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News / Sports / Outdoors

Warm weather hampers early season at Mt. Hood ski areas

Some lifts are running, but many schedules remain tentative

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: December 15, 2023, 5:16pm

A slow start to the ski season doesn’t figure to pick up much in the near future, but limited opportunities to hit the slopes still remain.

Timberline Lodge opened for the 2023-24 season last week, but was only able to open the Bruno lift, which provides access only to novice-level ski runs.

If the weather cooperates, Timberline hopes to open the Magic Mile and Palmer lifts this weekend if visibility on the higher-elevation runs allows it. Terrain on the Mile and Palmer lifts is for advanced intermediate to expert skiers and snowboarders only.

Due to limited offerings, a reduced price for lift tickets will be offered at Guest Services. A Bruno-only ticket is also available.

Mount Hood Meadows opened for the first time last Saturday, but rainfall forced the resort to close a day later. After a productive few days of snowmaking and snow harvesting, the resort reopened on Friday for skiing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The southside lifts of Buttercup, Daisy and Easy Rider will operate. The resort also hopes to open Vista Express with limited terrain available.

Meadows also tentatively plans to start night skiing on Wednesday, Dec. 20, if conditions allow.

Mt. Hood Skibowl will open Saturday and Sunday, but only for tubing. Located at lower elevations than other Mt. Hood resort, Skibowl still needs more snowfall to open for skiing. Unfortunately for skiers, the forecast over the next week calls for limited precipitation and temperatures about freezing for Government Camp.

Further north, ski resorts near Mt. Rainier, White Pass and Crystal Mountain will be open this weekend with limited terrain open.

Crystal Mountain will be running eight of their 11 lifts, with 30 of of 85 trails open.

White Pass will open Far East Triple, Carpets, Great White, Chair 4 and Basin Quad lifts with limited terrain available.

Not enough snow for Teacup

Teacup Nordic, the popular network of cross-country ski trails on the east side of Mount Hood, says it has too little snow to groom and is essentially closed.

“At this point we are going to need more snow to do any grooming as most trails are too thin to ski on or bare,’’ the ski area posted on Facebook. “We will open again as soon as we have anything white on the ground to ski on.’’

The trails are at approximately 4,000 feet elevation about 35 miles north of Hood River on Oregon Highway 35. When there is snow, the trails are groomed four days a week for classic and skate skiing. The area also has a warming cabin.

Teacup Nordic typically starts grooming in early December and continues into early spring. — Allen Thomas for The Columbian

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