The Palmer snowfield on Mt Hood in Oregon closed at noon on Sunday, June 27th, after what the area said were record high temperatures for the region were forecast.
Forecast highs were 95F (35 Celcius) on Sunday 27th and 99F (37 Celcius) at Government Camp, the town closest to Timberline Lodge and the ski slopes above.
“Due to extreme heat, we will be closing skiing and snowboarding at noon on Sunday, June 27th and there will be no terrain parks open this day. We are sorry for the inconvenience but we have never seen temperatures like this in our region,” a statement from the ski area said.
The centre, which is currently the only lift-accessed ski area open to the public in North America, acts as a summer training area for ski teams and said that as of Monday 28th June these teams would have exclusive access to the slopes for morning training until 9.30am, when the slopes would open to the public.
There are two other North American ski areas often open in June, but one of these, the Blackcomb Glacier at Whistler, has been closed the past two summers for snowsports due to the pandemic and prior to that was facing questions about the impact climate change was having on its snow cover.
There is also the Beartooth Basin summerski area on the Montana/Wyoming stateline which did open in late May “Whilst the snow lasts” but closed after only three weeks by mid-June this year.
Despite the extreme heat forecast for the Pacific northwest this weekend, snow has been forecast for high peaks in the Colorado Rockies.
Despite its early ski-day closure on Sunday Timberline’s summerski areas will; aim to stay open to the start of September if conditions allow.