TIMBERLINE LODGE -- For the first time since early in the season, heavy snow is coming down at Cascade Mountain ski resorts.
Several inches of new powder dropped Wednesday at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.
But at the lower elevations, even more rain.
By this time in the season, the parking lot at Ski Bowl at Government Camp is usually covered with snow, and the slopes covered with skiers and snowboarders.
But lots of brown grass and very little snow cover had the lifts at a stand-still.
At the Summit ski area up the road, a field of machine-made snow on the tubing hill is still there, but being washed away by the rain.
The snow level should be falling closer to the mountain passes overnight.
Higher up on the mountain at Timberline Lodge, another lift was running, which got the smaller than usual crowd of skiers and boarders excited.
Jacob Tennies and his son Mathew were celebrating his birthday, made even better by the fresh snow.
Mathew puts it as only a teenager can: "Totally. It's the best birthday ever. It's dumping snow. This is the life!"
The last time the snowpack was measured on the mountain, it was only a third of where it should be.
Resorts up and down the Cascade Range have bases several feet below where they were last year.
But with heavier snow in the forecast, there's still time to catch up.
The Cascades can get storms dropping a foot or two well into March and April.
The resorts aren't sweating the late start too much, it's seasoned into the business plan.
But seasonal workers like lift operators would like to get back on the job.
If the snow keeps falling like it did Wednesday, they expect that to happen soon.