Plenty of recent late-winter snowfall has helped build region’s snowpack; Mt. Bachelor skiers welcome the fresh powder

March 6, 2024
Plenty of recent late-winter snowfall has helped build region’s snowpack; Mt. Bachelor skiers welcome the fresh powder

By Kelsey McGeeBEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- While it may be inconvenient for you getting around, the frequent snow in recent weeks has been beneficial to the state's snowpack, as well as its ski resorts."In terms of snowpack, notably from this last storm -- snow totals from that storm are about three and a half feet in the Central Cascades and about one foot out in the Ochoa Mountains up at elevation," Matt Warbritton, the Portland Data Collection Office's supervisory hydrologist, said Tuesday.Warbritton said snow totals are up this year. Prior to the recent storms at the end of February and start of March, many snowpack monitoring stations were recording below-normal numbers.And now, since the February storms, they are above-normal in the Deschutes-Crooked River basin and elsewhere.Still, the latest Oregon Drought Monitor map shows much of the High Desert is still listed as being in "moderate drought" or "abnormally dry."Warbritton said, "Let's talk about last year, first, of course, comparing it to the same time last year much of the state was below-normal snowpack. If we look back at 2022, the snowpack, especially in the Central Cascades, sitting at slightly below normal."He said it's important to note those years were La Nina -- typically drier conditions and lower snowpack. And Mt. Bachelor has a total of 308 inches of snow so far this winter, and a current base topping 10 feet.Great for those who love hitting the slopes, like the ones we talked to at Mt. Bachelor.Bend resident Dave Reynolds said, "So today's calendar is amazing. One of the best days I've had this year. "Skiers and snowboarders are eager to put on their goggles, strap on their boots and get ready to hit the slopes.

Bend residents Ryder Huggin and Fynn Dragan decided to beat the rush and hit the slopes early Tuesday."Yeah, we both got up pretty early today," Huggin said.Dragan said, "It was pretty awesome. Pretty killer day! A lot of good snow. Pretty deep."Huggin added, "Super light. One of the better days of the season, for sure."Dragan said "Yeah, it's an awesome, good, great snow year. it started a little dry, and then it came in pretty heavy."And the recent snowfall, has come as a surprise for many.Dragan said, "I don't think either of us expected it to be this good this late in the season. It kind of had a shaky start. So super-grateful to have just now fallen and yeah, keep the season alive."Mt. Bachelor is reminding skiers and boarders the deep snow conditions can create snow immersion suffocation hazards. Staying on the open and cleared runs will reduce the risk.

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