No business like snow business

When snow is good, business is good. And there has been very good news as of late for winter business in Hood River.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has busted through the 100-inch mark in grand style, piling up 33 inches of snow in a 24-hour period this week.

As of Friday morning, the base stood at (check) inches. Most of the snow accumulated from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, when snowflakes fell at an average of two inches per hour.

"Tuesday was so amazingly good," said James Hinde, an employee at Obsidian Snow and Skate in downtown Hood River, and a rider who has been up every day since the mountain opened.

"It wasn't too deep, but just perfect for throwing a good powder spray."

Business, too, has been nearly perfect since Meadows opened, said Hinde, with many customers asking for things on a `need it now' basis.

"We've seen lots, and lots of business," laughed Hinde.

"We've had all kinds of people coming in needing rush waxes, rush rentals, goggles, underlayers or last minute coats. Everything has been going."

Meadows personnel were also excited, but not too eager when looking at this week's accumulation.

"We haven't seen this amount of snow in such a short period of time since 1998-99," Meadows Marketing Director Dave Tragethon said.

"As impressive as this snow is, `old timers' around here say this type of early-season storm on Mt. Hood is common, and recall several seasons when the snowpack had reached 100 inches before Christmas."

Common or not, it is an attraction that snow lovers and businesses alike are happy to have gracing Mt. Hood.

"We are receiving calls from every state," Tragethon said. We're telling them that we definitely have a superior product for the holidays -- probably the deepest snowpack in the country."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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