Pacific storms have begun to swing northward on the West Coast, prompting ski and snowboard resorts in the Northwest to spring life for the season.
Up in the Northwest, a record dry November stalled many planned openings, but OpenSnow forecasts more-normal winter patterns to return in December. So here's what to expect if you take a tour of mountains in Washington and Oregon.
The three resorts around Mt. Hood spent the summer upgrading various elements. At Mt. Hood Meadows, construction of a brand-new base lodge can be seen, with opening 2020-2021. Elsewhere, the mountain enlarged parking by 250 vehicles – and highway department added a lefthand turn lane into the lot. New features can be found in terrain parks.
Beginners at Mt. Hood SkiBowl get a smoother ride up the hill with an upgrade moving carpet in the learning area. Also new at the Oregon resort will be vintage tractor tours through the neighboring forests.
Around the corner, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area addressed traffic congestion by adding more shuttle buses to its nearby routes. Service stops at Summit and Mt. Hood Brewing Co. before heading to the Timberline base. Sister resort Summit will offer lessons for the first time, and Timberline has added features to its terrain parks.
Plenty new at Mt. Bachelor: Base lodge renovated and 300 more spaces for parking. Skiers and riders will find three new lifts: the Early Riser chair that picks up near the parking lot and drops off at the main lodge, and two conveyor belts installed for the beginner area. And don't be confused: Three chairs in the Woodward Mountain Park now have new names.
Up in Washington on the shoulder of Mt. Ranier, Crystal Mountain crews were busy this summer, adding 12 more gondola cabins, installing a new conveyor-belt lift as a prelude for beginners before they try out a chairlift ride, and moving Silver Park terrain park so that it has direct lift access.