Not much of a winter on Mt Hood 2014-15

This has been one of the warmest winters in Oregon that I can remember. We have had very little snow accumulation in the mountains and no snowpack at pass level. It has been a disappointing season for snowmobiling. One positive is many roads are open that are usually impassable by passenger vehicles in the winter. This fact allowed my friend John and I to drive to the little bit of higher elevation snow that does exist.

We headed down FS road 48 to 4890 towards Bonney Meadows. We were lucky enough to have a couple inches of snow fall overnight and decided to unload the sleds at a 4-way intersection at around 4,400 feet in elevation. There was only a couple inches of snow, but I hoped it would get deeper as we increased in elevation on our way to Bonney Meadows. At least the weather was nice with a mostly sunny sky and temperature around 28°F.

As luck would have it, we did find some deeper snow. After scraping gravel with our ski carbides, we finally ran into decent snow around 5,200 feet in elevation at Bonney Meadows.

Unloading snowmobiles     Bonney Meadows with some snow

From Bonney Meadows we rode up to nearby Bonney Butte. The snow was thin up top as the constant windy conditions blow much of the snow away all season long. With the nice weather we were able to get a good view of Mt Hood. It was sad to see how high the snowline currently is. I foresee a drought in our future.

Mt Hood from Bonney Butte     Snowmobiles on Bonney Butte

We rode further up weaving in and out of old tire tracks in the snow. There was a solid 2-3 feet of snow on the trail above about 5,300 feet in elevation. That's not nearly what it normally is, but we were thankful to find any snow to ride in. We turned around after the trail starting loosing elevation and the snow quickly disappeared.

Some snow and dirt     A little more snow up high

By the time we got back, the temperature had warmed up enough to melt much of the fresh snow that had fallen overnight. It was a rocky muddy last few hundred yards to the truck, but we made it. This was probably our last ride of the season unless we get a miraculous Spring snowstorm on Mt Hood. My fingers are crossed, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Gear List

2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK Snowmobile
2013 Polaris 800 Switchback Assault Snowmobile
Echo CS-271T chainsaw
HMK Summit V16 Pack
GMAX GM76X Helmet
Smith Phenom Turbo Fan Goggles
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Max Electric Boots
HMK Hustler 2 Snowmobile Pants
Columbia Titanium Hightail II Softshell Jacket
HMK Cascade Snowmobile Jacket
Columbia Powerfly Down Puff Jacket
Head Digital Sport Liner Gloves
Outdoor Research Ambit Gloves
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Fleece Hat
HighGear ATF8 Altimeter
Petzl TIKKA XP 2 Headlamp
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Snow Shovel
First Aid Kit
Samsung Galaxy S5 w/BackCountry Navigator
Suunto A-10 Compass


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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.