Meadows Blog

Winter Rages On

Was there ever a better week for powder riding at Mt. Hood Meadows than last week? And with this week's forecast of many feet of snow - 2 to 4 feet in the next 48 hours, it appears that we are in mid-winter. It's a welcome return to winter.
Here's a taste of the powder from Pierce Hodges of M-Comm, with some video contributed by Temira.

Spring Pass

We will be offering the spring pass later in March once our conditions are more spring-like. It will be a great deal for those looking to ski and ride the last part of the season, plus any weekends if we extend the season into May. We also want to support and thank all of our unlimited season pass holders who have been waiting for these wonderful winter conditions.

Night Schedule

We're going to offer night riding through Sunday, March 27, and are considering maintaining our Wednesday - Sunday schedule all the way through. We'll keep you updated here on this blog, on our snowphone and on our conditions page.

Winter Tips

With the heavy snow we're experiencing, keep in mind that several inches, even feet of snow can fall from the time ODOT completes plowing the parking lot until the time you depart for the day. Beyond the standard warning to have chains and traction devices, and to winterize your car, you should also carry a shovel in case you need to dig yourself out of the parking space, or get stuck while driving to or from the ski area.

In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap, blankets or even a sleeping bag for each person in your vehicle. 

Weather.com advises a winter survival kit should always remain in the vehicle, replenished after use. Essential supplies include:

  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.
--Winter Survival Essential Supplies from Weather.com

Drive safe - and see you on the mountain!

-- Meadows Team

20 Comments

  1. Eric

    February 28, 2011

    I'm glad I didn't drive up tomorrow (March 1) to buy a Spring Pass like I have the past TWO YEARS. Meadows, you'd be selling Spring Passes right now if it hadn't been snowing over the past couple weeks. You're not going to get an extra lift ticket out of me now.

    Meadows always closes by the first or second weekend of May. The Spring Pass was a good deal for unemployed people like me. I might have bought a season pass at the beginning of the year if I'd known you would change your policy.

    Next year I might just buy the Timberline weekday SEASON pass for $215.

    Congrats on getting rid of the one of the better deals at Meadows. I am not impressed, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    Meadows: Thanks Eric. While we understand your disappointment in not being able to purchase the spring pass as of Tuesday, it's way too early to throw in the towel regarding the pass. As our current weather indicates there is plenty of season remaining. For future reference, the spring pass has been offered in the past as a supplemental pass to enjoy the last part of the season. We may have offered it up too early in the past, considering the length of season we enjoy at Mt. Hood Meadows. That has been a complaint voiced to us by our loyal unlimited season pass holders, who, especially in a season like this when the winter conditions are just arriving, feel the spring pass starts too early. Even without May our normal season will offer 150+ days. Add some early days in November, and possibly some extended weekends in May and you have an incredible season. Spring technically doesn't start this year until March 20, which would be about a third of the season if the spring pass went on sale at that time.

  2. Millsy

    February 28, 2011

    Great decision by Meadows management! It's been really busy on some of the best days so far. I'd like to 2 get a couple more weeks in before you begin the spring pass.

    Eric --- Get a job, quit your whining!

  3. dan

    February 28, 2011

    I've been on both sides of this one. As a full season pass holder up until this season, I did feel the timing and pricing of the spring pass was a slap in the face. On the other hand, by consistently offering it on March 1 at a similar price point, Meadows did tend to suggest to people that would be the ongoing policy. (I know they never made any explicit promises, but it's no surprise that people developed expectations.)

    I have also felt that Meadows was being a little too successful selling passes, and getting a little too crowded as a result (a nice problem to have from the ski resort's point of view, I know). I got tagged from behind by a straightliner, and powder days have been so hyped on the local media that even midweek it was getting pretty hard to get enough freshies to justify the drive up.

    So this year, I said "you know what? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and decided to just buy a Spring Pass on March 1. Heh, wouldn't you know this would be the year that they decide to push back the availability. I might feel a little happier about the whole thing if Meadows had specifically announced at some point: "Spring Pass availability and pricing will be determined during the season based on conditions." That way I would have known that I was rolling the dice on a pass, not getting a sure thing.

    Oh well, guess I can just keep on skinning the bc until Meadows gives us some definitive dates. Next season my calculus may work out differently than this year.

    Meadows: Thanks Dan. Very good suggestion and for future reference"Spring Pass availability and pricing will be determined during the season based on conditions." Careful in the BC - we hope you use NWAC as a resource and always go with a partner, beacon, probe and let others know where you are going and what your return time is.

