diane-cachron

Diane Cachron makes first tracks down Private Reserve Wednesday. Photos by Grant Myrdal

Powder shredders rejoice: The steepest and deepest of terrain on Mount Hood is now open for exploration, with ridiculous amounts of snowfall piling up over the past month.

Skibowl announced the opening of the Outback on Christmas Eve after 30 inches of snow in three days, calling it the earliest opening of Outback terrain in seven years. The Outback extends to skier's left from the top of the Upper Bowl Chair, all the way to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain, with powder lines a-plenty through the trees.

Mt. Hood Meadows opened the gated terrain of Private Reserve on Wednesday, with access to God’s Wall, Elk and Yoda Bowls from Hood River Express Chair down to the Clark Creek Run-out, some of the steepest runs on the mountain. The latest batch of powder photos below from on-the-mountain photographer Grant Myrdal tells the story of the best December snow conditions on Mount Hood in a long, long time. The snow base at 6,000 feet on Mount Hood as of Christmas morning is 96 inches.

Since then Meadows has opened Clark Canyon to seal the deal on the best holiday conditions in years. Cold temps have held steady and the base is holding solid at 90-plus inches at 6,000 feet as of January 1, 2016. Conditions have been stellar from God's Wall to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain to White River Canyon.

Racers are training on Stadium for the first time in years, upcoming competitions are on as scheduled at Skibowl, and mountain shops and restaurants are humming and hiring.

Happy New Year!