Meadows Blog

La Nina Storm Pre-Season Teasin'

As of the time of this post our base area snow depth is 30 inches - and the storm continues to drop snow, although not as intensely as early this morning. If this is an indication of what the winter will be like, then bring on La Nina! It still takes a lot of snow to open up this early in the season - you'd have to go back to the 96-97 season to find the last time we were open in October. But forecasters say this is the type of winter that could get us open early.

Until then - we thought we'd tease you with some video that our newest team member Adam Fleck (who won the Meadows Film Festival) put together of Monday's snow. Enjoy!

We'll continue to update our conditions page, Facebook page, this blog and our snow phones as conditions change, and to keep you informed about the possibility of any early openings. Meanwhile, you can purchase your season pass here on our web site.

Picture Taking Schedule

We’re taking pictures at all four REI locations in Portland, Clackamas, Tualatin and Hillsboro this Wednesday evening from 4 to 8 PM.
Picture taking in our Clackamas Office is Thursday through Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM.
And we’ll be in Hood River Sunday, October 31 to take pictures at the Hood River Inn from 10 AM to 4 PM.
And as always we’ll be at the Portland Ski Fever Show November 5 – 7 taking pictures and hooking you up with your season pass for Mt. Hood Meadows.

La Nina Arrives BIG TIME

La Nina has arrived with an incredible BLAST - dropping 9 inches of snow since Sunday morning. Raging at an inch an hour with white out conditions, the storm has La Nina intensity, and is forecast to drop two to three feet total by Wednesday. We posted some pictures on our Facebook page:


First Snow of the Season

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.

Opening Dates

94-95 11/4/94 

95-96 12/3/95 

96-97 10/21/96 

97-98 11/24/97 

98-99 11/22/98 

99-00 12/3/99 

00-01 12/1/00 

01-02 11/24/01 

02-03 12/17/02 

03-04 11/20/03 

04-05 12/18/04 

05-06 11/11/05 

06-07 12/9/06 

07-08 11/23/07 

08-09 12/14/08 

09-10 11/11/09

What's your guess? What do you think the first day of the season will be at Mt. Hood Meadows?

La Nina Forecast for Powdery Season

The annual "What will winter be like" presentation of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorologists Society was held at OMSI today. Every presenter agreed that we are headed into a La Nina winter, which should pile up an above average snowpack at Mt. Hood Meadows this season.

The only question seemed to be when it would start - and just how much above average snow will accumulate this winter.

Watch the video to see the expert's forecast.

Tyree Wilde says this La Nina is good news for skiers and snowboarders - expecting above average snowpack and consistent snow throughout the season.

George Taylor and Pete Parsons both feel that we could be open by Thanksgiving. Parsons said he forecasted the mild October we are enjoying, but in another week or so things could change. Taylor said watch out for the "snap" a very abrupt start to winter which will bring a lot of pre-Thanksgiving snow to the mountains.

Parsons expects lower freezing levels resulting in a dryer, more powdery snow. Can you say 07/08 all over again?

So prepare yourself for a big snow season at Meadows. Purchase your season pass before the November 7 deadline. Check out Outer Limit Sports and the High Performance Center for the apparel and equipment best suited for a big snow season.

We'll see you on the mountain - hopefully soon!

-- Meadows Team


Overcoming Inertia and Injury

Scott on the slopes at MeadowsI want to thank you and your staff for the time you spent with me yesterday in selecting a ski, and working on my boots. I'm looking forward to a rewarding season, in great part because of your efforts. It is rare today to find someone who will devote the time and energy you did yesterday. For one thing, I would likely have gone with a longer ski than I ended up with, which I may have regretted in the long run. I think what we ended up with will better accommodate both my age and physical challenges, which will make skiing more fun for me again.

I look forward to working with you both again soon, both with my equipment and getting my skiing to where I would like it to be, at least as far as I'm physically able.

-- Scott

Note to readers: Scott started skiing more than 50 years ago and was an expert skier until he suffered a spinal cord injury 20 years ago. He continued to ski until about 12 years ago when he stopped. Last season, he picked up the sport again, and was introduced to newer technology that makes skiing easier and more fun. And with the custom outfitting Scott received at our High Performance Center, it looks like he is well on his way to enjoying the sport he is so passionate about.

Fit Happens

It is amazing how so many of us approach this sport generically. Ask this question among your friends and fellow mountain enthusiasts have you had your boots custom fit? The likely answer is no, but I bought new equipment just a few seasons ago, or will be purchasing new equipment this season.

