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Timberline, Meadows boast near 100-inch base snow as January draws to a close

COURTESY PHOTO: MT. HOOD MEADOWS  - Masking is no longer mandated outdoors in Oregon, or at the ski resorts on Mount Hood. Though winter recreation destinations had a late start this winter, both Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge have reported that their seasons are going well as they move into February.

Mt. Hood Meadows is reporting a base snow depth of 81 inches with 121 inches at mid mountain. These conditions are a pleasant, delayed surprise from the projected La Nina year on Mount Hood. While Meadows wasn't able to open until Dec. 12, VP of Marketing Dave Tragethon said the resort's season is now shaping up well.

"We went from having literally no snow to just about 100 inches base snow in two-weeks' time," Tragethon said. "We had a lot of work to do. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. We want as much snow as possible."

December, since the resort wasn't open for the entire month, was slower in terms of visitation, but Tragethon said now "we're very pleased with turnout."

"This is pretty much what we anticipated," he added, since the staff is managing visitation with online reservation bookings.

Compared to the 2020-21 season, when vaccinations were only just beginning to be administered, Tragethon said "we're able (this season) to accommodate more people on a daily basis."

"We're able to offer more of the entire resort experience than we were last year," he explained. "Some adjustments we made last year continue now and likely will after the pandemic."

The main adjustment Tragethon sees as here to stay is the resort's visitation management process.

"With advance purchases, it's more efficient for visitors to get equipment without waiting in a long line," he added. "The visitation management has helped streamline the experience. The entire resort operates better.

The resort staff are working on a spring event schedule for this season, feeling more "comfortable offering these events since they're outdoor."

"We've got a great season ahead," Tragethon said.

COURTESY PHOTO: TIMBERLINE LODGE - As of Friday, Jan. 21, Timberline was boasting a 100-inch snow base depth. (Past season photo.)Terrific turnout at Timberline

At Timberline, operations opened on Dec. 13.

"The historical average is Nov.18," said marketing director John Burton of the ski area's typical opening day. "But we were delayed by a lack of snowfall."

When the area was able to open, Burton explained, the snow "came in like a lion."

Despite the delay in powder days, Burton added that Timberline's part of the mountain is actually "ahead of the historical snowfall by 10% at this point."

"We're in really good shape for skiing and snowboarding," Burton explained. "Turnout has been great and pretty predictable. People are definitely making adjustments to come out to the mountain."

Burton said that operations are "very similar to last year," with the difference of fewer restrictions. Masking is no longer mandated outside, and while food and beverage are available indoors, the lodge continues to offer ample grab-and-go options.

"Every resort on the mountain has something to offer," Burton explained. "Here at Timberline, we provide a family friendly, very relaxed atmosphere – a premiere experience. That's what we pride ourselves on."

As of Friday, Jan. 21, Timberline was boasting a 100-inch snow base depth and a snowfall of 307 inches since Sept. 1, 2021.

Burton added that he encourages visitors to be mindful of how the same conditions that provide great powder for skiing and snowboarding can make driving hazardous or prolong trips up the mountain.

"Give yourself extra time and be patient with your fellow travelers," he explained.

For more information about conditions at Meadows and Timberline, visit skihood.com or timberlinelodge.com.


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