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Winter backcountry skiing photos from the south side of Mt. Hood:
Alpine Trail, Palmer Snowfield, and Mt. Hood Meadows

Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of Mt. Hood winter backcountry skiing photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from winter backcountry skiing trips to the south side of Mt. Hood: skiing in sunshine above the clouds on the Palmer snowfield in January, and skiing in powder snow in an unopened part of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area in February.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from October 24, 2005:
Alpine Trail and Palmer Snowfield, January 16, 2005, and
Mt. Hood Meadows, unopened part, February 5, 2005, Oregon

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Palmer snowfield, Palmer
chair lift, Crater Rock, Mt. Hood
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Jason carves into nice snow
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Jason above the clouds
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Jason skiing the
Palmer snowfield
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Jason skiing in sunshine
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Jason skiing the
Palmer snowfield
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Jason skiing the
Palmer snowfield
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The view back up
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Last turns before the fog
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Jason hits a jump on the
Alpine Trail below Timberline
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Carla skiing
Mt. Hood Meadows bowls
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Carla skiing good powder
snow at Meadows bowls
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Jason skiing Mt.
Hood Meadows bowls
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Jason
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Jason


Photos by Jeff Huber

Backcountry skiing trip reports:
Alpine Trail and Palmer Snowfield, January 16, 2005, and
Mt. Hood Meadows, unopened part, February 5, 2005, Oregon

January 16, 2005: With our unstable snowpack, dearth of snow and purported inclement weather, there were not many options for today. On the drive up we discussed both Bennett Pass and the Alpine Trail, which is a trail that runs from Government Camp to Timberline Lodge. We initially drove to Bennett Pass were we found shallow snow depth and rain-saturated snow with a faint crust, conditions not conducive to enjoyable skiing in the glades and mellow clear cuts here. We backtracked to Government Camp and headed up the Alpine trail. The snowdepth seemed to be slightly deeper in Government Camp then at Bennett Pass but the snow surface was pretty similar: it had been rained on and was slightly crusty. For me one of the main novelties of doing the Alpine trail was that I had never been on it before and I've heard it talked about a lot, usually being mentioned that young snowboarders like to hang out here all day building kickers and doing whatever else it is snowboarders (except those that read this forum) do. The trail did live up to my expectations with the highlight being a group of probably-not-sober snowboarders, sitting on the side of the trail, who were kind enough to attempt to socialize with us. When one of them asked where we going, Jason responded "Timberline", to which one of them enthusiastically responded something to the affect of, "DUDE that's such a f-cking long way from here".
   At Timberline (no it's not that far) we stopped and ate in the WyEast Lodge. I had the freedom, er I mean french, fries and caffeine, sugar and carbonation (aka a Coke). The french fries were excellent - some of the best I've ever had at a resort. It seemed that the entire upper mountain was socked-in but there were intermittent sunbreaks so we headed further up. Much to our surprise as we neared the top of the Magic Mile we got above the clouds and it was--prepare for a shock--perfectly SUNNY! It was also groomed even though neither the Magic Mile nor the Palmer chair lifts were running and the chairs were stored in the quad buildings. We de-skinned at the top of the Palmer and skied down on surprisingly good snow. The groomed on the Palmer was really excellent, it was soft enough to be easily carvable yet firm enough to be fast and fun. The Alpine Trail wasn't bad either as the faint crust that was there in the morning had melted.

February 5, 2005: MHM has re-opened part of their resort but luckily not all of it. Their website claimed 8 inches of new snow and telemetry showed .85" of water equivalent falling between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning at progressively colder temperatures. Arrived at 10:15 to find Mt. Hood Meadows main lot less then 3/4 full - since it was their first day of resumed operations I expected to see more cars. There were intermittent sunbreaks and temps were winterish: low to mid 20s per telemetry. We skinned up "Ridge Run" to the top of 2 Bowl. In 2 Bowl the skiing was--relatively speaking--excellent, definitely 8 inches of new snow if not more. I was not hitting any underlying crust in 2 Bowl (okay well maybe once). Another run on 2 Bowl followed, after which some of the party returned to the car and others consumed a run in 4 bowl. In 4 bowl the snow was shallower, heavier and the crust reached more frequently but still - again relatively speaking - it was excellent.
   Jeff

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