Meadows Blog

La Nina Winter Forecast for Massive Snow Season

Grant Myrdal Powder Picture
has been talking about it since the end of last season - La Nina is growing and should bring above average snow to Mt. Hood this season. Fox 12's Mark Nelsen posted the following on his blog.

"2. Mountain Snow

Lots of precipitation and cool weather systems = tons of mountain snow. This is probably the #2 most likely event. 11 of 12 moderate-strong La Nina events since 1954 have produced above normal snow at Government Camp. Seems like a pretty good snow signal doesn’t it? The last La Nina winter (2007-2008) was a massive snow year in the Cascades…definitely at the extreme upper end. Get a season pass!!! No, I haven’t accepted a free ski pass in years, so you can be assured I’m not biased. I told folks last year that it would probably be a bad ski season with El Nino and that’s pretty much what happened."

Everybody likes to talk about the weather - here on the Overcoming Inertia blog we advocate taking action. So with the forecast for a La Nina winter at Mt. Hood Meadows, we advise:

  1. Winterize your vehicle - and get those snow tires on before your first trip to the mountain. Here's a great link to TripCheck winter driving tips.
  2. Check out the gear we have at Outer Limits Sports to prepare you for storm riding - some of the best days (and nights) on the mountain this season will come during the La Nina driven storms so get ready for it!
  3. What's in your quiver? The HPC and demo center has "quiver killers" all mountain skis and boards that also provide a smooth, floaty ride in the powder. And with the 30 day price guarantee you'll find the best price available on the wide selection of high performance ski and snowboard equipment sold at the HPC.
  4. While at HPC make an appointment at the Boot Lab. A custom fit liner, foot beds and possibly some work on your boot shell will connect you with the performance your boot is designed to provide, and create comfort so you can stay in your boots all day run after powdery run. Nate Turner tells you more about the Boot Lab: 

    See more videos on equipment here.
  5. Take a steeps / all mountain or powder clinic. We'll be offering them throughout the season.
  6. And most importantly - start your conditioning now. Get to the gym, or continue your jogging. Hit the stairmaster or exercise bike. This could be the La Nina of all La Ninas so prepare yourself for it!

We'll see you on the mountain!


  1. Brian

    September 23, 2010

    For all those who believe snow tires have to be either expensive or studded, try my link. Hopefully, I won't see 6 cars (Subarus, even!) in the ditch opening day like the last two years. Seriously, gear up or stay home.

    Sorry about the rant, but there's just no excuse not to have studless snow tires.

    Here's to another awesome season!

    Meadows: Thanks for the link and the great information. See you safely on the mountain!

  2. A 13 year old skier

    September 27, 2010

    AWESOME! This will be great! I wish I could have a season pass. Does this mean a lot of snow in lower elevation to?

    Meadows: Mark Nelson at Fox 12 reported that there is an above average chance of valley snow this winter.

  3. Mike

    September 27, 2010

    IT SAYS TO GET SNOW TIRES, BUT DON'T BUY STUDS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM AND WILL HATE THEM FOR THE 99.9999% OF THE TIME THAT YOU AREN'T DRIVING ON GLARE ICE. People who tell you to buy them are idiots. I ran studs for a lot of years because I was an idiot and I believed womeone who told me I needed them I finally switched to regular snow tires 5 years ago and I laugh at people who run studs now. I have only needed to chain up once - ONCE in 5 years of going to the mountain ALL THE TIME. That day was ridiculous because ODOT didn't even plough and people with studs were off the road too. Trust me - SPARE YOUR CAR AND YOUR BRAIN.

    Meadows: A passionate appeal for studless tires. Thanks!

  4. PILmo

    September 28, 2010

    YOU DO NOT NEED STUDDED TIRES!! You only need quality all-season/snow tires and most important: common sense winter driving skills! Notice any massive ruts on I-84 or I-5? Thank people driving with studs! Several western states ban them completely because of the damage they cause. If you think you need studded tires then kill yourself - you won't need studs anymore! Thank you!

  5. k2skier

    September 30, 2010

    Studded tires are illegal in 8 states; ALL Western states allow them, for good reason. 4 states have limitations on them that leaves 38 states that allow studded tires in the winter. I'm glad I had them on all 4 corners on my Subaru when traveling through Tahoe a few years ago, the only vehicles they were allowing to pass were those that were chained up or all wheel drive vehicles with studs on all 4 corners.

    BTW, when I ran chairs at MHM, for 3 seasons, I ran a specialized Goodyear studless F32 All Winter Radial, and I never chained up, even when ODOT plowed a 3 foot berm in front of my house in Govy. Smart driving and the best studless tires you can buy will get most to the mountain. Key word "smart driving". Studded tires won’t guarantee you not stacking up in the ditch.

    Now to my question; where and when do we find out the locations of pass pictures? I heard that they would be at REI also??!! Bring on a gnarly La Nina!! Yeah!

    Meadows: We'll be at all 4 REIs Wednesdays in October from 4 - 8 PM. We start taking pictures in the Clackamas Office from 11 AM - 4 PM Thursdays through Saturdays October 14 - 30. We'll be in Hood River October 31 at the Hood River Inn from 10 AM - 4 PM. And as always we'll be at the Portland Ski Fever show at the Expo Center November 5 - 7. You can get details at

  6. Hi, I'm Michael and I like to shred the gnar

    October 16, 2010

    Hey guys! Any predictions whatsoever on when this season might start? Before Thanksgiving/around then? after? Haha I know it's like impossible to predict these things but I just thought I'd check :P can't wait to get up there!

    Meadows: We just posted a blog about this. Climatologist George Taylor and Meteorologist Pete Parsons both think we'll be open before Thanksgiving! That would be awesome!

Add a comment

  2. Submit