Snowstorm batters Mount Hood, excites skiers, snowboarders

TIMBERLINE - A snowstorm pummeling the Cascades has made driving difficult through the mountain passes, but for skiers and snowboarders it has been a dream come true.

The snow Monday at Mount Hood was relentless and it felt like being hit in the face with frozen sand over and over again.

But the snow swirling sideways gave overnight guests at Timberline Lodge every reason to enjoy a quiet night inside, but that all will change in the morning.

Saber Sterling and her boyfriend, Rick Stratton, are determined to hit the slopes Tuesday for the first time in two years no matter the weather.

"Don't want to be out there for sure, but I'm hoping that I get a bunch of fresh powder to ride tomorrow," said Stratton.

"It's just snow; it's just wind. It will be fine. We'll have a good time," Sterling said.

Just getting up the mountain proved challenging, with each passing mile trickier than the last. Drivers taking the road to Timberline ran into whiteout conditions along the way, and once they made it, even the parking lot was no place to relax.

But after making it this far, Sterling and Stratton were hardly intimidated.

"I'm excited. I'm ready to get up in the morning and go. It will be good," said Sterling.

"Regardless of the conditions, we're going to take it on," Stratton said. "Maybe get a little snow in my face, but I'm still getting fresh powder."

Several cars got stuck in the snow Monday, and once the powder gets packed down, it's going to get very slippery in the parking lot at Timberline Lodge and on the roads getting there.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Cascade Range until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A little more than 18 inches of new snow is expected at Timberline by late Wednesday night and almost a foot at Mt. Hood Meadows.

Wind gusts of up to 65 mph are expected at Timberline overnight and 50 mph at higher elevations Tuesday.