Investing in new technology is forward thinking and will improve your performance on the slope as well as the fun factor. But even the most advanced equipment is still generic regardless of how well it seems to fit when you first step into it. Lets face it this equipment is made for EVERYONE. But only you have your specific body shape and size from your head to your toe. It only makes sense that some fine-tuning and customization will create a better performing piece of equipment more of an extension of your body.

FIT HAPPENS Its not an accident

Fit Happens at the HPC and Outer Limits SportsThis is the inspiration behind our new Outer Limits Sports and the new Boot Lab in our High Performance Center. We have meticulously and systematically selected performance wear, outer wear, hard goods and accessories designed for the conditions and weather we enjoy here on Mt. Hood. Our retail team, led by manger Nate Turner, will match the equipment and apparel you need to reach the goals you have set for yourself this season.

Most people have endured pain and discomfort while experiencing skiing and snowboarding. Fortunately for most of us the thrill, fun and freedom the sport provides surpassed the discomfort we experienced along the way to finding the right fit. But this goes way beyond comfort.

Whether you ski or snowboard, your boots can make or break a great day at Meadows. New for 2010-11 is the HPC Boot Lab, where you can get the custom boot treatment that will truly unlock your potential. Want to ride like the pros? It starts with the boots! We manufacture custom foot beds, heat-mold liners and even customize the shells of your ski boots so you can stop worrying about blisters and start enjoying the ride. We are proud to provide the best boots for our customers from brands like Salomon, Lange, Burton and 32.

Fit Happens when you customize your precision gear to your particular riding style and for the terrain and conditions you want to conquer. In order to get to that level, literally pushing the OUTER LIMITS of your desires and abilities, you need the performance that can be realized only through customization. Thats what Outer Limits Sports and our High Performance Center are all about.

Conditions determine what ski will make for the best experience on the mountain.

Check out other videos from Nate on custom boot fitting, demoing a snowboard and the new rocker technology

We encourage you to kick off this season by talking to our gear experts in our sport shops. They'll help you identify what you want to accomplish this season, and suggest improvements to your current equipment, and what gear, outerwear or accessories you should consider for taking your performance to the next level.

Our retail shops are open from 10 AM 4 PM Monday Friday until the season starts.

HPC Guarantees Best Price on Ski & Snowboard Equipment

  1. 30 Day Price Protection.  We guarantee you will never over pay in the High Performance Center.  If you find any ski or snowboard you purchased in stock for less anywhere in Oregon within 30 days, we’ll refund you the difference.
  2. The Lifetime HPC Guarantee.  Every Ski and Snowboard purchased from the High Performance Center comes with our exclusive ‘HPC Guarantee.’  When you need a snowboard binding adjustment, ski binding DIN adjustment or quick wax, we will provide those services for free as long as you own your gear.
  3. 30 Day Test Ride.  To guarantee you have purchased the perfect pair of skis or the best board….ride it for 30 days.  If during that time you are not completely satisfied with the product, return it undamaged within 30 days and we will apply the credit from the original purchase to the purchase of another ski or snowboard from the HPC.

If you have any questions regarding getting the most out of your gear, ask it here. Lets get the conversation going and make sure our equipment is as prepared for the season as we are!

New Adventure First-Time Packages Provide Excitement and Fun for those Discovering the Slopes

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – Mt. Hood Meadows has introduced the sports of skiing and snowboarding to more Oregonians than any other ski resort. Mt. Hood Meadows knows the excitement that those new to skiing and snowboarding feel as they get ready to try the sport for the first time. Boasting the largest and most accredited PSIA-Certified ski school in the northwest, the pro instructors at Meadows simplify the learn-to-ski and snowboard process for eager first-timers. The training program led by knowledgeable and patient instructors is designed specifically to keep those new to the mountain at ease thanks to a relaxed and fun learning environment. But beginner success lies largely in the lessons’ step-by-step process, where participants are given the time to master each phase in the progression before moving on.

New Adventures at Meadows typically begin in the Fun Zone, serviced by the “Ballroom Carpet” a fully enclosed over the snow conveyer that makes going up hill as much fun as schussing back down. The conveyer relieves the fatigue, fear and frustration often caused by the traditional rope tow used at other ski areas, keeping new adventurers more fresh and ready for fun.

After some introductory sessions on the gentle terrain of the Fun Zone, New Adventurers advance to the Buttercup lift and the beginner slopes it services. Meadows instructors accompany New Adventurers throughout the entire learning process, helping them to foster a passion for skiing and riding.

New Adventure Packages include a Buttercup beginner lift ticket, equipment rentals (skis, boots and poles or snowboard and boots) and instruction. The packages represent a savings of 50% or more off the individually priced components, making them the best value and most affordable way to discover the sports on the mountain.

