We all have been waiting (patiently) for this storm to chill out and bring us some long awaited snow. Well it arrived with a vengeance this morning - as the rain turned to snow around 3 AM. Since then we've accumulated a foot of new snow at the top of Shooting Star (6600 foot level) with 4" in the base area (5500 foot level.) With the slurpy slope conditions last evening, we couldn't put groomers on the mountain until after the snow piled up - particularly on the lower mountain trails serviced by Hood River Express. And the storm is expected to pick up through the morning hours, so don't expect a lot of grooming today.
Additionally, the freezing level dropped quickly which is great for changing rain to snow, but that also left a coating of ice on every lift. Lift maintenance was called out early to start the deicing process. During that process we use our transport cats to take patrol up for AC work and trail marking. We expect to have lifts operating at 9 AM - focusing on Mt. Hood Express and over to Shooting Star. We'll get as many lifts operating as soon as we possible.
ODOT plowed our lots, but since this storm is forecast to drop a foot or more throughout the day be prepared to drive through deep snow as you leave. Experienced mountain enthusiasts will have a shovel in their vehicle and this is the kind of day that it comes in handy.
We've been waiting for it - and we are prepared. A lot needs to get done to ready the mountain after and during a substantial storm such as the one we're experiencing. But every crew member is smiling - and happy to make this extraordinary effort to prepare the mountain for some great skiing and riding.
See you on the mountain!