Is Summer Skiing on Mt. Hood, OR Over for Good? | 80-Year Photo Tour:

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Palmer Snowfield with almost no snow left at all. September, 2009.
Palmer Snowfield with almost no snow left at all. September, 2015.

Timberline Lodge ski resort’s Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR has nearly completely melted this summer forcing the ski resort to close over a month early on August 2nd, 2015.  This is not good.  But, this happened back in 2005, and the Palmer Snowfield recovered nicely.  That said, since around 2005, the Palmer hasn’t been what it once was.

We have compiled 16 summer photos of the Palmer Snowfield from 13 different years from 1935 until 2015.  From these photos, one can see that the Palmer Snowfield has rarely melted out as significantly as it has this year.

The Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR. August 19th, 2005, closing day that season and the last time the snowfield basically totally melted out.
The Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR. August 19th, 2005, closing day that season and the last time the snowfield basically totally melted out.

In 2005, the Palmer Snowfield melted out about as bad as it has this year, but recovered snow mass due to big winters in 2006 and 2011.  In 2005, Timberline was forced to close early on August 18th.  Timberline Lodge averages over 400 inches of snowfall per season.  In 2014/15 they received only 297″ of snowfall.

Timberline Lodge ski resort’s Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood is the place of legends.  Bumpers, racers, park rats, and normal public skiers and riders rejoice in skiing this piece of snow all summer long.

It’s currently unclear how much longer Timberline will be able to offer summertime skiing and riding.  Looking at the images of the Palmer Snowfield over the years below, it’s clear that the Palmer Snowfield is on its way out…

CHRONOLOGICAL PHOTO TOUR OF THE PALMER SNOWFIELD ON MT. HOOD, OR:

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2015:

Palmer Snowfield with almost no snow left at all. September, 2009.
Palmer Snowfield with almost no snow left at all. September, 2015.

2009:

Palmer Snowfield with almost no snow left at all. September, 2015.
Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR. Septebmer 2009.

2007:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 98/28/2007
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/28/2007
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/21/2007.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/21/2007.

2005:

The Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR. August 19th, 2005, closing day that season and the last time the snowfield basically totally melted out.
The Palmer Snowfield on Mt. Hood, OR. August 19th, 2005, closing day that season and the last time the snowfield basically totally melted out.

1989:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/10/1989.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/10/1989.

1984:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/15/1984.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/15/1984.

1979:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/29/1979.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/29/1979.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 7/15/1979.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 7/15/1979.

1972:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/10/1972.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 8/10/1972.

1963:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/3/1963.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/3/1963.

1959:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 7/10/1959.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 7/10/1959.

1956:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 10/2/1956.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 10/2/1956.

1946:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/9/46.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/9/46.

1935:

Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/25/1935.
Palmer Snowfield, Mt. Hood, OR. 9/25/1935.

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8 thoughts on “Is Summer Skiing on Mt. Hood, OR Over for Good? | 80-Year Photo Tour:

  1. As a PNWer I have to agree, it doesn’t rain here anymore. For the past couple years besides a couple storms that have come through, the constant rain I grew up in just doesn’t happen anymore. This summer was super nice though, hottest summer ever no joke

    1. I went to school in Oregon from 08-11 and it rained more each year. I’m not saying climate change isnt happening, but a scale of a few years doesn’t tell us anything. There are going to be years wetter and dryer, year in and year out

  2. It doesnt help it faces south. Timberline groomers use salt to keep the snowfield from melting even more. The Pac NW is experiencing climate change. As it doesnt rain/ drizzle everyday like it normally does (except June – Sept.) The north side has a spot called the Snowdome, that has b/c year round. It probably is getting thinner.

      1. Salt does preserve the snow. When it hits the surface the top layer melts and the rest of the snow causes it to freeze again. I know it doesn’t sound right but it does actually keep the snowpack around longer

  3. Man has the intelligence and capability to improve his life and environment.
    Install snowmaking and build up the snowpack during the winter, just like Blackcomb is doing.
    Without snowmaking many major resorts would not operate.
    With snowmaking, Copper Mountian was able to offer a snowpark all summer long:
    http://www.woodwardatcopper.com/facilities/the-facilities/summer-facilities.html
    There still is a snowpile:
    http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/the_mountain/mountain_webcams/CenterVillage/index.html

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