Early Snow – Early Season?
It’s snowing – when will Mt. Hood Meadows open for the season? That’s a pretty deep question, well actually, if it was that deep it would be a pretty easy question to answer.
There are so many variables associated with early season snowfall – moisture content in the snow, wind speed when snowing, how much falls how quickly and our chance to pack it into a solid base upon which to build the rest of the season. We do not take our early season snow lightly – it is the foundation for the rest of the season.
We also need to look beyond the currently falling snow or the currently forecast storm. What’s on the other side – cold weather? More snow forecast? Warming trend? Dry spell? We want to open when we have a quality product that we can sustain – so it’s important that we see a short and long term forecast that would allow us to continue with the season.
Conditions page and forecast links
We’ve had some limited openings (just a few runs or lifts) with a few feet of snow, but generally we need 4 to 6 feet of snow to open up a more substantial amount of the mountain. But as far as early season snow storms go, to get us excited about the season and the possibility of an early opening – this is a good one!
This new snow may attract some trekkers seeking some early season tracks. Be aware of the following – we are not operational and so the terrain grooming and patrol work you are normally accustomed to are not offered. We’d prefer that you get your first tracks elsewhere, but if you do come to Meadows know that:
- There is currently no patrol or other assistance available.
- There is no hazard marking (low snow conditions create unexpected and barely visible hazards).
- Visitors are on their own and we strongly encourage that they go elsewhere.
- Once we start set-up we will no longer allow up-hill travel within our permit area.
- As always sledding is not allowed (there are many other areas on Mt. Hood that accommodate that activity).
Here’s the list of opening dates from the past 16 seasons.
What's your guess? What do you think the first day of the season will be at Mt. Hood Meadows?