New snow graces Mt. Hood

Storm helps pad base at Meadows, Cooper Spur still needs more

Tuesday morning’s Cascade snowstorm gave new life to Mt. Hood Meadows and may lift Cooper Spur Resort back into the winter recreation picture.

Thirteen inches of new snow at Mt. Hood Meadows base on Tuesday added to the foot of snow the day before, yielding 2.5 feet of snow in two and a half days — a blizzard by 2003 standards.

“I never thought it would feel so good to be normal,” said Dave Tragethon, Mt. Hood Meadows’ marketing director. The snow comes just as Meadows is gearing up for Saturday’s “Keep Winter Cool” fair Saturday at the resort; see page A11 for details.

The slopes definitely cooled down the early part of this week, a welcome sight to Meadows.

“The 2.5 feet of snow over two or three days is not at all rare, except this year,” said Tragethon, adding that a lull was expected Tuesday night, with more snow to come today.

“It’s 61 inches at base and who knows how much — a million? — in the upper part,” Tragethon said. But snowfall is serious business for Mt. Hood Meadows. The company also operates the newly-expanded Cooper Spur Resort, which was shut down two weeks ago for lack of snow, despite a promising January, Tragethon said.

“We need a little more so we can get Cooper Spur operating again, and we still intend to open Heather Canyon when we get enough snow,” Tragethon said of the popular area.

Re-opening Cooper Spur is a “day to day,” decision, he said. “As soon as we get enough, we’ll open it.“We are literally within inches of being able to open,” Tragethon said.

“The biggest issue is having enough snow to run a snowcat so we don’t tear up the slopes.”

The new snow is light in moisture content, so that 12 inches compacts to four inches on the Cooper Spur slopes.

Tragethon said the conditions “are great for people skiing higher up but not the best for trying to build a base when trying to pack (the snow).”

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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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