Timberline’s Palmer Express lift usually operates June 1st through Labor Day for summer turns on Oregon’s highest peak. (Timberline/Facebook)
Some skiers and riders just can’t get enough, and they aren’t satisfied with wind surfing, whitewater rafting or plain ol’ hiking in the summer. For them, there are options out there that require some travel, a bit of hiking and plenty of sunscreen.
When Rocky Mountain resorts have shut down for the season, there’s always been a summertime option for skiers and snowboarders: Beartooth Basin in northern Wyoming.
The snow gods smiled on the Pacific Northwest this season, with most mountain resorts getting at or slightly above normal snowfall – meaning they are pushing closing dates to the limit.
El Niño’s largesse has fallen mostly on Sierra and Pacific Northwest resorts this season, prompting several to extend their seasons and others just happy to make it to their usual closing date.
The northwest corner of the continent is set to have some of the best powder days in the nation this week – a far cry from last year but a welcome “return to normalcy” to the a region that typically measures snowfall in feet.
A phalanx of snow storms continues to course off the Pacific and dump double-digit depths on the Cascades and environs.
It’s no secret that last season was difficult for ski and snowboard operations in the Pacific Northwest, given a record low in snowfall and persistent above-freezing temperatures into midseason.
More than a hundred wildfires in the mountains of the moisture-starved Pacific Coast have yet to cause any damage to ski and snowboard resorts, although a small fire near Snow Summit and Bear Mountain forced temporary evacuations and closures around the Southern California slopes.
When the chairlifts no longer turn and bare ground shows up on the trails, it’s time for winter resorts to shift into summertime mode – specifically, golf.
Bits and pieces of winter will sprinkle across the country for the next week, with Front Range Colorado getting the bulk of new stuff while New England’s winter weather gods just don’t seem to want to let go.
A couple of weeks of serious storms brought 100 inches to Wolf Creek and a welcome three feet to the Tahoe area. But they are done with, and it appears that spring skiing will be the order of the day for the near future.
Many resorts along the West Coast are sweetening ticket and lodging deals to entice skiers and snowboarders into the mountains. The deals are prompted by a winter season that hasn’t come close to even delivering an average snowfall.
It looks like the whatever good stuff from this latest storm has all fallen, and forecasters say it’ll be warmer and drier across the West into the last week of January.
The small print on the back of a ski lift ticket is now in the legal spotlight, following a decision by the highest court in Oregon that such waivers are “unenforceable” and a snowboarder injured at Mt. Bachelor’s terrain park can sue the resort for damages.
You could hear the audible sigh of relief from skiers and snowboarders in the Great Northwest this last week who finally can hit the slopes after a way-too-warm December.
After all the hoopla around Christmas and New Year’s, it’s time to get down to the business of learning how to ski or snowboard.
Mt. Hood Meadows has named Charles Jake Bolland as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. The announcement was made by Meadows Chairman and CEO Matthew Drake.
An extensive storm system fueled by a so-called "Pineapple Express" has made landfall in northern California, prompting forecasts for 1-3 feet of snow in and around Lake Tahoe by the weekend.