Mount Hood ski resorts charge at full speed in winter

Mt. Hood Meadows is open for skiing, snowboarding, and other activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing all week long with temperatures well below zero and more build-up expected.

Sam Stites / OPB

Heavy snowfall in the Cascades is causing headaches for travelers and transportation workers across Oregon and southwest Washington.

But with storm warnings in place for areas such as Mount Hood, these unmistakable signs of winter bring with them a sense of joy and merriment for skiers and snowboarders who are happy to see just snowfall. in time for the holidays.

Almost 30 inches fell on Mount Hood over the past weekend, where resorts have just started to open for the season.

According to Dave Tragethon, VP of Marketing Sales at Mt. Hood Meadows, these early season dumps are critical to the ability of local resorts to open up as much land as possible at a time when outdoor recreation is in high demand. .

“Especially during the holidays when people will want to go out and do an activity with family and friends relatively [COVID] safe compared to many other options that might not be available, ”Tragethon said.

As of Monday, there were about 61 inches of snow at Meadows Base and 73 inches at higher elevations, with build-up expected to continue through the week leading up to the Christmas holiday weekend.

While skiing and snowboarding are often seen as the main attraction of a resort like Mt. Hood Meadows, Tragethon said snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and other “snow play” activities that do not require a lift ticket attract a large percentage of the population hearing the resort each year.

“When you think about it, there are a lot more people who live in the Northwest who don’t ski or snowboard, but want to come and play in the snow. So we expect these activities to be busy as well, ”Tragethon said.

Tragethon also noted that all of the Mt. Hood Meadows lodges – including the newly constructed Sahale Lodge with a new dining room and bar – have reopened to the public after last season’s closures due to the COVID pandemic. -19.

The long-awaited public opening of Sahale Lodge comes this year after an opening ceremony in October. Construction on the building began in April 2019 and was completed in time for last season, but with the coronavirus limiting indoor gatherings, the new lodge only offered take-out dining options and the use of its outdoor patio. .

According to Tragethon, the resort is excited to reopen to the public for indoor service in an all-new setting with a new air exchange ventilation system that refreshes the air inside the lodge six times per hour. The ventilation systems in the north and south pavilions have also been improved to improve the health and safety of customers and staff.

Although Mt. Hood Meadows no longer requires masks in elevator lines or in outdoor areas, masks covering the mouth and nose are still required whenever guests are inside a building without actively eat or drink.

Tragethon said he encourages all guests to follow health and safety protocols so they can continue this ski and snowboard season without interruption as long as the flakes continue to fly.

“We are still in a pandemic and our goal is to protect our team and run every day of the season and not let that get in our way,” he said. “And we wish everyone happy holidays and hope you can have a great time with your family on the mountain this year.”

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