Snow levels on Mount Hood have been below average two years in a row, but that doesn't mean Portland faces drought.

There are many places in the world that can justifiably say they are struggling with drought this spring. Portland is not among those places.

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Ice stalagmites inside a glacier cave on Mount Hood. Photos by Brent McGregor

For Brent McGregor, the glacier caves of Mount Hood are a place of endless fascination.

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Rocks are rearing their ugly heads on Mount Hood, making January look like July.

Midway between the heavy rainstorm that swamped Mount Hood on Saturday, Jan. 17 and the record-high heat of Sunday, Jan. 25, I took a midweek day off to make some turns with my 10-year-old daughter, Melina. A news item about climate change came on the radio as we were driving up from Portland to the mountain, and I found myself trying to explain the relationship between human progress, fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and the lack of snow on the mountain we have been enjoying together since Melina was four.

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The ice caves of Sandy Glacier are beautiful, and they are melting. Photo courtesy of Uncage the Soul Productions and Off the Wall Media.

"Requiem of Ice," the new film from Portland-based Uncage the Soul Productions, doesn't just delve deep into the inner-most regions of the ice caves of Mount Hood's Sandy Glacier. It attempts to capture the character and voice of the glacier cave itself.

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A Timberline employee blows rock salt onto a terrain park jump.

It takes work for Timberline to maintain its status as the ski and snowboard resort with the longest-running snow season in North America. It also takes a lot of salt.

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Is this Mount Hood's lone wolf? Photo by Sean Jacks.

UPDATE, 5/29/2014: After checking with several wildlife experts, the consensus seems to be that the would-be wolf was actually a relatively rare Cascade Fox.

If you frequent the Mazot at Mt. Hood Meadows, you probably know Dan Kneip and Sean Jacks. These two season pass holders are Mount Hood regulars, with over 120 days on snow between them in 2013-14. Sean has thousands of photos documenting their mountain adventures, including a couple of shots snagged on May 11 showing a bushy-tailed canine climbing up into the rocks above Cascade Chair. Could this be the elusive lone Mount Hood wolf we've been hearing about?

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Eliot Glacier on the northeast slope of Mount Hood is the mountain's largest glacier by volume.

The inconvenient truth is that Mount Hood's glaciers are shrinking. Does something need to be done about this? What can be done?

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The Tesla Model X will launch in 2015 with all-wheel drive, no tailpipe emissions and plenty of pop. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Break out your EVs if you got 'em, because Mount Hood now has a fast-charging station for electric vehicles at the Skibowl West parking lot. Will anyone use it?

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Every once in a while the smell of rotten eggs wafting over from Devil's Kitchen serves as a reminder that Mount Hood is a volcano that has erupted before, and will erupt again. What will happen next time it erupts? And how much warning will there be?

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Mud and rocks are showing through in a low-snow year.

The snow level on Mount Hood is well below average for this time of year, forcing race cancellations and limited resort operations.

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