bases at Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows are both well over 100 inches, and Skibowl's base has deepened to 39 inches in the Lower Bowl and 52 inches in the Upper Bowl, numbers that will need to be updated continuously this week as the snow keeps falling.

Meadows opened portions of Heather Canyon and the Private Reserve Monday, much to the delight of long-deprived powder hounds. The snow was light and deep and the air was filled with powder whoops. The Upper Bowl was the scene of similar euphoria on Tuesday. New terrain will continue to open as the snow keeps dumping, but avalanche danger is high so this is no time for ducking ropes or skinning up unless you know exactly what you're doing.

The road conditions turned ugly at times last weekend due to ice and extra truck traffic from the I-84 East closure. There was a particularly frustrating two-hour stretch Friday evening when several jackknifed trucks blocked Highway 35, bringing police, tow trucks and general mayhem.

But by Monday afternoon I-84 was open and the usual line of vehicles was crawling back from the mountain to Metro Portland.

Crowds were a bit thinner than might be expected Sunday and Monday, perhaps due to the intense winds and memories of some extremely unpleasant rain Saturday. Fortunately the precipitation switched over from rain to snow Saturday night, and it has been very good to us since, after a difficult December and a downright weird June-uary.

Temira is predicting 8-13 inches of fresh snow by Wednesday morning and 8-10 inches by Thursday morning.

The Weather Service is predicting 6-10 inches Wednesday and another 3-5 inches Thursday, followed by some sun breaks Friday and Saturday.