report by Mamood
Timberline lodge where the Palmer Glacier is located is about 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon ( about 1.5 hr drive). There is skiing all year round with the exception of month of September when they close the resort for lift maintenance except for weekends.
On the drive up the majestic view of Mt. Hood takes your breath away and once you get in to the parking the historic Timberline lodge catches your eye. The lift tickets are $62 and the lifts are open from 7 AM to 2:00 PM. The tow lifts that are open are the Magic Mile Chair and the Palmer Chair. You first board the Magic Mile chair and then take the Palmer chair to 8,500 feet. On a good snow year such as this year for Oregon, you can ski about 2600 vertical feet each run from the top of Palmer to the bottom of Magic Mile chair which is about 2 Miles.
The top half of Palmer snowfield has consistent 20 degree pitch which is great for race training as well as free skiing. The top half is divided in to lanes for race teams and the public skiers have their own lane to ski on. On the bottom half of Palmer snow field there are half pipes and terrain features for snow boarders and free riders with a dedicated rope tow. The snow conditions are generally hard packed early morning and softening up around 9 Am or so. Depending on the weather, you may even encounter some fresh snow as we did ( it snowed 6” the day before we skied).
All in all its great skiing and perfect if you want to tune up your skills. After skiing, you can either drive down to Maupin ( about 1.5 hrs on the east side) and go rafting on Deschutes River with class III rapids or drive to Hood River ( aka “wind surfing capital of the world”) and go wind surfing in the afternoon with nuking winds.