Viva La Nina! the season of the witch. December 22nd and we’ve been barreled over by Mother Nature who just blanketed us with some 20” of fluffy fresh over the past week. With five solid days of epic powder riding in Heather A-zone down; deep serious fresh lines in Jacks, PR and barrels of fun in Ab-Mag under the belt I decided to push the legs a bit further and go shred up some remaining pow stashes Meadows After Dark style.
As the MComm night reporter I find it my duty to search out the fun lines, and natural hits that exist within our 215 acres of night terrain. Many MHM fans don’t know that when the sun goes down and the stars come out that Meadows pumps under the energized lights. In fact, riders of all levels can have their cake and eat it too, whether you ride from 3pm to close ($29) or race up from PDX and catch some turns from 6pm ($19) on, you’re bound to find plenty of terrain to whet your fancy.
Tonight I found myself fighting through twenty-degree temps and flurries on MHX with a crew of guys who had driven all the way from Vancouver to play in the powder. “We got night passes this year when they dropped to $99”, says Brian, a twenty something boarder from Vancouver who drives almost two hours just to get some turns in “so we all made a pact to come and ride once a week, and man, tonight it’s sick.” We exit the lift and head down to Two bowl where I follow their rooster tail spray off into some trees as they look for hits to throw off. Its 7pm and the snow is
Over in Shipyard the park is full of high school snowboard teams, and night riders who are all out throwing down on the propane tank, jibbin the tire, or practicing hitting the box. I catch up with some daytime liftees and parks crew bros who are out lapping MHX and Easy. They’ve been riding under Face looking for some natural hits, and are now heading over to Shipyard to play in the park, a cure for any day at the office. “Super sick, bro, catch you over at MHX”, they yell out as we part ways, and though I never catch up with them again until later as they’re leaving the Alp I know that
they, like the rest of the two hundred or so night riders, are having a blast under the lights.
Every night I leave the Nick @ Nite pick for the next days riding based off weather forecasts and current surface conditions. But I feel I’ve been robbing my night posse of some of my favorite stashes and so to help you Meadow-cate properly I ran them all tonight in order as I would if I were hitting “first chair” Meadows After Dark.
- 3pm, I head to Shooting Star and pick off lines of fresh near Rock Garden, or pass for clean hits off Gemini, trust me they are there.
- I close down Star chair with some pow covered riders from the day, and I’ve almost got them talked into a night upgrade. “It only gets better” I yell back to them, and believe it or not they are the second to last group of riders out there at 9pm.
- 4pm It’s back to MComm for me to update the conditions, but my doppelganger alter ego is still out riding MHX, hitting One Bowl down though Two, picking off lines around Wee Bee Gee Bee until patrol ropes it off. Hitting dark pillowy line skiers left of MHX chair.
- 7pm it’s time to check out the park and to practice riding switch while taking in the excitement of being surrounded by some pretty sick local riders.
- By 8pm I am super psyched about hitting up Face and the Bowls again, but instead I rip down Ridge Line with some kids out of Tigard who demonstrate the “proper” way to “run the ridge bro” and learn some new things along the way.
- 9pm I catch up with some Acoounting peeps who have emerged from the vault for a closing lap. “We gotta get out and breathe the powder”, one of them says before tearing down under MHX. A guy decked out in his gear circa 1990 riding next to us agrees with a celebratory pole up, and then dives down Face.
And that is what I love about nights. The MHM peeps that drive straight from work as fast as they can just to pack in some turns under the lights. Some are breaking out the gear for the first time since the Clinton years, some are bringing the family up for the discounted rates, and others are driving up after work to suffice their powder fix. If you came up tonight, lets just say it was well worth the drive from Vancouver. Deep skier cut powder with fresh pow stashes still lingering in One and Two bowl. Super fun hits with fluffy landings on Face and in the dark skiers left. And the best part, at 9pm its still snowing.
From the Fall Out shelter, deep in the MComm lair, this is Nick @ Nite reminding you that early season conditions exist, now go out and ride them.