Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
It has been a week of dream turns and transportation nightmares since a powerful winter storm blanketed Mount Hood with more than two feet of snow between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
After barely scraping together enough snow to open for the holidays, Mount Hood resorts went from bare spots to powder shots December 27th and 28th. Some 27 inches of perfectly creamy snow fell in 48 hours.
This photo from Grant Myrdal showing John Laing in the powder gives you a taste of the snow quality as the storm took hold. Grant is back at work nabbing action shots at Meadows, so check out his new website and look for him with the blue sign on the mountain.
Social media posts like this tweet from Betsy Utley documented all sorts of good times on the mountain.
Unfortunately, the pent-up demand for quality snow time translated into some scary scenes on the roads. The driving was as hazardous as the shredding was good. Meadows and Timberline both filled their parking lots early on Sunday, and mountain roads went from crowded to clogged, with drivers spinning out and skidding into ditches and tow trucks racing from one accident to the next.
By the end of the day it took three hours to drive the 24 miles from the Meadows Parking Lot to Welches.
On Monday morning huge drifts of snow blocked the Timberline Access Road and half a dozen cars got stuck just short of the parking lot, creating two-hour-plus delays.
Unusually cold temperatures helped preserve the snow and some intense wind chill kept crowds fairly thin. This video from Mark Hanrahan gives you a sense of just hard the wind was blowing at its peak:
Probably the most brutal conditions I've been in at Timberline. Wind chill is no joke tonight. https://t.co/sY61wL0eG6— Mark Hanrahan (@mark_hanrahan) December 30, 2014
The wind chilll dropped to 20 below zero on Dec. 30. Still, as intense as the weather turned, there was still plenty of snow in wind-protected areas, and the mountain looked mesmerizing, with swaths of powder being blown all around the upper elevations (photo courtesy of Sean Jacks).
In the end, the snow season on Hood improved from dismal to decent. As of Jan. 2, the snow base is 47 inches at Timberline, 39 inches at Meadows, and 24/32 inches at Skibowl's Lower/UpperBowls.