  4. Christopher

    February 28, 2011

    I have bought a unlimited season pass most years and loved it. This year could not afford and the only reason I did not borrow for one is because of the fact I knew I could board at march 1 and still get a good season. Nice to know the public space is always treated as a financial obligation first. I agree if there had not been so much snowfall it would have already dropped. Shame on you guys. Where's the actual date and price announcement for the spring pass, just keep stringing us along like back alley snow dealers.

    Meadows: Thanks Christopher. The nature of this season and the timing of the wintry conditions is affecting the time frame for offering the pass. I'm sure if you had purchased the pass early on you may be upset with us offering the spring pass at this time. The pass will be available for sale later in March and we'll announce the price at that time.

  5. Juan

    February 28, 2011

    This is totally annoying and lame.
    - Standard is that it starts up on March 1. This year you decide to announce it isn't happening the last day of February? What's up with that, thanks for all the advance warning, makes it impossible for people to plan and budget when you pull switcharoos like this. Shame on you.
    It's not unreasonable to say 125 for Mar 1 onward if most folks that get their season pass pick it up for 400. That includes all the holidays, winter vacation, etc.
    It's a shorter drive to just go to Skibowl and the snow will be just as good there. I'm a very disgruntled customer about this and will be seriously considering if I want to buy any more tickets at Meadows this year. Timberline is looking better for next year at least I'll know what to expect.
    Really, the last day before March? Geesh.

    Meadows: Thanks Juan. We understand you are disappointed that the spring pass isn't on sale today. In the future we will strive to provide more advance notification. However, please understand that these decisions are always going to be affected by snow conditions, weather forecasts and business levels.

  6. Juan

    February 28, 2011

    Here's my post and your response from Jan 25 (ironically under the honest snow reporting blog entry). Care to explain why you lied in this post about when it would go on sale?
    #
    Juan
    January 25, 2011

    Agreed, the reporting has been quite good and honest this year and it's appreciated.

    On a separate issue, are you going to be offering spring passes this year?
    Thanks,
    J

    Meadows: Spring pass pricing will be announced shortly before they go on sale March 1. We're planning on having a great spring season - we hope you'll join us!

    Meadows: Thanks Juan. A more appropriate response would have been, "Spring Pass availability and pricing will be determined later in the season based on conditions." You can check back here on the blog for further announcements regarding the spring pass at Mt. Hood Meadows.

  7. Spring skier

    February 28, 2011

    Hey Meadows - does this look familiar...

    Spring Skier
    February 13, 2011
    While the bluebird days of February have been great the snowpack this season certainly has not. With that in mind, is there any chance the spring pass might go on sale a little earlier than usual? And any word on when usual might be this year?

    Meadows: The unlimited spring season pass will go on sale right around March 1.

    Seems that when faced with a below-average snowpack less than a month ago, putting the spring pass on sale March 1st to generate a bump in revenue was pretty appealing. Then along comes a series of storms that double the base and generate a renewed interest in visits to the slopes and greed takes over. Rather disingenuous wouldn't you say? Next time around maybe a better approach would be an honest, forthright declaration to your patrons. Something that doesn't leave them with the feeling of being taken advantage of.

    Meadows: Agreed. However, this is more than just getting more snow. This also has to do with business levels and accessibility at the resort. On three of the past four weekend days (and one midweek day when we almost reached capacity) we have reached capacity in our parking lots, and have had to turn away guests during the peak part of the day, including unlimited pass holders. This has affected the timing to place the spring pass on sale. We're not trying to take advantage of any guest, but we are trying to manage the reality of the demand that a less than spectacular January and first-half of February, combined with the recent snowfall is having on turn out.

  8. JP

    March 1, 2011

    Shame on you guys for hating on Shreadows! I've been a Season Pass holder for years and have always thought the Spring Pass was TOO smokin' of a deal. Honestly, $99 for UNLIMITED shreading for at least two months, was a slap in the face to Season Pass holders. Realistically, MHM should price the Spring Pass a little higher, like, say $149 and it should be based on snow conditions.

    Season Pass holders got screwed out of a month of riding (remember, Juneuary) and finally winter has arrived. We all know the NW riding season is finicky and I for one feel like Meadows is sticking up for their Season Pass holders by NOT offering the Spring Pass at this time. MHM has NEVER promised when a Spring Pass would be available. People assumed it would be available on a certain date and it wasn't and now they're upset. Wah!

