powder

Let the festivities begin.

What a week on Mount Hood.

Eight inches of fresh snow got pulverized by an insanely warm monsoon and 141 mile-an-hour gusts of wind, then replaced by another eight inches of fresh snow, with a beautiful forecast for freshies all weekend and nice cool temperatures. Outstanding winter weather indicators convinced KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino to send out his "most optimistic and excited Powder Alert in two years" on Dec. 10:

Thursday will bring a solid 6-10 inches of new snow to the northern and central Cascades of Oregon. That’s followed by another 6-10 inches on Friday and 8 to 16 inches over the weekend. Other than a brief and harmless spike in snow levels Saturday night, the snow level should stay between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. That adds up to 20 to 36 inches between now and Sunday from Mt Bachelor to Mt Hood.

Mt. Hood Meadows has officially opened for daily winter operations, with Mt. Hood Express, Vista Express, Buttercup, Easy Rider and the Ballroom Carpet for starters.

Timberline also will be running lifts daily, with Stormin' Norman, Pucci and the Thunder Terrain Park open with a 26-inch base at 6,000 feet.

Skibowl does not have terrain open for skiing or snowboarding but will be running its tubing hill over the weekend.

Meadows also plans to offer:

  • a "bonus night" operating lifts from 9am-9pm Saturday, previewing night operations scheduled to begin Friday, December 18.
  • cross country skiing on two trails and a practice area for beginner lessons over the weekend. The track fee is $12.
  • three terrain parks - Shipyard, The Zoo and Fireweed. Timberline will have Thunder and Schoolyard open for park shredders.

Finally!

Expect snow, crowds, good times and a certain amount of mayhem, because there is a mountain of pent-up demand for fresh snow out there. Things might just get a little crazy - hopefully in a good way.

Shred

Let's add in a few animation-sequence-style pow pics from stoke-master Grant Myrdal, to keep the adrenaline flowing:

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