Spring finally arrives at Mt Hood Meadows and White Pass
May 14, 2012
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Like Alex Ferguson’s humility, Spring has barely been sighted in the last two ski seasons in the Pacific Northwest. This end of April though, it was looking like trends were retuning to more normal climatic patterns. Mt Hood Meadows was in its last weekend of full operations, and those who were there early (i.e, us) enjoyed some fine skiing. Until about 11.30am. Luckily, Moon Bowl in Heather Canyon delivered divine, steep morning runs on softening, north-facing Styrofoam-like snow. If you were discriminating, there were good turns to be had until early afternoon, especially up high, but after that, sun-baked glue predominated. So we went wine tasting.
The following weekend, Winter made an early May, fleeting visit to the Cascades. White Pass on Saturday was more late February than early May. A few inches of new snow, and temperatures that on Saturday only just crept above freezing made for a day to savor. Talcum-like snow on the front-side steeps meant fast runs on a grippy, cold base. And groomers were exceptional all day. Even when warmer temperatures moved in on Sunday, White Passes’ north facing aspect kept the snow from transitioning into anything that even approached the glue of the weekend before. Rather, perfect corn snow could be found all day if you followed the sun, and the conditions on the north-facing steeps were as resilient as Ron Paul’s belief in crazy policies.
Yup, Spring skiing in the Pacific Northwest really rocks!
Mt Hood Meadows: Saturday 7200m, Sunday 7200m
White Pass: Saturday 8400m Sunday 9300m
Season Totals: 64 days, 551,800m vert, 28 powder days