3 Time New Adventure Passport (for ages 13 and older) $99 / Night Package: $75

Meadows most popular discovery program is the 3 Time Passport, due to its flexibility and affordability. Purchasers can select any three days they choose, to continue their New Adventure experience. The package includes lift tickets (Buttercup beginner ticket first two days, all mountain lift ticket third day), equipment rentals and instruction (2 hour group lesson each day).

1 Time New Adventure Package (for ages 13 and older) $60 / Night Packages: $29

The package includes a Buttercup beginner lift ticket, equipment rentals and 2 hour group lesson.

  • Purchase the day package online in advance for just $50!
  • Upgrade the day package to include a 2nd 2 hour group lesson for just $10 more!

Private Lesson New Adventure Package $120

These one-on-one sessions allow individualized instruction with our pros to really start you off fast. It’s a one hour private lesson and includes a Buttercup beginner lift and equipment rentals for the entire day. You can extend the private lesson for just $55 / hour.

  • Add a friend to the New Adventure Private Lesson Package - $90
  • Arrange an instructor in advance by calling 503.337.2222 ext. 1222

4 Time New Adventure Package (for ages 13 and older) $160

Meadows offers multi-week packages in January and February on consecutive Saturdays or Sundays in January or February. So these New Adventurers come up once a week, which builds skills and advances progression. The package is also available on Meadows popular midweek adult bus programs (bus fare is extra), offered consecutive Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in January and February.

The Package includes lift tickets, equipment rentals and 2 hour lessons on all four days – the first two days includes a Buttercup beginner ticket, day 3 and 4 includes all mountain lift tickets.

For details call 503.659.1256, or contact one of the many neighborhood Group Organizers that bring buses to the mountain.

New Fresh Tracks Deli Offers Healthy Choices to Fuel Your Day on the Mountain

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – Skiers and snowboarders will have a more-healthful restaurant choice at Mt. Hood Meadows. “Fresh Tracks Deli” – featuring a menu of fresh, local, organic and healthy selections – will debut at the resort this season.

The healthy concept for Fresh Tracks came directly in response to guest requests for more nutritional and healthy options, according to Director of Food Services Mark Fellows. “Fresh Tracks Deli serves up fresh and natural offerings to provide a tasty and nutritious boost to our guests. We’ve established local sources for our ingredients to enhance freshness and be more sustainable. We use organic when possible and place the nutritional values on our menus so guests know what it is they are eating.” Even the name “Fresh Tracks” came from a guest – Andy Jewell, who received the most votes from fans of Meadows Facebook page.

See interview with Mark Fellows 

The new Fresh Tracks Deli is emblematic of the resort’s ambition to improve performance and enjoyment on the slopes. There is a direct correlation between doing something well and enjoying it, and resort officials believe that a stop at Fresh Tracks for a healthy and tasty lunch or snack will add to both.


Menu Selections

Fresh made to order sandwiches & salads with local breads & produce
Fresh Stir-Fried veggies over organic brown rice
Gluten Free Chili
Fresh roasted nuts
Homemade Granola
Fresh baked pastries
Fresh made smoothies
Fresh ground coffee and espresso
Local and Health Beverages and Juices

Local businesses providing fresh and natural ingredients include:

Portland Roasting • Columbia Gorge Organics • Hood River Juice Company •
Hood River Organics Produce • Knead Bakery • Portland French Bakery •
Turtle Island Foods • Tillamook Cheese • Bobs Red Mill • Guayaki

Mt. Hood Meadows Offers On-Snow Adventures to Groups through the Vertical Performance Institute

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort will offer customized on-mountain adventures for groups this season, exploring new activities, locations and terrain through this New Adventure guide service. PSIA certified instructional staff will provide the instruction, encouragement and expertise a group needs to enjoy adventures together.

VerticalInstitute245Mt. Hood Meadows Executive Director of Communications Dave Tragethon explains the Vertical Performance Institute is dedicated to helping companies and organizations improve performance through sharing new experiences. “A day on the mountain together allows team members to see and relate to each other differently than what they experience day-to-day in the workplace. It breaks down ‘cubiclism’ by providing a unique shared experience, building relationships and respect for each other which improves communications and cooperation.”

Activities range from trying skiing or snowboarding in a New Adventure package, to exploring a terrain park together, or experiencing off-piste gated access terrain together. The activity selected is determined by the ability of the participants. The Meadows Performance Institute will find the right on-mountain experience for any group.

With Mt. Hood as the inspiration group members spend the day on the slope in this activity, sharing the discovery with each other, supporting each other and striving to achieve personal and team goals. Indoor sessions prepare and reinforce the outdoor adventure, with motivational speakers, coaching, video reviews and ultimately celebrating the day’s success with each other.