Meadows Blog

Expert Trails

Black Diamond - 20% of the terrain at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski ResortBlack Diamond - perhaps the most seductive of all the trails a mountain has to offer. From the time we take our very first run we hear about those Black Diamond runs where only experts dare to take on the challenge of the steep and the deep. As your skill grows so does your curiosity, until finally you take the plunge and take your first expert run! The thrill, the chill and the spill - all you proudly share with friends time and again.

Have you mastered your favorite Black Diamond run at Meadows yet? Tell us about it!

16 Comments

  1. Eric W.

    September 16, 2009

    So its a knee to waist deep powder day in the heathers. we roll in and over the first ridged. we took our boards off and stuck them in the snow and took in the sights. A few moments later i heard a whap.. shhhhh.. to look over to see my board going down heathers canyon with out me!!!!! what a long walk that day..

    Meadows reply: A lesson learned - a runaway board in Heather is scary! But taking in the awesome beauty of the canyon is one of its great attractions.

  2. AH

    December 1, 2009

    I love bumps but there are never any at Mt. Hood Meadows. Any thoughts to leaving a long run un-groomed for skiers to develop their bump technique?

    Meadows: Good suggestion. In the meantime, help us out folks. Best bump runs that you find at Meadows?

  3. Christian

    December 1, 2009

    Who says I have to choose just one? and on the topic of bumps, i have good luck finding them on Titian.

  4. Chris

    December 2, 2009

    On a unbelievable blue bird day last year I pulled my son out of school and we were tree skiing all day at Herm in the fresh knee deep powder."My son was boarding" We had just made a run through Fright Trees I was near the bottom watching my son cut through the dry powder standing close to a tree. After my son went by I turned to follow but I was sucked back into the tree well and fell in upside-down! It Took me 20 minutes to get out and my son could not figure out that the hell had happened to me since we were so close to the lift. We still laugh about it:) the key is just stay calm and work your way out.

    Meadows: A fortunate ending that you can think back and chuckle over. Good that you had a buddy when venturing into powder and that you kept calm.

  5. Aspen

    December 3, 2009

    Willow develops the best bumps at Meadows when/if they develop at all. I think that would be a good one to make a snowboard-free bump run.

  6. robert

    December 14, 2009

    I broke my heel beginning of last season, so did not get to ski or board Meadows last season. Spent alot of time there the season before..... There was alot of problems with opening the double black diamond areas, like Heather Canyon..... At the end of that season it sounded like Meadows was going to get one of those big military type guns to do avy work with, like many ski areas in Utah have had for a long time.... Could you give me an update on this situation, as I'm thinking of where I should buy a season pass this season, and if expert terrain is not open, a ski area is of no interest to me..... Did you guys get that gun? Can you tell me how much more often expert terrain like Heather Canyon and Private Reserve.... is open....? And any other info concerning this, as a season pass is a big expense at Meadows. Thanks

    Meadows: Yes we did get a Howitzer last season. Here are the results of the first season of operation:

    The Heather season was ~ 115 days
    Open 105
    Closed 10
    (2 rain event days, 6 icy condition days, 1 day for high winds all lift closed, 1 day at the end of 59" snow cycle)

    20 days open after 10am and 7 of those days open after 11am. 13 of 20 was because of AC the rest were because of waiting for conditions to
    soften.

    The data shows that we had significant improvement on opening times compared to past seasons.

  7. robert

    December 14, 2009

    Has Heather chair been open yet this season? How deep of base do you guys need to open these expert areas on the north or right side (looking up the mountain) of the mountain?

    Meadows: Heather hasn't opened yet - we need more snow to build the snow bridges out of the Canyon. The exact amount needed varies depending on moisture content and other variables. We are committed to open Heather Canyon and our other Gated Access terrain as soon as we can.

  8. Andre

    December 21, 2009

    I'd like to provide some feedback concerning the Meadows lift systems. First off – Meadows is the BEST resort on Mt. Hood. You have the MOST black and double black runs available. Second – I and all skiers/riders should commend you on all the hard work you do to open this terrain. That said, here’s my question/gripe – Meadows has a major problem as it takes two lifts and sometimes an hour to get back to the top of the mountain. There’s no way around having to get back on Express before riding Cascade to the top if you’re running Heather. Even if you just want to move from North to South you must drop down to Express before making the transition from Shooting Star/Hood River to Vista/Cascade. Is there talk of creating a new link that would allow patrons to stay at the mid-mountain level without dropping back down to Express whenever they are moving from one side of the resort to the other?