    I appreciate the exclusivity for one and can't wait to go ride tomorrow! Shreadows ROCKS! If you don't like it, PLEASE go ride elsewhere.

    PEACE!

    Meadows: In the future we will announce Spring Pass availability and pricing will be determined during the season based on conditions. Thanks for the post.

  9. CLA

    March 1, 2011

    Due to previous blog posts (in writing) by Meadows staff stating that the spring pass would go on sale on/around March 1 (see blog posts of Jan. 25 and Feb. 13 copy/paste in the above posts), why not just resolve the issue by offering 2 spring pass options this year to resolve this:

    1) for sale now for $199- but limited weekend use- only 2 weekend days out the next 3 upcoming weekends (so only 2 out of the next 6 weekend days available); and

    2) for sale on March 21 (monday) for $129- for use anytime.

    That effectively lets someone get a spring pass now and use it on 2 weekends for $35 each time (or unlimited on weekdays) and then same use as reg. spring pass from March 21+.

    That seems pretty fair to me, while also standing by your previous sale claims you made in writing.

    Meadows: Interesting approach. We may not be able to set up the usability 2 out of six days as you suggest but it's an interesting idea.

  10. Jeff in the 'Couv

    March 1, 2011

    JP:

    Get your facts straight. Meadows did indeed state when the 2011 spring pass would go on sale. March 1st was the date given in the blog responses referenced by Juan and Spring Skier. Furthermore, I purchased my 2010 spring pass on Feb. 1st , the cost was $119.00 and I believe that price was discounted $20.00 for online purchase by 2/1.

    As for your comments about season pass-holders, they’re just another example of the arrogant “we own the mountain so screw the rest of you” attitude that is so prevalent at MHM. A season pass gives you no more standing than anyone else who pays to recreate on the hill. My 4 or 5 visits buying a shift ticket plus my spring pass generates as much ticket revenue as your season pass does plus I’m not there every weekend adding to the congestion in the parking lot and lift lines. Every time a season pass-holder uses the pass it reduces overall revenue per skier visit. The $400.00+ season pass is the single biggest reason that Meadows has now become an oversold, stretched-to-capacity free-for-all on weekends. The best thing Meadows management could do to help address the capacity issue and increase revenue would be to do away with the ridiculously cheap season pass pricing. It would make for a much-improved on-mountain experience for everyone.

    I’m not unique in that fact that I have a full-time job and responsibilities that limit my skiing to weekends only. My guess is the spring pass will go on sale after the spring break crowds (and dollars) have disappeared and at that point there might not be enough skiing opportunities left for me to justify a pass purchase even at $99.00. My real concern however is the spring pass not going on sale as stated. When you tell people that the pass will go on sale March 1st (as Meadows did in two blog replies) then you should honor that information. Go to tiered pricing if needed ($149.00 on March 1st then $99.00 on April 1st), let the price be based on snow conditions, but don’t jerk skiers and boarders around on timing. Most people would be comfortable paying a little more as long as they don’t feel like they’re getting played.

    Meadows: Thanks Jeff. Good advice well thought out and presented.

  11. Robert

    March 1, 2011

    I called Meadows a couple weeks ago and the person told me on the phone, spring pass should start March 1. Called again about a week ago and was told, "it was supposed to start mar. 1, but we have not heard yet". That is what the season pass person said.... Skiing and boarding, who knows what mother nature will provide or when, but obviously lots of people were counting on the spring pass starting on the usual date, big dumpage or not. You should not change it up at the the last minute. You should sell it and let it start immediately, and change the date or tell everyone you will decide about the spring pass during the season, next season. I always buy the spring pass, and that means there are tons of days that I miss before March 1, over the years. That is the risk I take! the spring season could suck! The people that buy a full season pass take a chance too, hoping the whole season will be really good. The people that buy the spring pass all the time are good and important customers as well as the people the buy the full season pass. This is not right to tell us at the last minute you are not going to do it as usual. You should give us plenty of notice and change it for next year, not this year, no matter how much or how little mother nature has given so far. It is not unusual for Mt. Hood to have big dumpage starting around Mar. 1! I remember that spring about 3 seasons ago.... It seems it dumped from Mar. 1 for two months straight.... Right? Dumped feet and feet starting about Mar. 1 or so! Did'nt change the date that year. I don't think? People waiting for the spring pass got super lucky that year, but you did not change it that year. Why make good customers angry, when everyone expected it to start Mar. 1, (full year season pass holders too)!?! it just is not right to change it at the very last minute! I even sent a email to meadows asking about this again a few days ago and I never even got no reply..... You should start the spring season pass tomarrow or asap. When is it going to start this year, so I can decide what to do now!?! I guess I will have to see what is up at Ski Bowl, even though I consider Meadows my local spot.... Big mistake!

