Oregon ski resort operators worried about legal expenses and insurance costs are backing a bill that would reauthorize the liability releases recently rejected as "unconscionable" by the state Supreme Court, while adding avalanches, tree wells and terrain parks to the list of risks inherent to skiing and snowboarding.

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defeat-als

Ski to Defeat ALS organizers remain optimistic. Photo by Randy Boverman

The big Ski to Defeat ALS vertical challenge and fund-raiser is still on for April 11 at Meadows, but the annual pond skim scheduled for April 25 has been canceled due to "changing conditions." And Meadows announced on Friday, April 10 that its final weekend of operations will be April 17-19.

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skibowl-rentals

The collision happened near the Rental Shop at the base of Lower Bowl. Photo from March 2014

A 25-year-old snowboarder who was run over by an out-of-control snowboarder at the base of Skibowl in the spring of 2013 is suing the snowboarder and Mt. Hood Skibowl for $125,000, saying that the resort was responsible for over-serving the man and allowing him onto the lift and the hill even though he was dangerously wasted.

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Mt. Hood Meadows has shut down for the week to prepare for Spring Break with a new terrain park, and Timberline is restricting its lower-mountain access to its terrain parks, with snow levels unusually low for mid-March.

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Safety training officer Corinna Kupelwieser. Photo by Pierce Hodges/Mt. Hood Meadows

After dropping their injury rate to its lowest level in more than a decade, Mt. Hood Meadows and Training Manager Corinna Kupelwieser were recognized as leaders in workplace safety and health at the 2015 Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference Wednesday.

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snow-farming-mount-hood

Rows of white decorate the south side of Mount Hood as groomers work to preserve precious snow. Photo courtesy of John Ingersoll.

Timberline grooming crews are strategically storing snow to preserve the lucrative summer camp scene on Mount Hood, with months to go until summer and snowpack levels far below average.

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Maya Barnard-Davidson is recovering from traumatic brain injury following her New Year's Eve accident on Mount Hood. Photo courtesy of Candy Barnard-Davidson

Seven weeks have passed since Mt. Hood Skibowl was the scene of two serious accidents on New Year’s Eve, and large questions remain.

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I don't need to tell you that snow conditions have not been stellar on Mount Hood this season. But conditions have been decent, even surprisingly good at times — at least for a year with so little snow. This video from Mt. Hood Meadows will help you understand how much planning and work it takes to make something decent out of basically nothing, through creative snow harvesting.

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injured-skier

Liability releases no longer protect resorts from lawsuits alleging negligence.

The Oregon Supreme Court's recent decision that liability waivers violate the public interest and are invalid and "unconscionable" is the most significant court ruling in Oregon's recreational industry in years.

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bluebird-day-mount-hood

Mount Hood resorts pulled in 1.78 million visits in 2013-14.

Poor early-season snow conditions took their toll on Mt. Hood resorts in 2013-14, as visit numbers dropped by nearly 100,000 from a record high the previous season.

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