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Spring conditions and blue skies all weekend.

A huge mass of warm, mellow air settled onto Mount Hood for the weekend, bringing sunny skies, spring conditions and tee shirt weather for the first two days of lift operations at Mt. Hood Meadows.

It was a classic inversion pattern, with frost and temps in the low 20s down in the Columbia River Gorge Sunday morning while up on the mountain it was crystal clear and downright balmy.

Cascade Express ran all weekend, and the conditions at 7300 feet were quite good. The runs were narrow due to limited snowpack, and the slopes were packed with people wearing fewer and fewer layers as the day went on.

Shipyard was open with a variety of terrain park features for freestyle riders, and the Ballroom Carpet operated both days for beginners as young as three.

But Mt. Hood Express and Vista Ridge were not open, and Stadium looked depressingly bare. Meadows received three inches of rain a week ago that really wiped away a lot of the base that had built up in previous storms. There were rocks and bushes sticking through the slopes all over the mountain, and the sound of volcanic rock scraping away bases was heard many times.

The seven-day forecast for Meadows is looking awfully dry, with the first sign of precipitation expected to fall as rain, not snow.

But in the short term the weather had folks in a fine mood, especially those who had driven up out of the frost and were pleasantly surprised by the heat. The newly redesigned Sun Deck was packed both days, and while it has to be said that the lack of Wi-Fi on the deck is a disappointment, it was still a good scene that looked more like April than November.

Meadows plans to take the week off and open back up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.

Let's hope it permits.

Here's a slide show from the Preview Weekend at Meadows:

A powerful inversion brought frost and smokey clouds to the valleys and sunshine to Mount Hood. Temps soared into the 50s at Meadows.