It appears that the Northwest decided to go ahead and have winter this year, and in celebration of this, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Meadows fired up its chairlifts for opening day this past Friday, November 11--one week early. Now, this might not mean anything to you, but to me and all the other poor jerks who live in the Northwest and had to spend all of last winter jumping dirt patches in the rain or (let’s face it) drunk at the bowling alley, well, to us, it means the whole world. With a base of 39 inches plus the gobs of heavyweight NW snow that fell over the weekend, Meadows made the entire Portland snow scene nothing but happy as we lapped the bottom lift over and over, jibbed stumps, threw ourselves at little cat-track reentry kickers, and just enjoyed the miracle of turnin’ our boards. Oh, there also seems to be a new fashion trend around these parts--it’s both functional and fashionable. See if you can tell what it is from my photos, and remember where you saw it first when Shaun White’s doing it at this year’s X-Games or whatever.