Rain delays ski season at Mt Hood Meadows

Warm weather pushed back the season opening

Rain delayed the opening of Mt. Hood Meadows, KOIN 6 News learned on Nov. 24, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mt. Hood Meadows has delayed opening for its 50th anniversary season due to a combination of warmer weather and rain.

The ski area planned to kick off its 50th season on Friday, but rain interfered and the entire weekend was lost. Spokesman Dave Tragethon said snow is in next week’s forecast, and the ski area hopes to have lifts running by next weekend.

Tragethon, the Vice President of Marketing for Mt. Hood Meadows, told KOIN 6 News they got 5.5 inches of rain since Sunday including 1.5 inches on Thursday.

The 3-foot snowpack that allowed for a preview weekend on Nov. 17 has gone down to 14 inches and the snow at the base is too fragile for snowcats.

“Last week for our preview weekend, we had over 3 feet of snow right here in the base area,” Tragethon told KOIN 6 News. But “the temperatures up here were between 45 and 47 degrees.”

Mother Nature has more precipitation in store for next week’s forecast and the ski staff is counting on La Nina to turn out another good season — eventually.

“La Nina giveth and La Nina taketh away,” Tragethon said. “But La Nina will typically bring us colder temps and more precipitation.”

They’re hoping the forecast rings true and will let them kick off their 50th anniversary season sooner than later.

“With our snow harvesting capabilities and with snow coming in this next week, we will scrape together everything we possibly can and we hope to have that opening as early as next weekend,” he said.