PORTLAND — With the cold temperatures and low humidity, Mt. Hood Skibowl has used state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment to make more than five feet of snow on its tube hill, allowing for a Thanksgiving Day opening.
Skibowl has the lowest elevation of the main Mount Hood ski areas, so it usually opens last. Early snow this winter has been in short supply, just barely enough to keep Timberline Ski Area, Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Bachelor running some of their lifts.
Snowmaking equipment is still in limited use in Oregon, compared to places like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Colorado's big resorts where it is used extensively (and expensively).
With a compact area such as Skibowl's tube hill, the snowmaking equipment the resort has is enough to get sliding open. In the past few winter, the tube hill at Skibowl East has gone bonkers in popularity, so having it open is a big boost for business. It keeps families happy, too.
With no snow in the Mount Hood weather forecast until next Friday (and then only a slight chance), resorts that opened last weekend will be making do as best they can to keep lifts going or reopening them for the holiday weekend. Use this link to follow Western ski conditions.
The Snow Tube and Adventure Park at Skibowl East will be open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The opening includes the tube hill conveyor lift, indoor play structure, 800-foot long zipline and the the recently remodeled Multorpor Lodge featuring a full service café and the 70 Meter Bar and Grill.
Cosmic Tubing kicks off the season this coming Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The huge hit of last winter, Cosmic Tubing is back and better than ever with more lights, lasers, DJ nights and fireworks every third Saturday starting in December.
One-hundred new, neon, four-person tubes have been added to the tubing fleet, increasing hill capacity by a third. A second adventure lane is also being added to the hill.
Skibowl is also already planning New Year's Eve, with its 26th midnight fireworks extravaganza with a host of events, including skiing-riding until 2 a.m., fireworks at Skibowl West and East, Cosmic Tubing until midnight, a torchlight parade down the Lower Bowl, live DJs, multiple beer gardens and much more.