    Meadows: Thanks Andre. There is a lift currently proposed in our master plan which would reduce the time to run laps from the top of Heather Canyon - it would load off of Trillium before it gets to North Canyon, with unload at the top A-Zone. However, there are mnay obstacles to making this lift a reality, and other lift projects that have a higher priority. We continue to look at alternatives.

    Who remembers what "lapping Heather from the top" meant before the Heather Chair and the Hood River Express?

  9. Andre

    December 22, 2009

    It’s me again. I’d like to continue the conversation. Can you share the priority list with the public or let us know what other proposed lift(s) would be built before the one mentioned in your reply? Can my fellow users impact the priority listings? I’d love to see another lift capable of reaching the top of A-Zone. This would help to diminish crowding but I'm also interested in hearing about future plans/wish lists.

    Meadows: Good questions and as always we are very interested in what our guests would like to see in terms of future development. We're not yet prepared to initiate a formal presentation or review of future developments or improvements, but keep checking our blog for posts regarding these issues.

  10. Jim

    December 27, 2009

    So I'm just curious what the easier black runs are to try out at Meadows for someone who would like to try giving them a shot. Any suggestions?

    Meadows: Our next Steeps Clinic is coming up January 24. But check in with our Ski School about an advanced group lesson if you're up before then. This will be the best way to match a trail, and the conditions of the day, with the experience you are looking for.

  11. Stephen Schneider

    January 21, 2010

    Your first black diamond. Are you ready. Start with Breezeway. If you are comfortable with that, next try the front face down the middle under the top of MHE. Next try 2 bowl. Learn to ski these three in a variety of conditions, bumps, packed, and powder. Can you maintain flow and rhythm - then enjoy and try 1 bowl, powder keg, 3 bowl. Off shooting star - start with 3D and progress to O Ring and finally Rock Garden. At the far left of shooting star ridge, take columbia to the far left (one of the easier blacks which is not too long and cannot get you into any bad trouble). Enjoy.

  12. karrie

    March 19, 2010

    stephen,

    thanks for the tips on black diamond runs for the first timer. today was my first day of hitting black diamonds and i pretty much followed your advise without knowing it. i started on shooting star and did mercury or apollo. (the meadow map is nice but needs updating). then i did 3D. i worked my way back to MH express and did the face, then moved to 2 bowl. i couldn't quite bring myself to try any of the other Bowl runs, but 3 bowl looked like the next progression choice. i should have headed back over to shooting star but really my legs were shot from my adventures.

    oh, i cannot find breezeway on the map and columbia looked crazy to me!

    today was a great day for trying black diamond runs. the snow softened up and made it much less scary. i had a blast! it was really fun to push my skill level and conquer my black diamond fears. well some of them any way.

    Meadows: Congrats on your progression to the black diamonds! Breezeway is now called Wee Bee Gee Bee - it's skier's right of Middle Fork and is a great run!

  13. pdxmeier

    October 24, 2010

    On windy dumper days (when Cascade is closed - it's 17 degrees - and it's Tuesday) I can do laps on 3 &4 bowl for 8 hours and never stop smiling.

    Also, it's good the rest of the time too - and I can't really ski for 8 hours straight.

  14. Eric

    April 24, 2011

    So I was looking at the list of black diamonds above (a very helpful list, thankyou) but I don't see runs labeled 3D, Columbia, O Ring, or Rock Gardens on the trails map. I have been on shooting star quite a bit and seem to remember seeing a sign for Rock Gardens somewhere. Are these old names? Am I just not seeing them while skiing? Why are then not on the maps provided by Meadows?

    Meadows: Those trails are included in the gated access view of the mountain because it is presented from a much better perspective. You can find it on our trails page >> gated access or on the back side of our trail map.

  15. klow5

    June 19, 2013

    dear ,medows i believe that you should run blue on weekends and holidays as it would help decrease lift lines at mount hood express
    which would mean that i could get more laps on runs like 1 1/12 2 3 4 and 5 bowl. as well as reducing the time to get to heather. so would you consider oping blue on weekends and holidays.

    Meadows: Thanks for the suggestion. We do run Blue on our busiest days, but particularly with the addition of Stadium Express we're able to clear the crowd from the base area swiftly, reducing lines at Mt. Hood Express.

  16. bart raidwrecker

    February 17, 2014

    hey meadows, u should upgrade blue to an express chair. then the mt. hood express lift line would be 1/2 and 1/2 with blue :D

    Meadows: Thanks for the suggestion. Blue serves us well as a back up to Mt. Hood Express (our workhorse) and to assist on busier days. We probably won't put two express lifts side by side as that would deposit a lot of people at the top of he run, then the issue would be more crowding on the trails. We most likely would add lifts to disperse crowds.

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