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. The big difference this season compared to previous seasons is the last two weekends we've reached capacity in our parking lots, requiring us to turn away vehicles. Part of this is because we are no longer allowed to park vehicles on our access roads (which we used to be able to do). We are addressing parking for the long term, but right now the parking situation is affecting our decision to delay placing the spring pass on sale.

  12. Ryan

    March 1, 2011

    All you cheapskates whining about your $99 spring pass delay need to look at it in the eyes of the unlimited season pass holders. MHM is ridiculously crowded every weekend of the season. When the spring pass hits, it doubles. Do you think it's fair to the full time pass holders to pay for and endure crap conditions until it dumps, then have to wait twice as long in lines to ski half the pow, because those who decided to wait things out and save money now have uber-cheap access to the mountain? No, it isn't fair. Honestly, the spring pass is ridiculous all around and should be discontinued. If anything, MHM management needs to look at ways of satisfying their core constituents better, which foremost includes reducing lift waits while maintaining profitable margins. Opening the flood-gates for spring gapers like all of you moaners is the antithesis of the solution. For the spring pass crowd, you bring in revenue equal to about 1.5 day lift tickets, while doubling the crowds for the remainder of the season. Those who buy their passes early take a huge risk, but will continue to do so year after year, because no matter the number or quality of days, whatever winter brings, they'll be there. Meanwhile, you're spring pass buyers are your fringe users, who have a winter of observation to base their purchase on, but either way, they'll likely ski one or two days anyway, with or without a spring pass. Pow skiing is the coveted commodity in skiing/riding, and giving it away to a group of gapers while your loyal patrons pay 4x as much is blasphemy. If you continue to offer a "spring pass" it should be for spring skiing conditions, which in the PNW typically don't come till mid-April. Look at last season, where the best storm of the winter came April 10-13th.
    For the record, I no longer live in the Portland area, but was a long-time season pass holder while I was there. Many of the mgmt decisions MHM made drove me nuts, the spring pass was one of the biggest. And Robert, big March dumps certainly are norm in the PNW. It's typically one of the best months for Pow at Hood.

    Meadows: For clarification, Meadows isn't ridiculously crowded every single weekend of the season, and spring pass purchases don't double our season pass base. But we understand the sentiment and passion this former pass holder brings is shared by both current pass holders and those wanting to purchase the spring pass.

  13. Tom

    March 2, 2011

    Clearly it is your call, but the communication on this was pretty poor. If it is really just the weekend crowds you are worried about, I'll gladly purchase a mid-week only spring pass...

    Meadows: Thanks Tom. The blog is becoming a good resource for clarifying and making some very good suggestions that we're taking under consideration.

  14. Robert

    March 2, 2011

    In your response to me yesterday, you said the biggest problem is parking on the weekends. Perhaps you could sell a weekday only spring pass starting right now, and then make it good everyday two or three weeks from now? This is obviously is not the same thing as the usual spring pass, and will not make everyone happy, but it would be better than nothing. Then some of the people that planned on getting a pass that started Mar. 1 would be able to get some turns in on the week days right now. That is better than just shutting the people out that had planned on the spring pass starting Mar. 1 completely, is'nt it? Obviously the economy is not very good right now, and some people just can not afford the full season pass price tag, many of these people were waiting and counting on the pass starting Mar. 1....

    Meadows: Thanks Robert. We appreciate and are considering the suggestions made on this blog.

  15. Former Pass Holder

    March 2, 2011

    Very disappointing that Meadows management has chosen to keep its guests and its own staff in the dark regarding the 2011 Spring Pass. With no information as to when the pass will go on sale or what its price will be, some staff has even gotten confrontational when asked about pass details.

    Not really sure what Meadows management is looking for in "more spring-like" conditions. Snow in March both comes and goes pretty fast. The recent dump was nice but all it takes is a bit of rain like the mountain had in February to turn things into conditions that I'd assume management will describe as "spring-like" but what many skiers would describe as "dirt". Would be nice to see a little of the loyalty shown by previous pass holders returned in something more honest from Meadows.

