Meadows opens this weekend

November 19, 2011

Local skiers once again get an early opportunity to hit the powder this year.

Mt. Hood Meadows will open with limited lifts and runs today after several days of snow gave a depth of 30 inches at the resort with more snow higher in the mountain.

More snow was forecast to hit the resort Friday night giving it up to a foot more powder.

Buttercup and Easy Rider are scheduled to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today with more lifts possible depending on snow level.

Other lifts which could be opening include Mt. Hood Express, Shooting Star Express and the resort's new Stadium Express.

Meadows spokesman Dave Tragethon said the Mt. Hood Express run was likely to be open at some point Saturday and that Stadium Express should open over the weekend as well.

"We're going to have an informal launching ceremony for it either Saturday or Sunday," he said of the new Stadium run.

The opening marks the third year in a row Meadows has opened before Thanksgiving. It opened Nov. 11 in 2009 and Nov. 20 last year. As far as Tragethon could recall, it may be the best string of early openings that Meadows has had.

"A lot of things have to happen for us to open early," Tragethon said. "First and foremost we need to have the snow conditions; but we are also so proud of our team for being able to get summer work projects done early and for hiring and training new staff so that we can have an early opening."

Tragethon does warn skiers that due to the early opening, early season conditions exist on many areas of the mountain, with snow concealing potential hazards, and advised all skiers to stay on groomed trails.

He also said the resort is expecting flurries throughout the weekend so drivers should expect winter driving conditions, and also should be sure to have an updated Sno-Park pass.

"Come on up, have some fun and take some runs," he said of his advice to anyone coming up this weekend. "Just don't burn yourself out on the first days of a long season."

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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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