snowmaking-skibowl

Mt. Hood Skibowl plans to make snow all week with the goal of opening new terrain soon.

Upper and Lower Bowl trails could finally open on Friday, and the Cascade chair is scheduled to run on Saturday.

Skibowl started running the Lower Bowl chairlift over last weekend, but only to transport night riders to the hard-to-access Multorpor chair. The resort is running seven nights a week on Multorpor and the West Side Rope Tow and Terrain Park, but it has yet to open the bread-and-butter Lower Bowl and Upper Bowl runs this season due to poor snow coverage.

The limited terrain at Skibowl has shifted crowds to Timberline and Meadows and made it a challenge to schedule races and freestyle competitions. But the outlook for Skibowl is much better than it was a week ago, and getting better. A nice stretch of snow and flurries have left Skibowl with about 15 inches of new snow, settling into snowpack of 17 inches at the base and 29 inches at the top. The temperature plummeted today and is expected to stay well below freezing all week, which should allow for serious snowmaking day and night.

"We are going to keep the Lower Bowl run closed until Friday so we can continue our snowmaking operation during this cold spell," explained Skibowl spokesman Hans Wipper.

As of Wednesday morning, the Skibowl conditions and lift status page was saying the Upper Bowl is set to open Friday and Cascade chair on Saturday.

In other good news, a large storm appears to be developing for the weekend, potentially bringing some serious snowfall to Mount Hood, including the lower-elevation runs at Skibowl. The Weather Service is saying "snow likely" for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and predicting 3-5 inches Friday night and 8-12 inches Saturday.

Unfortunately, there is also a chance that the snow could turn to ice over the weekend to crust up all that fresh powder.

I'll be keeping a close eye on the weather pages as the week continues and tweeting out anything newsworthy, so you might consider following Shred Hood on Twitter here.