    Meadows: Points well taken. As mentioned above our decisions to delay placing the pass on sale is directly related to the peak weekends we have been seeing, which is related to the winter storms we finally are receiving. Spring-like can mean the conditions, it can also mean a return to normal business levels which usually occurs in March as winter recreaters move on to spring sports and activities. We certainly don't mean to compromise our staff and create confrontational situations with guests regarding this issue - that is very unfortunate, and something we'll be addressing. Thanks for the feedback.

  16. Juan

    March 2, 2011

    I like Robert's idea. $99 mid week spring pass that includes weekends starting in mid March. Right now, with Meadows not providing any dates it makes it awfully difficult to plan anything... other than trips to Skibowl in the interim. Yes, everyone got excited about big snow this past week due to the cold snap and snow in Portland, but Oregonians will get into Spring mode over night and things will likely get back to normal by this or next weekend regardless of mtn conditions.
    J

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. It is an interesting approach. The $99 price point for a spring pass may not be realistic unless it started later in the season.

  17. Matt

    March 2, 2011

    Offer a midweek only spring pass starting next week to fulfill your promise to your customers. Change your policy next year. Many people are upset and its going viral soon.

    Meadows: Thanks Matt. Appreciate the advice and heads up.

  18. Rick

    March 3, 2011

    Myself and my family have been holders of either unlimited or spring passes for many years now. As an unlimited pass holder I was never upset that Meadows was selling spring passes. I had already been riding for months and the crowds thin out considerably into the spring either way. However, as I've waited to purchase Spring Passes this year I have been very frustrated with the uncertainty. In previous years Meadows' plans were at least announced in advance. (ie. the date and price), allowing families to plan for the considerable expense and to schedule trips. At this point, these remain uncertain, which has me leaning toward just making trips to other mountains this spring with my family. By the way, single day lift ticket prices at most mountains in Washington are considerably less than Meadows this year. I can actually travel there and purchase tickets for my family for less than the tickets alone for Meadows....Just something you should consider.

    Meadows: Thanks Rick - good points. The uncertainty is over, the unlimited spring pass will begin March 7 and cost $139. We just posted a blog.

  19. Billygoat

    March 3, 2011

    WEEKDAY pow days are ridiculously crowded right now as it is. I payed for a full pass, and I'm happy that Meadows has held off on spring passes. No one else on the mountain is selling them right now either.

    Thank you Meadows for catering to your pass holders.

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. The spring pass will begin Monday, March 7.

  20. Jeff in the 'Couv

    March 3, 2011

    While I would certainly appreciate ANY spring pass being put on sale at this point, I’m guessing a pass valid midweek only is of no use to the majority of the purchasers who (like me) are average 8-5 weekday slaves. Unfortunately my skiing occurs only on weekends so it sounds like I’m a perfect example of the person you DON’T want to market the spring pass to. I hate the weekend mountain madness as much as anybody but, unlike many of the “ski bum” types that seem to buy season passes at Meadows, my weekday real-world responsibilities are my first priority.

    My real concern however is with the way MHM management has chosen to approach the timing of (and communication about) the spring pass. I’m not happy that Meadows has chosen to delay the spring pass because of all the recent snowfall leading to capacity issues but why not address this through a public forum? It’s become clear that many people are looking for information about the spring pass and to my knowledge the only source is through this blog. Why no announcement about the spring pass in a more prominent fashion (like as a feature on your home page)? To continue to basically ignore this issue is doing a disservice to your customers and leaving a very negative impression with many of us.

    Jeff

    P.S. – as for Ryan’s comments, they serve as a perfect example of the arrogance I mentioned in my earlier post. Buying a $400+ season pass does NOT grant you anything more than the right to ski or board without having to pay every time you come to the mountain. If no discounts existed for season pass purchasers then I might have a little more sympathy for their situation. At $400+, season pass-holders have become spoiled and selfish with an unwarranted sense of entitlement. In reality they’re nothing more than the single biggest reason capacity at Meadows has become the huge issue that it now is.

    Meadows: Thanks Jeff. We agree that we mishandled the communication and announcement of the spring pass, and we regret that. The spring pass is now on sale and it becomes valid Monday, March 7, for $139.
    Your P.S. sets the foundation for a good future blog - what should the price of a Meadows all season, unlimited season pass be?

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