PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Skiers and snowboarders who call Mt. Hood home have the luxury of extending their season well into the spring and summer thanks to the mountain’s Palmer glacier, which keeps snow for most of the year. 

Timberline is the only ski area in the United States that’s open 10 months of the year, but in the winter months, the Palmer Express Chairlift, which takes riders to an elevation of 8,540 feet, usually doesn’t run. In fact, part of its infrastructure is often buried under snow. 

Instead, in the winter months, skiers and snowboarders will sometimes have the opportunity to ride a snowcat up the slope under the Palmer Express and can ski or snowboard down. 

But in the late spring and summer, they can ride the lift up on their own. 

Timberline announced the Palmer Chairlift opened Saturday. The high-speed lift seats four people per chair and operates through the spring and into the summer season, usually until the beginning of September depending on the snow. 

The lift’s operating hours depend on the snow and weather. 

In the winter, from the top of the Palmer Chairlift, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a 4,540-foot vertical drop on the ride down to the bottom of Summit Pass. 

In the summer, the vertical drop is 2,616 feet from the top of Palmer Chairlift to the bottom of the Magic Mile.